Marathon Reading the Right Way

What better feeling is there than enjoying a reading marathon?

Now this joy doesn’t just happen. I mean, it can, but a true reading marathon takes planning. I’d like to present the Golden Dragon’s ultimate guide to preparing for an epic reading marathon.

READING MATERIAL

Of course, the first thing you have to consider is what you’re going to read. You can just plan to read a really thick book cover to cover, but I prefer to have a variety of books on hand. If I have a non-fiction book, a couple of stand alone books from my favorite author, and an interesting new trilogy, I know that I’m covered. What you choose will depend on your own tastes and privileges. Just make sure that you have enough reading material.  Nothing ruins a reading marathon more than running out of books.

Also, you might want to think twice before depending entirely on a brand new stack of fiction books. What will you do if you don’t like them?

READING NOOK

Next on the agenda is finding a comfy place to read. You might prefer to get up and walk around a little, change your reading spot. That’s fine. But if you’re planning on staying in one place for the majority of your reading marathon, make sure that you have a comfy reading nook. I suggest that you grab a few extra pillows and a blanket. You never know when you might need them. I always find that I’m comfiest when I’m wrapped up in a blanket with a good book.

CLOTHES

This is not the time to dress in your Sunday best. A reading marathon is the perfect opportunity to stay in your pajamas all day. If you don’t want to do that, then just put on a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt. If that doesn’t sound comfortable to you, then find something that works. You aren’t trying to impress anyone while you read. But, for goodness sake, leave your shoes by the door!

FOOD

There are two categories of food that you need to think about. If you are planning on reading for a day or less, then you can get away with finger foods. I don’t mean a bag of cheetos, a box of half-melted chocolates, and a couple cans of soda. Those are actually all things to avoid. You need finger foods that don’t require a lot of napkins (although you should probably keep some of those handy just in case.) Carrots, cheese its, ritz crackers, grapes…these are all staples of mine that won’t leave messy marks on your book. I also suggest that you stick with drinks that have tops.

Those snacks won’t hold you over for an entire weekend of reading. You’re going to need something more substantial. This is where frozen dinners and things you can make in bulk come handy. My personal favorite is a big batch of cheesy mac n’ cheese. I can prepare it in ten minutes, and then I can eat it right out of the pot, leaning over the stove, a spoon in one hand and a book in the other.

MUSIC

I love music. Even when I’m working on something important, I prefer to have something going on in the background. But I don’t like to play music while I’m reading. I don’t want anything from distracting me from my books. If that’s true for you then you should try setting up your reading nook in a quiet, secluded corner.

However, you should plan ahead if you need music. Choose something that’s easy going and won’t distract you too much, and make sure that you have enough music to last your entire marathon. If you need to, you can also us that music to drown out any outside noise. 

I’d like to just speak a moment about distractions. It’s understandable if you can’t completely get away from the world and enjoy a distraction free weekend. However, do yourself a favor by minimizing the distractions that we often set up for ourselves. Turn off the electronic screens, tell your family you need some quite reading time, and then shut the door and turn your phone to vibrate. I really mean that last one. Turn your phone to vibrate and place it on the ground.

And finally,

BATHROOM

You need to make sure that wherever you choose to have your reading marathon, you have access to a bathroom. Everything doesn’t just stop because you’re having a wonderful time reading. If possible, position yourself halfway between a bathroom and a kitchen…and ideally that room would be a massive Beauty and the Beast style library. 😀

Oh, and one more piece of advice:

book-marathon-post

Good luck to you, fellow book lover! I wish you hours and hours of fun!

Let me know if you have any more rips/rules for reading marathons. I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, please excuse me. I have a fresh stack of library books I’m itching to get my hands on.

Advertisements

Those mistakes you always seem to make

If you’re like me, there are really embarrassing writing mistakes, there are the mistakes that you make because you’re rushing and really not paying attention, and then there are some mistakes that you always seem to make.

I’ve made all three of these mistakes in an academic paper. See if you can guess which type of mistake was which:

-Thourough

-Wierd

-Thet

Well I bet the really really embarrassingly one is easy to pick out. I wrote “thet” instead of “that.” It happens. I’m sure you have several examples from your own writing.

What about “wierd?” I always classify this one as rushing the editing process when I find it. It’s such a common mistakes that I always check it. The simple fact that I used this word in a paper might prove that I wasn’t paying enough attention to my work. I choose this word because I know that it’s very easy to get the whole i before e thing mixed up. I bet you do a double take every time you have to write this word.

So that leaves “thourough” as the word that I just can’t get to stick in my mind. In case you didn’t recognize it, “thourough” is supposed to be “thorough”…or “through.” I’ll possibly never know. I have to look these words up almost every time I use them just to make sure that I get them right. I don’t know why my brain seems to have a problem with the different combinations of t-h-r-o-u. I just do.

I’ve heard this phenomenon, if you choose to describe it that way, described with the fact that English is a convoluted language filled with inconsistent rules and some rules that should just be wrong (like a sentence with “that that”…What’s with that?).

My former linguists would say that there is a pattern, a consistency in the errors that people make. It’s not just random. Our brain recognizes the inconsistency of learned patterns and tries to make up for them…but that just leads to learned spelling errors.

I don’t know the answer. I just find it fascinating.

What do you think? What word do you always seem to get wrong?

Different Types of Readers

dragon-holding-book

Not every reader is created equal. Each and every one of you is unique!

I’d like to introduce you to some different types of readers…Golden Dragon style.

You can probably relate to more than one of these dragons. You might even see yourself in all of them…but I bet there are a few that stand out. Let me know who your favorite is in the comment section.

(Show out to dragon.namegeneratorfun.com for helping me find some awesome dragon names. I added some flare, but this site was a big help. And thank you to dragondreaming.wordpress.com for the dragon picture.)


Lurrsim of the Lightning Tribe

He is known for reading books lightning fast. That is why he can be seen carrying a stack of books from the library to his cave every week. It is hard to keep him interested in any one book for long. As soon as you turn your back, he’s on to the second one. Take care when you challenge Lurrsim’s book knowledge. Just because he’s a fast reader, doesn’t mean he’s not paying attention!

Skopim the Humble

Don’t let his name fool you. He probably named himself that. He loves to tell people that they should read the book he just read. Sometimes he might just want to share a recommendation because he loves a book. However, sometimes he really doesn’t live up to his name. Then he becomes a walking billboard for his latest read. You often hear him say things like, “But you just have to read it!” and “I think I’ve found the greatest series ever!”

Hasakis of the Plastic Tribe

Hasakis is rarely seen without her Kindle. She loves being able to carry her entire book horde in one paw. The euphoria of purchasing a new e-book is only matched by the feeling of buying a new accessory. She can get a little touchy when she loses her power cord, so I’d keep my distance. In fact, I’d take an extra one along if you plan on going on a reading date.

Huplick the Crusher

I think he should actually be called Huplick the Crusher of Hearts. He doesn’t like surprises. That’s why he loves spoilers. Do you want to know why he’s so annoying? He also can’t seem to keep these spoilers to himself. Make sure to carry around some ear plugs if you plan to visit him before a new book release. Nothing angers Huplick more than someone else knowing more than him. Tread carefully!

Ismik the Hoarder

If you plan to visit Ismik, however, you won’t be able to get through her front door. She has piles and piles of bookish treasure laying around. I’m sure she’ll get through her TBR pile eventually…if she can stop bringing more books home. You can’t blame her though. There are so many good books out there. She may be willing to part with a few of her treasures if you’re really interested, but only if she reads them first.

Fyadrin of the Ageless Ones

Fyadrin’s actual age is unknown. So what’s up with her name? She’s forever young at heart. You can find her roaming around the children’s and YA bookshelves. She still gets excited for her favorite shipped couple and she can stay up the whole night with just a book for company. No shame! You can visit her anytime if you want to talk about the latest teen releases.

Stith the Thoughtful

This is truly a one of a kind dragon. He consumes non-fiction book like you might consume a chocolate bar. He loves to feel his head with new facts. However, Stith is far from a know-it-all. And I don’t know why, but he has an amazing grasp of the dewey decimal system. Stith is the first dragon you should call if you need to find out something about an obscure topic. Chances are, he’s read about it!

Kabick the Roamer

You’re going to want to stay out of Kabick’s way! He has a nasty habit of flying and reading at the same time. Most dragons know to give him a double wingspan if they’re traveling with him. Kabick might be a bit of a reckless flyer, but he’s waveringly polite. I’m not sure if an apology will make up for knocking you out of the sky, but you’ll get one anyway.

Fril the Forgetful One

Fril is a darling, but he doesn’t have much of an attention span. He has a hard time reading a book all the way through to the end. It sometimes takes him weeks to finish a book, because he keeps putting it down. There’s a whole list of books that Fril hasn’t even finished, and probably never will. But you really can’t blame him for trying!

Quixith the Many

I’m not sure if Quixith hangs out with friends that talk just like him, or if he has a dozen identical siblings. He is never seen alone when he has a book in his hand. You’ll always catch him chattering away to his friends about their new favorite book. It’s pretty cool that he always has other readers to talk to. Don’t be jealous! I’m sure he’d let you join in!

Cragick the Emotional

He would never admit it, but he’s kind of a wreak when it comes to characters’ emotions. Try not to mention it when you see Cragick tear up while reading. Just sit back and enjoy the special moment. It’s actually quite refreshing to see someone who is still so affected by the written word. You should probably have a tissue box on hand if you invite Cragick over for a reading party.

Ryiki the Hydra

Ryiki doesn’t actually have more than one head…at least, not that I know of. But you’d think she had more than two eyes if you saw the number of books that she reads at a time. I have no idea how she keeps all of those stories straight. A “code red” sign flashes in her head when she has only one book left. The interweaving of stories in her mind are more entertaining than any one story can be.

Xedrin the Destroyer

If you get one thing out of this, remember that you should never ever let her borrow a book. That’s right. I said “her.” Xedrin has a habit of bad habit of destroying her books. However, Not many people know that her only crime is loving her books too much. Smudges pages, bent corners, and creased spines are all signs of books that have been read to death. THye are her most valuable treasures.

Zyaagil of the tribe of Thunder

Even if you haven’t ever met Zyaagil, I’m sure you’ve heard him before. You can hear him reading out loud a half mile from his cave. It can be quite entertaining…and distracting. My advice to you is not to sneak up on Zyaagil while he’s reading. He might forget that he’s not one of the characters in his book and harm you by accident.

Bravick the Chronologist

Bravick doesn’t read standalone books…ever. He loves series, the longer the better, and he refuses to read a series out of order. His loyalty to his favorite series makes it harder for him to watch movies based on them. You just can’t do justice to a ten book series in a trilogy of movies. Do you want to make him mad? Drop by his cave when he’s about to finish a series, hide the last book, and then run!

Akris the Slow

She’s a bibliophile, but you would’t know it if you looked at her reading pile. She loves to digest books slowly. A book that you read in a weekend might take her several weeks. Don’t worry. She’ll finish it eventually, and she’ll have a lot to talk about when she’s done. Akris might have trouble keeping up with a reading assignment, but she can conquer any book in small, measurable doses.

Ollur of the Theater

Ollur enjoys watching the movie adaptations of his favorite books. I’ve even heard him say one or twice, “The movie was better than the book.” Some of his fellow dragons shun him for that, but I’m not too worried…as long as he reads the book first. Think twice before going to the movies with him if you don’t enjoy long, indepth, nerdy conversations.

Ryaavi the Bloody

Ryaavi isn’t scary…until he starts pulling apart his latest read. He doesn’t plan to hurt others. He just wants to share his opinions on everything he reads. Sometimes he knows what he’s talking about, and sometimes he just really doesn’t like an author. Tread carefully around Ryaavi if you know he doesn’t like one of your favorite books. He will tell you exactly what he thinks.

Ksadith the Sharer of Souls

Her name is rather impressive. She didn’t earn this title. It’s simply who she is. She connects to the books she reads in a special way. It’s almost like they become a part of her. You should feel honored if Ksadith offers to give you a tour of her book hoard. She’s letting you see a private part of her that few people do. The fastest way into her heart is having a favorite book in common.

Naizz the Snuggler

Do not, I repeat, do not disturb Naizz if she is in her reading nest. She may seem all harmless and cuddly while reading, but you don’t want to be the one who makes her get up. It’s hard for Naizz to read just anywhere. She needs to be comfortable. Her favorite time of the day is just before bed when she can fill her head with book-related dreams.

Syadis the Determined

Syadis is a fan of reading marathons. She can spend hours, days even, curled up in her cave reading books. Just a few chapters here and there aren’t enough to satisfy her love of reading. It can be hard to pull Syadis out of her books. She can read a whole series in one day. Nothing is as entertaining as an afternoon spent reading.

Jayik the Loyal 

His love for books is rather narrow. He is devoted to one set of books or one author at a time. Unlike other reading dragons, Jayik can answer the tough questions like, “What is your favorite book?” He is perfectly content reading one series over and over again, and anything by his favorite author is worth reading. Don’t even try to get him to read a book that isn’t part of his approved reading list. He is hopelessly devoted to his favorites.

Daxilian the Traveler

Draxilian has a lot of duties, and yet he longs to escape them all. He takes vacations away from his cave whenever he gets the chance. What does he do on these vacations? He reads! It’s hard for him to spend time with his books while he’s busy with other things. It’s actually rather unpleasant trying to find time for pleasure reading. If you want to get on Draxilian’s good side, offer to help him out so he can go away for a little reading time.

Faidril of the Paper Tribe

This dragon is extremely loyal to paper books. You will never catch him anywhere near one of those new fangled reading machines. He’s not completely in the dark age. He just prefers the feel of turning a book’s page between his claws to anything else in the world. It’s rather easy to get his nose out of his latest find. Just dangle another book in front of him. He’ll go bananas!

The Blogger, Name Unknown 😉

No one knows the name of this dragon, but many have spoken of her glorious golden scales. They are quite blinding, which might be why she spends most of her time holed up in her cave reading. She reaches out to other readers through her dragon-sized keyboard. Although she is a bit of a mystery, she is quite friendly and well informed! She just loves books so much that she has to write about them!


So have you spotted any of these bibliophile beasts in human form? Let me know. 

 

 

Book vs. E-book Reader: Yeah, we’re still debating this!

Image result for book vs. ereader

Photo Source: Goodreads Facebook page

I’m sure all of y’all are tired of this debate. I know I am, but I still see articles about it everywhere. I guess I’d be remiss not to at least mention it here.

I love paper books. I’m reasonably sure that that is never going to change. However, I do own a reading device. I’m not going to say which one. (More on that later.)

I didn’t follow peer pressure when Nooks and Kindles first became popular. In fact, I was squarely situated on the opposing side. I didn’t see any reason for reading devices. Books are far superior. I think this is true in all aspects but one. They sure make packing books easier.

No, I didn’t want a reading device just because all of my friends had one or because I wanted to replace my physical library of books. I just wanted one because I was curious. I finally had to admit that the digital age of books wasn’t going to suddenly decline.

My first attempts at working it were clumsy and I’m sad to say that it’s out of commission right now. That’s one reason why I don’t want to tell you which reading device is currently hidden on my shelf in a huxley cover. Popular opinion may not have swayed my decision to buy a reading device, but I did let it decide which (poorly designed and bug prone) device I bought. That coupled with my tendency to kill every piece of technology that I come into contact with means that I’ll never be a reader over book girl..

Despite that sour note, I did enjoy reading e-books on my device. I found it much like reading an article online…except longer. Okay, that doesn’t sound like the epic love note I would right about reading paper books, but I guess what I’m saying is that reading my first e-book wasn’t a traumatizing experience. I actually enjoyed it. I did miss the weight of a real book in my hand and the feel of paper turning between my fingers, but you can’t argue with something that allows you to carry all seven Harry Potter books in your purse.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not afraid that paper books or libraries are in decline, but e-books and reading devices aren’t going anywhere, either. Can’t we all just play nice?

I could debate all day long about how paper books are great, but I can’t say that reading devices aren’t good. Just because I’ve embraced e-books doesn’t meant that I have to give up on my first and only love: my paper books!

What do y’all think? Is anyone still carrying a grudge for readers? Is anyone afraid the public libraries will disappear? Or, as I’m hoping, have more of y’all embraced a dual reading experience?

 

 

Is Anyone an Advocate for Out of Order Reading?

I had many bookish friends in college. Working at a library does have its perks. I remember having a conversation with one library friend who insisted that I needed to read a series out of order. I’m sitting here wracking my brain and I just can’t remember what the series was. It was a mystery series…if that helps 🙂 .

So I did some research and I found out that a healthy number of people have never read a series out of order. However, there are quite a few people who enjoy reading books out of order on a regular basis. I don’t just mean reading stand alone books by the same author out of publication order. I think everyone has done that at some point. Think about the last book in your favorite series. Some people would read that book first. I know what you’re thinking -What?! No they wouldn’t! (If you’re not thinking that, please contact me. I want to pick your brain.)

After all this time, I still don’t understand why someone would enjoy reading a series out of order. Here are some of the common reasons that I found. Has anyone ever used any of these reasons before?

1. The first book(s) in the series aren’t as interesting as the later ones. This is the reason my friend gave for reading her mystery series out of order. She said that the first two books were kind of dry, but, apparently, the books got more interesting as the series continued. I have a big problem with this train of thought. If the first two books in the series aren’t good, I’m not going to keep reading the series. I can’t understand a series getting better, but the first few books can’t be bad enough that I want to skip them. How is this even a thing?

2. There is a series, but it’s not necessary to read them in order. I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about standalone books, but sometimes there’s a fine line between “stand alone” and “episode series.” I’m currently reading the third book in one of my favorite series just because. I like the fact that all of the books in the series belong to the same world and the same timeline, but each one finishes a different story. However, I would not have picked up the third book if I hadn’t have already read through the series in order, and loved it, first!

3. It’s a liberating feeling. Some people actually claim that they love the “liberating feeling” they get from deciding in what order they read a book series. I’m not saying that someone can’t feel that way. I’m just saying that I don’t get it. I’ve never read a new series out of order. I panic any time I accidentally check out or buy a book that isn’t the first in a series. Please, somebody explain this liberating feeling to me.

4. I felt like these two go hand in hand: The later books are so well-developed that you don’t need boring backstory information AND reading the first book in a series later will provide fun and interesting “flashbacks.” All I find myself thinking is that the author didn’t intend for the backstory to be read as flashbacks. I know that some authors have a habit of including too much backstory early on in a book or series, but I don’t see this as validation to read their books out of order.

5. I can’t get the first book(s). Sometimes it just comes down to the fact that you accidentally buy a book without knowing that it’s part of a series or you can’t get onto your local library’s waiting list for the first book. Every reader has to decide what what they’re going to do in these circumstances. I’ve never been able to willingly choose to read a series out of order. Would you?

Let me know what you think in the comments section or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 

 

The Dos and Don’ts of Judging a Book by It’s Cover

judge-book-by-its-cover

Picture Credit: sawriters.org.au

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

It’s usually uttered in reference to something else. For instance, “Not everyone with glasses is a nerd. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

I get that, but, to some extent, you do need to evaluate potential reads by their covers. Take a look at the list of simple “dos” and “dont’s” that I’ve complied below before your next trip to the library:

DO pick up any book with a cover that interests you.

DON’T let a book’s cover be the only reason that you DON’T pick it up.

DO look at covers when searching for a book in a particular genre, age range, or time period.

DON’T ignore a book in your favorite section of the library based on its cover.

DO pick up books whose covers ignite some kind of emotion in you.

DON’T ignore books with plain covers.

DO pick up books with different covers to compare them.

DON’T choose to take home a book when you only like its cover.

DO look at a combination of ornate and plain covers.

DON’T overlook books just because they have “movie” covers.

DO gently take off book jackets to see what’s underneath them.

DON’T ignore the writing on a book’s cover.

DO make sure that you examine the book past its cover.

DON’T ignore any non-professional aspects of non-fiction covers.

And finally…

DON’T be afraid to admit that you took a book home because you loved its cover!

So while a book’s cover shouldn’t be it’s defining factor, it can be an important step in evaluating whether it is right for you or not.

It’s the publisher’s job to use the cover to elicit emotions from readers. Don’t let their hard work be ruined. That’s why I strongly urge you to pick up a book if you feel any strong emotion when you see its cover, whether it’s excitement, anger, sadness, etc. You never know, that might be just the emotion the publisher was going for.

So go ahead! Get your finger prints all over those library covers! Turn them over in your hands and take a peak under jackets! Let your eyes guide your journey towards your next favorite book!

What was the last book that you checked out or bought, because of its pretty cover?

No judgement. I promise. 😉