Rummaging Through The Bookstore

I had a chance to look around the bookstore yesterday and I have a few observations I want to share with all you hobby people out there.  And, whereas I might whine about them gearing up for Christmas on my other blog, this will be a more positive blog.

The Gift of Literacy

I have to admit, shopping at a bookstore is one of my favourite things.  I don’t do it as much as I used to because I generally take advantage of the wonderful library system we have in Ontario.  While I used to love having a whole library of books, I have moved so many times that I really don’t need that huge library any longer.

Oddly enough, I have met so many interesting people in the bookstore over the years.  This includes my university bookstore, Kinokuniya in Japan, and the soon to be closed World’s Largest Bookstore in Toronto.  Just yesterday, I met someone very interesting… but I digress.

I just wanted to say that books and things you can buy at the bookstore make fantastic gifts.

Just for Christmas

I noticed that there are a lot of interesting gift packs for Christmas.  I came across a catapult kit, a boomerang kit (I was sorely tempted….but then I would have to wait until spring…..but I am still tempted.  Besides it’s orange.  I might be able to find it in the snow.  Besides, it might come back to me……) learn guitar kit.  The list is endless.

Add to that, there are so many interesting book sets.  The complete Calvin and Hobbes is now on sale in paperback for those of you who couldn’t justify getting the hardcover version.  I saw so many interesting things that I want to go back today and spend more time looking around.  Maybe I will.  Maybe I will pick up the whole Ender’s Game series just so I can watch the movie and not look like a complete newb.

If you’re shopping, the bookstore is a good place.  Sadly, hobby books for trains, model cars and the like don’t seem to get much shelf space in these stores.  I guess the hobby shops have sewn up that market, but that really isn’t fair.  I would think that it would be easier for the hobby inclined to send anyone wanting to buy them a gift to the bookshop rather than the hobby shop.  For some, the hobby shop is a little intimidating.

Sorry for rambling, but I roamed around the bookstore, and now you’ve roamed around my thought process….. I am off to the bookstore to look around some more.
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Another Mini-Review

I haven’t done it in a while, but I think it is time for another book review–because reading is amazing and important.  Long live literature.

In books, perfection is hard to come by.  If any book that I have read comes close to that,  I would have to say that A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is that book.  I realize that kind of statement is rather strong, but I truly believe it is well earned.  The book is fantastic.

What makes this book really good is how well it is thought out.  While some books seem to be killing time, inventing subplots and following meandering plot lines, this book does none of that.  In that regard it might demand more of your attention, but most really good books do.

Perhaps the greatest things about the book is how it makes you feel.  By the end, you will feel as though you have experienced something amazing.  By the end, you will feel as though you have been on an incredible journey.

I have decided not to try and explain the plot in this blog.  I would rather you experienced it without any outside influence.  However, if you need to check out the plot, well google brought you here, so I am sure google can provide you with a plot site.

I rarely read books more than once, but this is one of those books that I will read again and again. It speaks to me much in the same way that A Separate Peace does,  Youth is an amazing time, and though it is long past, I can celebrate it in books.

Commuting Distractions: An E-Reader Update

I used my e-reader for the first time today.  I spent a relatively brief time downloading free e-books from the Kobo website.  I spent a much longer time trying to find available (and free) books from the library.  The first of those tasks was fruitful and I now have about 31 books to read.  The second was difficult because anything I wanted was too popular and was subsequently checked out.  In addition, some of the waiting lists were so long that I didn’t feel inspired to get on them.

As far as reading goes, it seemed rather comfortable.  It certainly took less effort to turn the page–unbelievable to think of all the energy I wasted turning pages the old fashioned way.  (I guess I can take solace in the fact that I probably burned a few calories the old way)

My first book was a bummer.  It was really short (I read it in about 30 minutes) It wasn’t particularly well written, but since it was free, I really shouldn’t complain.  I am on the second book, and all is progressing nicely.  It is better written, and managed to keep my attention for most of the trip home.

I don’t seem to have any eye strain, and the e-reader is probably lighter than any book I have ever carried on the bus, so I shouldn’t experience any muscle pain.  If I have misjudged this, I will probably wake up tomorrow with an incredible headache.

The only negative thing about the device so far is that way it counts pages.  In a single commuting session, I read about 200 e-reader pages.  I take pride in my reading speed, but that seems rather fast.  The pages are small, so you blast through a lot of them.

I talked to a woman on my bus and one of those George R. R. Martin books clocks in at over 1000 pages.  Keeping that in mind, I was temped to download Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, but that would most likely surpass 2000 pages.

Time will tell if this device will replace books for me.  Most likely I will still go to the library to check out books from time to time.  I can’t imagine my life without periodic pilgrimages to the library.

Comic Book Day

Today is Comic Book Day.  You can walk into a comic book store and walk out with a free comic book.  It makes me wonder what I am doing inside, typing this, rather than at my local comic book store.  Sadly, I had made other, unchangeable, plans before I found out that today was comic book day.  For those of you who are reading this, you should be out there getting your comic–after you finish reading this of course.
As you might of guessed, comic books, and the superheroes they were full of, played a big part in my early years (and later years, but that isn’t the point really).  The epic struggles depicted on those pages were great food for my imagination.  Every month my heroes fought the villain, overcame great odds and personal doubts, and eventually triumphed.
These days comic book characters have made the jump to the big screen.  Yesterday the long awaited Avengers opened.  I wanted to be among the first in line, but sadly it will have wait until later this week–but it will be this week.
Comic books might get a bad rap but, honestly, how can anything that promotes literacy be bad.  Besides, comics haven’t just been about superheroes for a long time. They have been used to tell a wide variety of stories with appeal to more than just your stereotypical teenage boy.
Enjoy Comic Book Day everyone.