Archive for the ‘WDYTWed’ Category

#WDYTWed: how much does a book’s genre matter to you?

October 16, 2019

#WDYTWed: how much does a book’s genre matter to you?

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

Today, let’s talk about genres.

I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. One of the first things you might notice in a traditional bookstore is that the store is divided into sections.

That might be done by signs hanging from the ceiling, or labels in the aisles.

I’m talking about a new bookstore, by the way. Used bookstores are sometimes just a jumble of everything, with no organization. Not always, of course.

Some people find the latter a thrill…it’s that sense that you’ve discovered something someone else might have missed.

Others, I would guess most, find that uncomfortable. They want to get into the store and know where they are going and what sorts of books they’ll find.

Why?

Why go to a romance section, or a science fiction section, or a mystery section? Why not just look at a shelf of random books, with everything all next to each other?

That answer probably seems obvious: there are different types of books and within those categories, there are similarities. If you already know that a particular type of book appeals to you (and perhaps that other types don’t), you have a better chance of finding a book you like.

People commonly call those groupings of books “genres”.

That’s a slippery term, though.

It comes from the same root as the word “genus” (as in genus and species), which would suggest a common origin.

Most people don’t use it that way, although some may still search for books by French authors, or written by authors of one gender, or religion…that suggests a common origin.

I’d say readers generally consider a genre to mean that there are books with similar content…although dictionary definitions will also cite style.

I’d go with content.

I wouldn’t define “sad” as a genre, for example.

Readers outside of a genre sometimes denigrate the very similarities which make them attractive to fans: golden age science fiction, with its rockets and BEMs (Bug-Eyed Monsters). “Bodice ripper” romances, with its dukes and stable boys…part of the appeal is those familiar elements.

I recently read a non-fiction book I found very insightful:

The Hitmakers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Probably the most important idea was that the brain’s favorite thing is to discover familiar patterns in unfamiliar settings (that’s my restatement of it). That makes sense: recognizing patterns is one of the ways that the brain earns its share of blood.

It explains a lot of things. Why do sequels do well? We can recognize something familiar (say, a character), but in something new (a different story). Too similar, and it seems boringly repetitious. Too different, and it’s jarring, “out of character”.

Genres, then, would be the norm because it helps us predict that experience: familiar patterns in unfamiliar settings.

Of course, the definitions of genres are imprecise and can lead to passionate argument. I’ve seen that many times with science fiction, especially when it gets lumped with fantasy (lumping is not an insult, by the way: there’s a division amongst people who define categories of animals and plants..lumpers and splitters. Lumpers like fewer species definitions, splitters like more). There were fans who were adamant that Star Wars was not science fiction: it was perhaps, science fantasy, or even just straight fantasy. Mainstream media tends to refer to it as science fiction, since it has…hey, rockets and BEMs! 😉

As a Fortean (a follower of Charles Fort), I don’t have hard and fast definitions: everything blends into everything else (that is, perhaps, the core tenet, if we can call it that, of Forteanism…except that all of the tenets and non-tenets blur). 😉

Now, let’s get to some polls!

I am already running a poll on Twitter, but as Lady Galaxy pointed out, not everyone can vote on Twitter. If you can, this one lets you pick between some genres:

https://twitter.com/bufocalvin/status/1184077464366043136

Here, let’s address some different questions:

Looking forward to seeing your responses!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Advertisements

#WDYTWed: today’s Amazon announcements

September 25, 2019

#WDYTWed: today’s Amazon announcements

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

Amazon is making major announcements today, 25 September. This will be a bit challenging, but I think I’ll wait until those are over (which will probably put me into the afternoon Pacific time) and add a poll during my lunch break.

The Verge coverage of the announcement


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.

:)

Shop ’til you help!

:)

 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: finishing a book, and what’s important to your enjoyment of a novel

September 18, 2019

#WDYTWed: finishing a book, and what’s important to your enjoyment of a novel

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

This first one today is just something I’ve noticed in myself, and I was wondering about you.

When I get close to the end of a book I like, I find I slow down my reading of it. I don’t want that book to end, and to then move on to another book. Hm…that’s if it’s not a series, where I may want to move on quickly to get to the next one.

However, I’m sure many people read more quickly because they want to see what happens!

That’s if you aren’t like at least one of my readers, and read the ending first: I would never do that, personally. I always read fiction in the order the author intended. I try to do that with books in a series, too, but that’s not always easy (earlier books may not be available, or I may not realize it’s a series when I start reading one mid-series…and since I finish every book I start, I can’t just abandon it because it’s in the middle of a series. I could postpone it and start the first book, if it’s available, but if it isn’t, I’ll finish the mid-series book

What about you?

This next one came from a poll on Twitter, although frustratingly, I can’t find the tweet again right now so I can credit the inspiration to that author. If I find it, I’ll amend this post. I responded to it with a tweet, but haven’t found that digging back, either…if the person deleted it for some reason, I suppose that might do that.

Anyway, the question has to do with what’s the most important element of a fiction book for you. This was intended for authors (there is a thriving author community on Twitter), but I’m going to ask you as readers.

That author contended that plot was most important. I countered with my feeling: characters are generally the most important. I said that I’d rather a book with interesting characters where nothing plotwise happens than a book with an interesting plot and wooden characters. I used the example of Seinfeld, which was famously “about nothing”, although that was hyperbole (they often had significant plots).

I think that’s natural: people are more interested in people than they are in events. That’s not to say that they aren’t interested in events, they certainly are. If you say, “I saw this person do this really weird thing,” the next question is likely to be “What did they do?”, not “What was that person like?” Now I’m starting to question myself: if I say I saw a great show, I think people may want to know what happened in it, rather than who the characters were.

Still, I do think the characters are what tend to engage us. Let’s take the Sherlock Holmes stories, for example. Let’s say that in every Holmes book, the plots were exactly the same as they are now, but there were different characters in each one from Holmes and Watson (also meaning they would approach the mysteries differently…that’s part of what makes Holmes’ character, for sure).

The other element raised was world-building (or setting). I’m sure many books have started with a “what if” thought. “What if there was a world where time ran backwards?” Philip K. Dick has a book like that:

Counter-Clock World (available through Kindle Unlimited at no additional cost for members) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The Oz books have a great setting (after the first book), and I do think I could read an Oz book with none of the known characters (not every one of the “Famous 14” main books by L. Frank Baum stars Dorothy and friends…Baum really pioneered crossovers) and enjoy it. I’ll write something at some point about how Baum brilliantly and amusingly tested the limits of the fascinating rules that Baum created, but that’s for another time.

What do you think is the most important for your enjoyment of a book? I’ll do multiple choice even though I’m using a superlative…it could be a tie. 🙂

I could see some possible other factors: length of the book, relationship to other works by the author, and so on.

Well, these two polls do intrigue me! I’m looking forward to seeing how you respond.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: out of the book

September 11, 2019

#WDYTWed: out of the book

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

This came up recently. It was when I was watching a movie, but it also happens with books.

How do you feel about fictional characters referencing real world pop culture? Star Wars, The Stepford Wives, The Beatles…I’ve seen all of them show up in a work of fiction.

It’s interesting: if it’s a period piece, and they get it right, I love that. For example, and I’m not sure where I saw it, a 1940s gumshoe who, I think, got hit over the head, said that it was like the Nicholas Brothers doing a tap routine on their skull (something like that). That’s a perfect allusion.

However, when it happens in contemporary fiction, it takes me out of the book. I guess I think of the characters in a book as in a different, parallel world…not someone I could bump into on the street (or the internet).

If they get it wrong, it’s really bad. I’m pretty sensitive to anachronisms: something that is out of chronological place. It can be as subtle as using a modern frisbee in a 1960s set story.

Let’s start with that question:

This other one has to do with point of view. My Significant Other doesn’t like reading books that are written in first person…as if the narrator is telling you what’s happening to them, talking to you directly. “I walked into the room, and saw…” My SO says it feels like someone is looking over their shoulder.

Third-person is written as though it’s someone observing the story. “They walked into the room, and saw…”

I seem some vehement opinions about this. I can go either way…they can both work. Let’s see what you think:

Looking forward to reading your responses!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: book tie-ins

September 5, 2019

#WDYTWed: book tie-ins

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

I was speaking today with someone about Buckaroo Banzai. I liked that movie, but I may have liked the book even more. That one was a bit of an odd duck: the screenwriter had been writing about Buckaroo for some time, including in prose. The book is not an adaptation of the screenplay by someone else. That got me thinking about books and movies…and other adaptations.

Some adaptations have been great! It’s interesting: I’ve really enjoyed some books that tie-in to TV series. Most people probably know the Star Trek (and then later, the Star Wars ones) books. After the series ended, that was one of the main ways we got continuing experiences with Kirk and Spock.

However, I thought there were great tie-ins to Get Smart, Dark Shadows, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E..

So, let’s look at this two ways: adaptations of books which came first, and books which came second.

Looking forward to seeing your answers on these, and your comments!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: reading habits, streaming video

August 21, 2019

#WDYTWed: reading habits, streaming video

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

Before I give you a chance to express yourself with some blogs, I do have to say…it was really frustrating last week! I had several polls I wanted to be multiple choice. I published the post, saw that they weren’t (I’m pretty sure I said they should be). I went back in and very deliberately saved them as multiple choice, and they still weren’t! I know that was hard for some of you, and it meant the data wasn’t as robust as I wanted it to be. I noticed that WordPress changed the host source of the polls (I suppose it could have been just a name change). Virtual fingers crossed it works this time!

First, I’ve been being a bit reflective, now that I can no longer “introduce” myself as having one of the best-selling blogs of any kind in the USA, because they aren’t selling blogs any more.

I used to read a lot of books, I’d say certainly 100 a year. Now, start to finish, it’s nowhere near that. It can take me weeks to read a single book (although I never am reading just one at a time). I do sight read books every day, but not for very long.

In part, that’s because I read other things…Flipboard takes up a lot of my reading time, and I read magazines.

By far, most of the book reading I do is via text-to-speech in the car. In a typical week, though, that probably doesn’t amount to 100 pages.

So, here are my first two questions:

I’ve been really, really looking forward to the launch of

Disney+

Unlike a lot of people, that’s not for Marvel or Star Wars, particularly. I want to see a lot of older Disney movies (especially live action) that I have haven’t seen in a long time. I want to see the old Medfield College comedies with Kurt Russell (I’d love to see them do a new series with Medfield as a STEM school, and Russell could appear in an episode as alumnus Dexter Riley). I even want to see things like The Cat from Outer Space. 🙂

I was disappointed today to hear that Amazon and Disney haven’t worked out licensing for Disney+ to be on the

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

at the November 12th launch.

My guess is that they will work it out…they still have some time. I just can’t see Disney letting all that real estate go away, and Amazon wants that prestige subser (subscription service), of course.

Subsers are certainly part of the Amazon world, including videos. That market has really changed, just in the past five years. Now, there are a bunch of ones that cost under $20. Instead of paying $100 (or more) to a single cable company, people pay around $10 each to several of them.

I just canceled DC Universe. I did enjoy it, but I really got it just for my recovery from my hip replacement surgery in January. I watched a lot of what they had. I didn’t like their flagship show, Titans, although I enjoyed Doom Patrol.

We have a noticeable loss of luxury income with Amazon stopping paid blogs through the Kindle store, and I figured it made sense to drop DCU when I planned to get Disney+.

We are also Prime members (so we get Prime Video), and subscribe to Hulu (at the ad free tier) and Netflix.

I’m curious as to which ones you use…

I’m considering using Patreon as a way for people to support my creative efforts. I’ve looked at it in the past, but now I have more motivation. I haven’t decided yet. I know for sure I’m not planning to move everything behind any kind of paywall! I want to make sure I can always help people who need it without unnecessary hurdles…helping people is my favorite thing.

If it was just a matter of making it easy for someone who chooses to do so, with no obligation on either side, to support me, that would be fine…I’d just open that up and see what happens.

However, in looking at it (just a bit so far), it seems to make the most sense to offer subscribers exclusive content…which would mean producing something additional. No question, that’s a challenge with where we are right now.

First, this:

Now, if I did do Patreon and produced exclusive subscriber material, what would you like to see me do?

My thought is that, if I do it, I’d probably go with ninety-nine cents a month, just like a subscription to ILMK was.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what you have to say on these!

Thanks again to everyone who was a paid subscriber to this blog!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: Blogs

August 14, 2019

#WDYTWed: Blogs

Important update: due to a glitch, some of this week’s polls which should have been multiple choice appeared as only single choice. I have corrected that and you are able to vote again.

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

Blogs are on my mind this morning…including this one. Amazon just announced (well, sent e-mails) that they are discontinuing publishing blogs through the Kindle store on August 19th. I’m probably unusually affected by that, since this blog has been one of the most popular (and for close to ten years). I have to others, but they are probably more typical (very few paid subscribers). Here’s my piece on the change from yesterday:

Amazon discontinuing Kindle store blog publishing on August 19, 2019

So, let’s focus on blogs:

Well, that’s enough for one post! 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who has been a paid subscriber to this blog!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: Randoms

August 7, 2019

#WDYTWed: Randoms

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, and I’ve been considering writing a wrap up post some time after the poll post runs, commenting on the results. If you’d like to see that, let me know.

I’m a bit short on time this morning, so I’m not going to do a theme…just a few random ones.

This is something which just occurred to me this morning.

Sometimes, when I see a TV show or movie, it just seems to over or under affect me. For example, I might think everything on an episode is funny, even though objectively, I can see it’s really just average. On the other hand, I might go see a movie lots of people with my taste like, and think it’s well done, but then just feel the movie was meh (nothing to write home about).

In that case, we might say, “I guess I was/wasn’t in the mood.”

Is that true for books? Have you had a book just really go one way or the other for you, and think that it was because of how you were, not how the book was? I suppose it’s different with books, since they take so much longer to consume, and your mood probably doesn’t last that long. My record reading, though, is three and a half novels in a day, and a mood could certainly extend that long!

I prefer listening to a book with text-to-speech, rather than with an audiobook, unless I’ve already read the book: I don’t like an actor or even the author interpreting the characters for me. Almost every day, I both sightread and listen to text-to-speech. I had a bit of a discussion about that (just a tiny one), so I was curious: how do you read your books? Note: I’ve included some options here that many people might not consider to be actually reading the book. I’d still like to know if anybody chooses any of those: you can choose more than one answer, so somebody might do something you consider “legitimate” as well as something you think is “cheating”…

We recently just installed a videocamera at the door (a Ring). I may write more about that, but my Significant Other and I were discussing this. Our Amazon drivers tend to just put a package at the door (we prefer to send it to the locker…there is a mail theft problem in our neighborhood, but not everything can go to the locker) and leave. They don’t ring the doorbell or knock.

That seemed to us to be…somewhat rude, at first. Then, I was thinking about it more. Knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell would drive the dogs nuts. In the modern world, I’m sure most people are notified of Amazon deliveries another way: on an Alexa device, on their phones, and so on. Maybe it is actually more polite not to ring the doorbell, if people are going to already know about it.

There you go!

If you have any thoughts on these, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: when you read a book someone you know recommended to you

July 31, 2019

#WDYTWed: when you read a book someone you know recommended to you

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

For this third one, I want to talk about what you do when you read a book someone you know recommended to you. I’m using “know” pretty loosely, here. I just mean someone with whom you have conversations, and that you will run into them again after you’ve started the book.

For example, as I wrote about a week ago, I ran into an author in the dog park. That author didn’t say, “Please read my book”, but it came up, and I did start reading it. I’m enjoying it so far. My Significant Other has also started reading it.

Just so you know, this is it:

Driftwood (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The odds are high that I’ll run into the author again…so what happens then?

When I’m reading a book like that, I look for certain details that I can use to “prove” I read the book. 🙂 I’m a trainer as my day job, and that’s a trainer thing: we can spot what’s important in material when we prepare to teach a class. It makes us great bluffers, sometimes unintentionally.

One time, someone told me that they were going to surf competitively. I said, “Longboard?” Well, the surfer then launched into a detailed outline of the plan, and I had to say, “Wait, that’s all I know!” 😉 Just somewhere, at some point, I had run across the fact that longboard or not longboard was an important choice (at least, I think it is), and retained that.

In the case of Driftwood, one thing I thought I might reference was a quirky, family way of making decisions. We have something like that. I made a CD out of a whole bunch of soundclips from

http://www.dailywav.com/

Those are short lines from movies and TV shows.

We called the CD the “Magic Clip Ball”. Just for fun, if you were undecided about something, you would ask the question…and then have the CD player randomize a clip.

Sometimes, the clip seemed to directly apply, and in others, it required interpretation…just like many oracles of old.

If I run into the author again, I might bring that up…yes, partially to demonstrate that I read the book.

Why do I care?

Recommending a book to someone is a gift: showing you read it is a thank you.

Certainly, when I’ve loaned people books, or given them to them (I used to buy inexpensive copies of the first Doc Savage book, The Man of Bronze, when I would see them at used bookstores, so I could give them away), I’ve wanted to know that somebody read them.

Of course, the best thing would be to hear, “Wow, that book changed my life! Thank you so much!” I don’t need that, though. Honestly, I’d never ask somebody what they thought of a book I recommended. I don’t want to put them on the spot. Believe, me I know that what I like isn’t what everybody else wants. My Significant Other got me a t-shirt that said, “NOBODY’S TARGET MARKET”. 🙂 I get that. I’m okay with that. I’ve done okay with predicting what will be popular in the mainstream, but I don’t need my friends to love what I love.

I would like to know that they did read it, or at least tried it.

That’s how I feel about it…now let’s find out what you think!

What else to you think about this? Do you like it when people recommend books to you? Do you then feel obligated to read them? What’s the best book someone ever recommended to you? Do you have someone where you regularly exchange recommendations? While this post is about people you know, does it make a difference to you when a celebrity recommends a book? How about a book club? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog

#WDYTWed: How do you find the e-books you get?

July 24, 2019

#WDYTWed: How do you find the e-books you get?

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

This is the second one, and since I recently wrote about book discovery, so I thought I’d base today’s poll on that.

Feel free to include additional answers, or tell me and my readers what you think of this, by commenting on this post!

If you have ideas for future poll topics, please let me know!

Thanks, Lady Galaxy!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


%d bloggers like this: