Why book editors should NOT be a dying breed

Cover of "Anna Karenina (Barnes & Noble C...

Cover of Anna Karenina (Barnes & Noble Classics)

The best way to learn English used to be to read books. We got some beautiful turns of phrases and excellent English from the classics.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

A woman after my own heart, there!

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Words that hold true even to this day, don’t you agree?

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.” ― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

What a beautiful, beautiful thought!Continue reading

My favorite things

Now that I’ve got the bookshelf of my dreams – imagine a built-in bookcase along one entire wall, running from floor to ceiling, filled with books and a few nick-knacks – I’m on the lookout for a cozy reading chair. And as I look at designs and despair of ever finding anything that will fit into the tiny little spot I have, I leave you with these cool reading chairs.

Because, really, how could you not want this chair on wheels? After all, you never know where in the house you’d like to read. And of course, you have to have at least a couple of books along with you, because you never know what you might want to read!Continue reading

A Reading Challenge for 2013

So apparently the world decided to chug along into 2013, leaving all the doomsday prophecies biting the dust. And seeing how we’ve been given a new lease of life – as those doomsday soothsayers would say – it makes sense to make the most of it!

Now, if you’re wondering if I was one of the naive innocents who bought into that prophecy, perish the thought! I just figured this would be a great way to start this post.

Why? Because I’m setting myself a few challenges this year.

Número uno on the list is my very first reading challenge!

I generally read as the whim strikes me. I hate being tied down to a genre or region or author. But this challenge sounds interesting, seeing as I get to set the number of books I will read as part of the challenge.

Considering that I read over 60 books last year, I’m guessing 10 is a good number for the Indian Quills Reading Challenge (IQR), hosted by The Tales Pensieve.

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With the explosion of Indian writers, I'm hoping I'll be able to find 10 books by Indian authors that will rock my world!

What about you! Have you set yourself a reading – or any other – challenge for the year?

The reading deprivation challenge

Books

Image by henry… via Flickr

Books have taken over my life.

In The Artist’s Way (which, by the way, I have never managed to finish…discipline has fled the house!) Julia Cameron recommends a week of reading deprivation – she bans books, newspapers, magazines, everything – for at least one whole week. When I first read that, I balked at the very thought of it. And needless to say, didn’t follow through with the rest of the program.

But now, as I think about it, it makes a lot of sense – at least for me. It boggles the mind to think of the amount of time I would have to pursue other activities if I wasn’t compulsively stuck with my nose in a book every free second of every single day. I finish one book, sit back, inhale, and then wander over to my bookshelf to pull out the next book and start reading again.

book and coffee

Image by Josh Russell via Flickr

It’s starting to get freakish, this obsession I have with books. It starts in the morning – I curl up on the sofa with my cup of java to kick me awake and a book in my hand, reading at a feverish pace. I have to keep reminding myself that I need to move my butt and get ready for work. Once I’m back home in the evening, I rush through the chores (of changing and washing my face) and sit down to read. And read until well past bedtime, with mini breaks in between to welcome the husband home, squeeze in some small talk so he doesn’t think I’m insane, and during dinner.

Pathetic. Unhealthy. Irrational.

I’m beginning to see the sense in Julia Cameron’s approach. It’s time to bite the bullet. For someone as addicted it as me, it calls for serious measures. SO…reading deprivation for a month!

….

….

Wait! Did I just write that? Think that? What the hell is wrong with me? I’m never going to be able to stick with that! So…a compromise….How about…umm…a week? Every month? Reasonable enough, don’t you think?

But first, I have to finish the book I’m currently reading. And the one I’ve already decided to read after I finish this one. (I told you I was obsessive.) Then, a week of no reading. At all.

I’m freaking out already!

Looking back 2010 – Top 10 books

girl reading a bookMy love affair with books started at a rather tender age. I grew up with Enid Blyton and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Since then, reading is my escape from the world, a time to step out of my life and live in different times and places through the trials and tribulations of the characters that inhabit the book that I am reading.

I’ve read a lot of books that I enjoyed this year, so choosing just 10 was hard! Still, I tried…so, here’s the list of the top 10 books I read in 2010 (in no particular order).

  1. Immortality – Milan Kundera
  2. Nefertiti – Michelle Moran
  3. The History of Love – Nicole Kraus
  4. The White Tiger – Arvind Adiga
  5. The Girl triology  – Stieg Larsson
  6. Late for Tea at the Deer Palace – Tamara Chalabi
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  8. Journal of a Solitude – May Sarton
  9. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  10. Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichei

If you’re curious to see the entire list of books I read during the year, check out my book shelf.

You might also enjoy reading Dagny Taggart, or Scarlett O’Hara, or maybe…

What were your favorite books in 2010?

Linking up with Jade:
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Life mirroring art

I find it hard to sleep without reading these days. It’s probably got something to do with the amount of time I spend staring at my computer. My eyes rebel against the brightness and glare of the screen, demand some rest on good, old-fashioned paper.

I was re-reading May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude. It’s funny how some parts of that book that did not seem relevant to my life the last time I read it have suddenly become relevant now. That’s the beauty of a well-written, meaningful book.

One passage that caught my eye and lingered in my head is from one of her first few journal entries:

I feel too much, sense too much, am exhausted by the reverberations after even the simplest conversation. But the deep collision is and has been with my unregenerate, tormenting and tormented self.

That is an eloquent expression of how things stand with me these days. I’m frazzled, irritated, agitated, and desperately need some space.