Monday, November 12, 2007

A reading meme...

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
I started kindergarten when I was four (a November baby). I probably started to get a hang of the reading thing at the age of five. I remember the first few months were spent with phonics. We learned to read ba, be, bi, bo, bu and pa, pe, pi, po, pu before we got to real words. I didn't really see much fun in reading "pi" and "wi" when I could be reading something really excited. But I guess once the class got that early stuff down...we formed reading circles. I remember looking at "books" like Pig in a Wig and Cat on a Mat and thinking it was exciting to finally read something real. Something that meant something. And I do remember (partly) the joy of learning to read words with two vowels--learning about silent vowels and all. There was a story about a mean goat that went with that lesson.

2. What do you find the most challenging to read?
Technical stuff is the most challenging for me. Math. Science. Statistics. Things with graphs and charts. I took a few library science courses that had textbooks that went way over my head. I just couldn't fathom what they were talking about.

3. What are your library habits?
I go to the library weekly. Once a week without fail. For a good two years now. I go to the public library. When I was in college, I didn't go to the public library at all, but I went to the campus library all the time. At least once a week if not more. I graduated in 2005. So about the time, I was finished with that library, I made a new habit.

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
Definitely. I remember visiting the public library a little bit when I was younger. But not often. Usually a few times per summer. But nothing regular. Dad hated to have the commitment of having to return every few weeks to return books. But he wasn't a meanie. He bought us lots of books. I went to a private school with no library to mention...until the fifth grade. That year they added a library, hired a librarian, and began building their collection. So from that point on...I visited the school library at least two to four times a week. And I've already mentioned my college years. And the present. So the library in some form or another has always been a part of my life.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life?
Volumes. I feel I read so much more now that I blog. I don't know if that is true or if it just feels true. But before I started blogging, I never kept notes. I never kept lists. I didn't write anything down. So month after month, year after year, so much was lost. You can't remember everything you've ever read. And you certainly can't remember what you thought about the books you've read.

6. What percentage of your books do you get from? New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other? 65% Review copies, 5% borrowed from TWU review center for Librarians' Choices, 25% library, 5% other--books I buy new OR used, plus the books I borrow from friends, AND the books I win in contests.

7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? What are your reasons fro not blogging about books?

Very rarely. If I finish it, I blog about it. So I'd say 99% of the time if I've read it, I'll review it. I do post honest reviews of books. If I get annoyed with a book, I'll tell you. But if it's just a personal bias--a personal annoyance--I'll let you know that too. I might say, this book irritated me to no ends, but that is because I hate books with xyz. If you don't...if xyz really interests you... then you might really enjoy this one. I try to be fair. If I mention a negative, I try to mention something positive as well.

8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dogearing pages? Reading in the bath? I read library books. I read used books. I dislike books that smell like smoke. And books that smell like other things. I usually won't check out books that stink (or buy books that stink) if the stink is detected early. But buying used books on Amazon, you can get some smelly books now and then. Library books with sticky covers. That's annoying. And mysterious stains. Sometimes it looks like a food stain. Sometimes a blood stain. Sometimes a sneeze. Sometimes a bug. But whatever it is. Nasty is what it's all about. Funny story. Very funny story. This person who I'm no longer friends with (though this isn't necessarily the reason why) once gave me a Christmas present. It was a book. A book about one of my favorite soap operas, All My Children. I was excited. Thought it was a nice gift and all. Opened it up a few hours later when I was actually going to be reading it...only to discover a HUGE bug and bug splat between two pages. We're talking squishy guts. So I'm assuming she bought it used, and tried to hide the evidence that it was secondhand. Most likely she had no idea about the bug. And I didn't bring it up or anything.

9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work? Not really applicable.
10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
I try to think about the person. What they like. What they dislike. What I think they would like. Etc. What they've liked in the past. What they already own. How much time they have to read.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this one comes from Dewey!


Dewey 2:05 PM  

I thought this was fun to take, but it's way more fun reading other people's answers!

I forgot to count review copies in my ways I get books list. But it's still probably only like 10%.

I remember reading circles, too! I used to love to be called on to read aloud.

My mother did not do many things right as a parent, but I can say this for her: she brought us to the library all the time. Not for our benefit, for her own romance novels addiction, but it was beneficial to us anyway!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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