Thursday, February 27, 2014

Do you dogear?

To dogear or not to dogear, that is the question.Can you make this into a verb, to dogear, or am I just making this up? Not that is matters, everything was made up at some point!

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to talk about whether you make a dog ear in your books or if you use a bookmark. There are some serious debates about this and it can get heated.

I for one have always dogeared my books, mainly because I'm just too damn lazy to use a bookmark. I would love to be one of those persons who uses beautiful bookmarks and has hundreds of them in their collection, each telling a different story of how said person acquired it. But no. I'm just that type of a person who can't be bothered with bookmarks, so dog ear it is.

But who is to say that a bookmark is better than a dog ear? Yes, it might not be very good for the books, or the pages more like it (it's not like the books are going to fall apart or anything), but those little ears can tell a story just like the flashy bookmarks. They tell us someone has read the books and, depending on how far the ears reach, weather the reader liked the book enough to finish it or not. They are a sign of the book serving its purpose: to be read. With bookmarks you get nothing of that, the book is always a clean slate.

I like to think of it like the wrinkles on our faces (or the future wrinkles, I'm not that old yet!); each wrinkle is a sign of laughter, sadness, stress, anger or something else that has happened to us in our lives. The dog ears are the book's wrinkles and the bookmark is the botox. OK, this is probably taking it too far....

Don't get me wrong, I don't dog ear all the books I read. If I'm reading a very expensive or a big glossy book I tend to use some kind of a marker other than an ear, also if I'm reading a borrowed book (it's not my choice whether another people's book gets an ear or not). But in general I dogear.

What about you? Comment and tell me, I would love to hear a different take on this.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is It Just Me? - Book Chatter

First things first. Miranda Hart, will you be my best friend? Please? Pretty please? Comment and let me know!

OK, now that my desperate plea for a BFF-ship with Miranda is out of the way I will move on to the next best thing: her book. Is It Just Me? she asks. Well, Miranda, no it is not. While I was reading this book, lying in bed with my cat on my chest (yes, chest, she does that and looks at me while I read. Occasionally she sneezes, spraying all over me. Is that just my cat or is it common? I really should ask the vet.....anyway) I felt as I was reading about me, or a slightly more exaggerated version of me.

The book is, in sort, an autobiography but not the typical kind. This is Miranda's journey through all the different social situation "normal" people (aka people who are not as awesome (sucking up, here, Miranda, are you reading this??) as Miranda) find easy to deal with. Miranda on the other hand manages to make these seemingly easy things quite difficult to deal with. Each chapter is about one thing like music, office life, holidays, Christmas and her relationship with her dog, with a special appearance of 18 year old Miranda who is not very happy with the life the current Miranda is leading.

But all jokes aside, this book is pretty amazing. When I picked it up at Heathrow last summer I was expecting a lighthearted read, which it is for the most parts. But when I finished reading it it dawned on me: I just read the best self help book I could possibly ever read. Now, wasn't that a surprise? My dear friend Miranda (there, I said it), a self help guru. Amazing!

When all is said and done, this little gold nugget of a book makes you really feel like everything will be OK and it is OK to be your self. You don't have to listen to a band you hate to be cool or study something you secretly loathe just because you are trying to be someone else (18 year old Miranda, I'm looking at you). You don't have to be the prettiest girl or the fittest boy to be happy or have a crazy active social life. It's perfectly alright to be the Plain Jane (what ever that is) and sit at home on Friday night watching bad TV (in fact, that is awesome!). As long as YOU are happy what does it matter what other people think?

God, I'm getting emotional writing this! Which goes to show how great this book is, doesn't it? I think it says a lot about a book when it makes you laugh all the way through but manages in the end to secretly hug you and say: "Everything will be alright and you are awesome just the way you are."

Thank you, my dear chum Miranda, for writing this book. (What a great word that is, chum....).

I highly recommend you read this, it should be on the curriculum in every school!

My chummy being awesome

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Perils of a Bath Reader

I know I'm not the only one who reads in the bath. I can't take a bath without having something to read. The first time I read in the bath, I can't believe I still remember, I was about 11 or 12 and it was that week's Donald Duck comic. I was subscribed to it for a few years and waited for it every Tuesday.  Ah, to be young again.

Anyway. The bath. After Donald Duck there was Seventeen magazine and then books. At first I was scared of dropping them in the water but if I remember correctly that has only happened once over the years (what a tragic day that must have been, I seem to have blocked out what unfortunate book got that untimely demise). Pretty good considering the amount of baths I take!

But reading in the bath can be a difficult task. Most of the time the books I read are paperbacks so it's not that hard to hold them over the water. But the other day I decided to re-read The Book Thief before seeing the film. Man, that was tough! My edition of The Book Thief is in Icelandic, 500 pages, hardcover and heavy as a brick.

Trying to hold that brick high enough so it wouldn't touch the water was a nightmare. I only got through a couple of pages before I could feel my muscles (because I have real good muscles..... ahem) starting to turn into jelly. The next day those awesome muscles of mine were still aching.

But what can I do? I'm sure as hell not stopping my bath-reading habits. Maybe I should join a gym and work on my guns? Knowing me I will probably just buy a reading tray!

An armchair, a bookshelf and a bathtub, my dream! Design by Malin Lundmark called Library Bath. How cool is that?

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling - Book Chatter

Crime novels. Not something I normally read. I'm just never that interested in them, maybe because so many TV shows are crime related and I don't want my books to be saturated in crime as well. But last year a book came out by one Robert "J.K. Rowling" Galbraith and, of course, I had to read it. I mean, it's J.K. Rowling for god's sake! I had read The Casual Vacancy and quite enjoyed it. This second post-Harry Potter book is a lot lighter read than The Casual Vacancy and, to my surprise as it is a crime novel, I really loved it.

The best thing about this book is the main character, Cormoran Strike, a one legged, ex army man who works as a private detective in London.  He is just a fantastic character, so human and real. I know I shouldn't compare The Cuckoo's Calling to the Harry Potter series but I just have to say this one thing. While I was reading the book I imagined Strike as a mix of Hagrid, Sirius and Mad-Eye Moody. The largeness and hairiness of Hagrid, Sirius' devil may care personality and Mad-Eye's professional choice and... well, the missing a leg thing. I hope I'm not the only one who sees this. Or maybe I'm just too far gone in my Harry Potter love.

The other main character is Robin, Strike's temporary secretary. God I can't believe I'm doing this again, but she kind of reminds me of Hermione. She's reliable, smart and  determined to do her best. She really makes the story of what it is and the chemistry between Strike and Robin is great.

The case Strike and Robin are investigating is about a supermodel who falls to her death from her apartment window. Because I'm not a seasoned crime novel reader I really can't say whether this is a good plot or not but I enjoyed it. But in my opinion the case is so not what drew me in. My favorite thing about this book are the two characters and I loved the scenes they had together.

Over all, The Cuckoo's Calling is a great book with great characters and I cannot wait for the next book. Yes, thankfully, Robert Galbraith will write again and what I have heard the second book is already finished and will be released later this year.

The verdict:

J. K. Rowling's second array into the world of adult books gets three stars from me. Great book, totally worth the read and re-read.