Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015: Bookish Pumpkin Carving


Happy Halloween! We're hanging out at home tonight and I'm about to make some cocoa and dive into my rather fitting-for-Halloween book, "Lair of Dreams" by Libba Bray. I think we've seen the last of the trick-or-treaters (my favorite of which was a toddler dressed as an adorable little skunk). We have quite a bit of candy left over -- but that's inevitable since I always seem to over-buy. And that's why I get candy that I like too! (Reese's and Sweet Tarts and Butterfingers, oh my!)


Jarrod and I had fun carving our pumpkins last night. His minion -- carved totally free-hand -- looks awesome, and I'm really pleased with the way mine came out. I wanted to convey something along the lines of "reading is magical" and I think I achieved that! And, totally coincidentally, it's a great compliment to my Hermione costume, which I wore at work today. Between the literary costume and the bookish pumpkin, I think it's pretty clear that I work at a library!


Do tell: What did you carve into your pumpkin this year? Hope you're having a spooktacular Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Halloween, Love Hermione Granger

Halloween is almost upon us, and I've been lucky to get to dress up for work at the library twice already. I'll don my Hermione costume one more time when I work on Saturday before it gets packed away for another year. Let me tell you, I love working at an awesome place filled with people who like to dress up for the holidays! Today we had a Jack Sparrow, a Sherlock Holmes, a Captain Hook, Peter Pan and Wendy, a Fancy Nancy, a Link from The Legend of Zelda, and a Snow White!

I made myself a wand to compliment my costume this year. It was super-easy and you'd never guess it's made from a wooden dowel and hot glue! There are tons of tutorials for this kind of wand-making online, but here's the one I used. The DIY instructions use chopsticks, but I used a wooden dowel cut to size and I sanded one of the ends down to be narrower and rounded. (FYI, my wand is vine wood like Hermione's, but with a [pretend] core of boxer dog whisker.)

I also enhanced my outfit with a hand-knitted Gryffindor scarf -- complete with S.P.E.W. button. Did you know that Hermione's Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare is only in the books, not the movies? I didn't realize that until I was looking for a S.P.E.W. button online (no luck there). I could tell the true Potter-lovers by who got my badge and who didn't! (More on my scarf here.) I think the only thing I need to make my outfit perfect for next year is a time-turner necklace. Etsy, here I come!

Do tell: what are YOU going to be for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Yarn Along: "The Thirteenth Tale" in the Smoky Mountains

Yarn Along is a wonderful link-up -- hosted by the Small Things blog every Wednesday -- about two of the best things in life: reading and knitting!



Hello from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee! We're here celebrating my 30th birthday (it was yesterday; today I come to you as an official adult -- woo. hoo.) and I didn't bring any knitting along. So I'm showing off my Molly hat, my most-worn knitted item. I love that slouchy, soft teal beanie with its big, fat cable!

I'm totally engrossed in "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. It's spooky, eerie and dark -- absolutely perfect for reading in the woods in late October. It's one of the best books I've read so far this year! It had been on my to-read list for-ev-er, and I was sorta saving it for just the right time. I wanted to read it in the fall because it's an atmospheric sort of novel, and  I'm so glad I waited. Reading in the shadowy woods next to a rushing river surrounded by falling leaves and raindrops is just the right setting for something gothic!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Literary Fall Decor: Recycled Book Pumpkins

I love books and I love pumpkins. Combine the two and you've got some really awesome literary fall decor! The second I stumbled upon a tutorial for crafting pumpkins from recycled books, I knew it would be my weekend project. (Here's the tutorial I used.)

The library where I work has a book sale cart, and I selected three sad, lonely, dirty, worn paperbacks to get new life as Halloween decorations. Yes, of course I felt a little guilty about destroying books, but I'm 99% sure they would never have been purchased -- and even as I felt bad, I was happy to be recycling something that may very well have ended up in the trash. And now they're serving as fun fall decorations at the library, so their lives as books have come full circle.

The stems are sticks from my backyard, the curly-cue vines are floral wire from Michaels, and  I colored the pumpkins orange by diluting paint with water and dipping the edges in, as suggested in the tutorial. I tried the ink pad method for my first pumpkin (the bigger one in the above photo) but I achieved much better color with the paint. And I used up my whole orange ink pad rubbing the pages, which was a bit of a bummer.

Some tips if you decide to make your own bookish fall decor:
*Choose older books whose spines are already worn and broken-in. This will make it easier to bend the book into a circle shape.
*Use a really sharp (or brand new) Xacto knife blade.
*It took a while, but eventually I found a good method for cutting the pages. Cut about 15 pages at a time with a cutting mat separating those pages from the rest of the book (This prevents cutting pages partway and having to trim them up with the Xacto knife. And if you're only trimming one or two pages at a time, it's much easier to tear the paper, which is no fun!)
*It's ok if your cut edges aren't perfect -- you can even them up with scissors.
*The two smaller pumpkins were from the same book. I cut out a pumpkin from the bottom half of the book, making sure to keep the spine on the upper half in tact, then just tore it in half after I'd Xacto-ed my pumpkin from the bottom.
*It's ok to really bend and smoosh the book to force it into a pumpkin shape. It's not going to go willingly and you'll have to manhandle it a bit!
*After I dipped my pumpkins in paint, I used a paper clip to hold the two ends together. This helps keep the wet pages from sticking together and helps end the spine into a circular shape.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Knitting FO: Rainbow Twist Cowl

Rainbow Twist Cowl
My Ravelry project page
Pattern: Rainbow Twist by Thao Nguyen
Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta in Arco Iris

I looooooove my cowl! I love it so much that it might just be my favorite thing I've ever knitted. The yarn is amazing -- so colorful and squishy and soft and cozy. I've never knit with super-bulky weight yarn (on humongous size 17 needles!) before and I couldn't believe how fast it worked up! There will probably be many more bulky knits in my future.

This would be a perfect last-minute gift knit. I could have made the entire cowl in a couple hours, but I dragged it out over three days because the yarn was such a pleasure to work with. If you've never used Malabrigo Rasta and you want to feel like you're knitting with a strand of clouds, give it a try! And the pattern as wonderful too -- so simple and fun! Instant gratification + rainbow yarn = win!



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yarn Along: "Girl Waits With Gun" and Rainbow Twist Cowl

Yarn Along is a wonderful link-up -- hosted by the Small Things blog every Wednesday -- about two of the best things in life: reading and knitting!


Reading: I'm about 150 pages into "Girl Waits With Gun" by Amy Stewart. It's a mystery set in 1914 New Jersey with a pretty badass heroine, Constance Kopp, a woman unlike just about any other of her time. I have a few other books by Amy Stewart on my to-read list (like her non-fiction works "Wicked Plants" and and "Wicked Bugs"), so of course I had to check out her first novel -- which is actually based on a real-life story. So far I'm really enjoying it! (And that cover! I love it! It's hard to see in the photo, but it's set up to look like a newspaper article. And it's embossed. And the flyleaf is bright red with a glorious texture to it. Sigh... I love books.)

Knitting: I really, really should have been finishing up my BlueSand Cardigan (one of these days I'll finish sewing up the second pocket and weaving in my ends... right?!) but I couldn't resist casting on for a new project, a quick cowl (seriously, it only takes a couple hours) that I'm just in love with! I've never knit with super-bulky yarn before, but this Malabrigo Rasta (in Arco Iris) is just scrumptious! It's squishy and oh-so-soft and cozy and thick -- and the colorway is gorgeous! The pattern is Rainbow Twist by Thao Nguyen.

Over the weekend I finished up my Harry Potter scarf, which was on last week's Yarn Along post. Here's the completed project if you'd like to see! I'm really pleased with how it came out, and I finished it just in time to wear to work at the library when we all dress up for Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2015

10 Wishes For The Book Genie

Today's topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is 10 wishes we'd like the Book Genie to grant us -- "You dream it and the Book Genie can do it!" Why, oh why, can't the Book Genie be real? Because I'd really like a couple wishes; I don't even need a full 10!

1. I wish that... J.K. Rowling would write more books set in the Harry Potter universe.

2. I wish for... every bookish product I've saved on Etsy and Pinterest to magically appear on my doorstep.

3. I wish for... a local public library that looks like this:

(New York Public Library)

4. I wish for... an advance copy of "Morningstar" by Pierce Brown (the last book in the Red Rising trilogy, due out in January.) Bonus points if it's delivered to my door by Pierce himself!

5. I wish for... more hours in the day to read! My TBR list is overwhelming, and the only way to make it less so is to read more!

6. I wish for... a home library like this:
7. I wish that... Paula McLain would come the library where I work to do a reading. (Not totally unrealistic; she lives in Ohio too!)

8. I wish for... new books from Deborah Harkness and Gillian Flynn.

9. I wish to... be an extra in the movie version of one of my favorite reads ("Ready Player One" or "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" would both be ok).

10. I wish for... a big ol' stack of old wooden library card catalog cabinets! (My birthday is coming up... hint hint!)

Monday Musings

This sleepy kitty was on board with our plan to spend the weekend relaxing!

Highlight of the week: Jarrod and I spent the whole weekend at home, in our lounge clothes, relaxing and getting stuff done around the house. Copious amounts of football were watched, Buffalo Wild Wings take-out was consumed, many pages were read... It was just fantastic. After our busy last couple months, I was really looking forward to having a whole entire weekend to stay at home! (Seriously, I didn't leave the house once, and it was divine!)

Reading: I finished "Lord of the Wings," the newest Meg Langslow cozy mystery by Donna Andrews. It was Halloween-themed, so it was a perfect October read. Now I'm reading "After You," the new sequel to Jojo Moyes' amazing "Me Before You." It's good so far; not as good as "Me Before You," but that would be an impossible feat.

Knitting: My Gryffindor scarf is complete! I needed it for my Hermione Granger Halloween costume to wear to work at the library and that was the motivation I needed to finally get it finished up. You can see it here. I'm really happy with the way it came out! I also finished weaving in ends on a fair isle hat I knit a few months ago. Pictures of my crazy multi-colored hat to come soon!

Watching: "Magic Mike XXL." I felt "meh" about the first movie -- not enough plot, not enough raunch -- but this one was shockingly decent! It made me laugh, we actually got to learn a little bit about the characters, and it was really kinda charming. I was pleasantly surprised!

Listening to: All about the band Glass Animals at the moment!

Eating: Last night I made a big pot of vegetable soup for dinner and chocolate chip pumpkin bread for dessert. Can't think of a better combo for a cool fall day!

Looking forward to: My 30th birthday is coming up a week from tomorrow. I'm not exactly thrilled about the end of my 20s, but I really can't ever complain about an excuse to eat as much cake as I want!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Knitting FO: Gryffindor Scarf


Hermione Scarf
Pattern: Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Scarf by Rachel Alexandra
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted (Garnet Heather), Vanna's Choice (Mustard)

It's finally finished! When I was putting photos of my scarf on Ravelry, I saw that I started it last September and I just could not believe I'd been working on it for more than a year. But it kinda became a between-projects knit, or a TV-binge knit, and I'm a little sorry to say goodbye to it! It was nice to have something super-easy always waiting in the wings to be worked on.


In any case, I'm thrilled with my Gryffindor scarf! It's a little wider than I'd have liked (I cast on 75, but if I were making it again I'd go with 65 or 60) but still definitely wearable. Since it's a tube, it's twice as thick as a normal scarf and extra warm. Knitting the scarf in the round -- as a tube -- has another benefit: all the yarn ends from the color changes are hidden! So I took the lazy route and just knotted them rather than weaving them in. It saved so much time! I have a little bit of yarn left over, and I thought I might use it to make some little Gryffindor scarf bookmarks.

Last year when I wore my Hermione costume to work at the library for Halloween, several people thought I was wearing a graduation robe. Hopefully the scarf will be the completer piece needed to look unequivocally "Hermione"!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mini Reviews: "The Dog Master," "In the Woods" and "The Library at Mount Char"

"The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog" by W. Bruce Cameron
First published in 2015
410 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5

We all know dogs -- our spoiled, beloved furry family members -- are descended from wolves, but when and how did that happen? "A Dog's Purpose" author W. Bruce Cameron's puts forth a fictionalized theory on how, long ago, some unique circumstances helped a wolf make the transition from predator to companion.

Thirty thousand years ago, life was a daily struggle. Foes were everywhere: animals, the weather, other humans. Food was often scarce and a tribe's welfare was almost wholly dependent on the success the hunt. Back then, wolves were considered apex predators to be either feared or worshiped, not big, cute almost-dogs.

Cameron's novel is told in four parts. We have narrators from two different tribes, a wolf's story, and the tale of the special human and wolf who forge an unlikely bond; eventually we see how all four stories are connected.

"The Dog Master" is not just about the first dog -- these prehistoric humans had a lot of drama! Romance, villains, exile, backstabbing, cannibals, friendship, man-eating lions, prejudice and sex are all present in the novel. Overall the story kept me interested, but this book was sooooo long. The middle section, before the climax starts, was kinda draggy and I did some skimming. "The Dog Master" could definitely be 100 pages shorter and still get the point across.

You might think of Cameron as a cutesy, heart-warming dog book author, but "The Dog Master" is not twee in the slightest. It'll definitely appeal to dog-lovers, but there's plenty here for fans of historical fiction and "Real Housewives of the Stone Age" too.

"In the Woods" by Tana French
Book 1 of the Dublin Murder Squad series
First published in 2008
429 pages
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

"In the Woods" was exactly the kind of mystery I was in the mood for -- one that would keep me up at night turning pages well after my bedtime. It was addicting, it was creepy, and it kept me guessing.

Something terrible happened to Detective Rob Ryan the summer he was 12. He and his two best friends were playing in the woods on the outskirts of their neighborhood, and his friends vanished. He was found -- lacking any memory of what transpired -- clinging to a tree by his fingernails, shirt ripped to shreds and shoes full of blood.

Fast forward two decades, and Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, catch a case that's chillingly similar to the one in Ryan's past: a young girl is found horrifically murdered in the same small town where Ryan grew up, not far from the spot where his friends went missing. It's quite possible that the two cases are connected.

There are two mysteries going on here -- the present-day murder of a 13-year-old aspiring ballet dancer, and Ryan's desperate race to remember what happened the day his friends disappeared. There's a psychological element too, as Ryan begins to crack under the various pressures-- not least of which is hiding his connection to the case from his supervisors.

I loved the Irish setting, I loved the flawed characters, I loved the adrenaline-fueled race to the end. I absolutely could not put "In the Woods" down and I'm excited to read the rest of the books in the series. I've heard book two, "The Likeness" is the best of the series so far, and I'm hoping to get to it soon!

"The Library at Mount Char" by Scott Hawkins
First published in 2015
388 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5

This book has been touted as "Neil Gaiman meets Joe Hill" and that's not a bad depiction -- it's got fantasy and horror elements, with some truly screwed up Joe Hill-esque characters. What I didn't expect to find within these pages was plenty of quirk and even some humor.

The plot of "The Library at Mount Char" is kinda hard to summarize, especially without revealing any spoilers, because the truth of what's happening unfolds so gradually. It's about a library that's almost nothing like our idea of a library. It's staffed with "librarians" who are quite accomplished in their areas of expertise, but those areas don't include answering queries like "Where are the penguin books located?" and "Can you help me get on Facebook?  -- they're things like death, murder, monsters, talking to animals and resurrection.

A lot of bad things happen to the librarians, things that'll make you cringe. But that's balanced out with the two other main characters in the book -- two men who provide the comic relief, the earnestness, the hope. Hawkins gave each of our three protagonists -- Carolyn, a "librarian," Erwin, a former solider, and Steve, a petty criminal, very distinct voices. They're all likable in their own ways, but you'll definitely be cheering for Erwin and Steve. Hawkins is a talented author; the book is well-written with vivid (at times gory!) detail and an intriguing plot that'll have you thinking about its implications days later.

The story starts off a little slow, a little vague, but it's worth sticking with. If you'd like to read about the world's worst, most dangerous library, check out "The Library at Mount Char." (P.S. Have some guacamole handy -- this book'll have you craving it!)

Both "In the Woods" and "The Library at Mount Char" count towards my R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril goal of four books! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Yarn Along: Illustrated "Harry Potter" and Gryffindor Scarf

Yarn Along is a wonderful link-up -- hosted by the Small Things blog every Wednesday -- about two of the best things in life: reading and knitting!


Reading: I couldn't resist buying the new "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" with beautiful full-color illustrations last week. I'm flipping through it bit by bit and slowly taking in all the stunning artwork. Soon I'll actually sit down and read the entire thing. The pictures are magical and original. If you like HP, this is a must-buy!

I'm also reading a Halloween-themed mystery, "Lord of the Wings" by Donna Andrews. It's the latest in her Meg Lansglow cozy mystery series. Perfect for October.

Knitting: It suddenly occurred to me the other day that Halloween is less than three weeks away! I'm planning to wear my Hermione Granger costume to work at the library on Halloween, and of course I want to top off my outfit with my hand-knit Gryffindor scarf! I started it last winter and have been working on it here and there between other projects. I definitely want it for my costume this year, though, so I've got to get it finished up ASAP!

I Judge Books By Their Covers: "Rubbernecker"

Hello, my name is Lindsay, and I judge books by their covers.
Confession: I always judge books by their covers. A book's appearance -- from the artwork to the font to the colors to the texture to the weight and cut of the pages (I like the ragged-edged ones) -- is very important to me. And there are certain kinds of covers I like and certain ones I'd never pick up unless I was already planning to read the book. It's fascinating to see how covers change between editions -- hardcover and paperback, or U.S. and international -- and it's so fun to see who prefers what!

U.K // U.S.

French ("Cadaver 19") // German ("What Is Dead")

My review of "Rubbernecker."

Wow, this is a tough choice! I don't dislike any of these covers, which is rare! I find it super-interesting that the French cover is totally different from the other three: it's almost cheerful, where the others all feature a dead bird and copious amounts of red and black. I actually really like the colors and the gorgeous bird on the French cover, but it's a little too cutesy for a murder mystery -- especially one that's not at all "cozy."

I'm choosing the German cover as my favorite. I find it just a little bit more aesthetically pleasing than the U.S. and U.K. covers. I like the symmetry created by the words and the bird, the "worn" font and the slightly more muted (but somehow more blood-colored) shade of red. It's stark but eye-catching. Which cover do you like best?

Winner: the German cover

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Musings

"He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.... He looks like a pink nightmare!"
-- The Old Man, "A Christmas Story" 

Highlights of the week: It was a super busy week for us! Last Friday through Monday we took a long weekend getaway to Cleveland and Niagara Falls. In Cleveland we visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the "Christmas Story" house and museum. Then we headed over to Niagara Falls, stopping at a beach along Lake Erie on the way. Niagara Falls was gorgeous -- much bigger than I expected!

American Falls -- half of Niagara Falls.

The past couple days were busy again. Friday we went to a concert and Sunday I worked at the library. Saturday we went to an awesome street fair in the next town over with hundreds of vendors selling handmade goods and yummy food. On the way home we stopped for apple cider slushies and walked over to the gorgeous field of sunflowers across from the orchard. We've gone to the Yellow Springs Street Fair (and the sunflower field) all three years we've lived here and I'm kinda sad that we won't be doing it again next fall. But who knows -- maybe we'll be somewhere far more exciting than Ohio!


Reading: I finally finished "The Library at Mount Char" by Scott Hawkins; once I actually had time to sit down and read more than 10 pages at a time, I blew through it. Now I'm reading the newest Meg Langslow mystery by Donna Andrews, "Lord of the Wings." It's a Halloween-themed cozy, perfect for October!

Knitting: I haven't knit at all in the past two weeks! My BlueSand Cardigan is lying in a pile on the coffee table, just begging me to finish it! All that's left is finishing the pockets and weaving in the yarn ends.

Watching: I watched the first episode of the second half of "Outlander," which just recently came out on DVD. I'm so excited to watch, but I kind of want to savor it too! Gosh, that scenery... I also watched "Pitch Perfect 2" this week and was kinda disappointed. I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the first one.

Listening to: On Friday we went to see Darius Rucker (with A Thousand Horses and David Nail) in concert. His country songs were great, and of course he played a few Hootie and the Blowfish songs, which was really cool. (AND he did an awesome cover of "No Diggity" by Blackstreet. We covered a lot of genres at that concert!)

Eating: On our way home from Niagara Falls last Monday we stopped in Buffalo and ate dinner at Anchor Bar, the restaurant that created buffalo wings in 1964. Now we can say we ate buffalo wings in Buffalo!

Following: A few new-to-me blogs -- The Geeky Knitter and Made in Home.

Looking forward to: A quiet week! We've been so busy lately, and I'm excited to catch up on some stuff around the house, enjoy the beautiful weather, read and maybe finally finish my sweater!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yarn Along: "The Library at Mount Char" and some new yarn


Happy Wednesday! It's time for Yarn Along, a lovely link-up hosted by the Small Things blog, where we share what we're reading and our current knitting WIP.

Reading: Despite my best intentions, I seldom get much reading done when we travel. We took a long weekend trip to Cleveland and Niagara Falls, and I totally planned to read in the car and the hotel room, but it just never happened. I started "The Library at Mount Char" by Scott  Hawkins right before we left, and I've only read about 50 pages -- mostly in short little spurts (and I fell asleep reading in bed last night!). The first part of the book is kinda vague and confusing anyway, so I just need to devote a good chunk of time to sit and read enough to really become absorbed in the story. The book has been touted as "Joe Hill meets Neil Gaiman," so I fully expect to love it!

Knitting: I'm still finishing up my BlueSand Cardigan. I got about 2/3 of the first pocket sewn up before our trip but I haven't even touched it since last Wednesday. As soon as I'm done with my sweater -- for the love of god, hopefully that'll be this week! -- I'm planning to cast on for a Rainbow Twist cowl with that beautiful Malabrigo Rasta, which I ordered a couple weeks ago when I bought yarn for my next sweater. Don't you just want to stick your fingers in all that soft, squishy goodness and squeeze?!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bookish Things I've Quit

I'm coming in a bit late for Top Ten Tuesday today, but we just got back from a long weekend getaway to Cleveland and Niagara Falls at 12:30 a.m. last night (yawn...) and I didn't have time to put a post together while we were away! Today's topic, provided by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish, is about quitting -- anything we've stopped doing that's in any way book-related. I think I've shed a few negative bookish habits over the years, but I've also stopped doing a few things I'd like to get back to. What bookish things have YOU quit?

1. I've quit these genres: chick-lit, romance, Tudor-era historical fiction, cozy mysteries.
I used to read a lot books that fell into these categories (authors like Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Crusie, Philippa Gregory, Diane Mott Davidson, Nancy Ahterton -- you get the idea) in college and my early 20s, and eventually I just sorta grew out of them. I'm hardly saying I'll never read another book in these genres (and in fact I still read a few -- like Emily Giffin, whom I'd classify as a chick-lit author, and Donna Andrews, who writes the Meg Langslow cozies) but for the most part, I don't seek out books in these genres (although there are a few semi-cozy mystery series I'd like to try).

2. I've quit feeling like I have to finish a book even if I'm not enjoying it.
I used to feel like I owed it to the book and its author to complete the story, but now I'm more of the mindset that there are millions of books out there and there's no reason to waste time on a crappy read when I could be absorbed in something awesome. This is one bookish habit I'm glad to have broken.

3. I've quit reading YA, for the most part.
I've come to the realization that young adult books just aren't for me -- with a few exceptions. As an almost-30-year-old, I find that the themes, the teen romances and the high school drama just don't resonate with me. This is not an across-the-board "quit" -- I'll still give special-sounding ones a try (for instance, I LOVED "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson) but I typically avoid YA.

4. I've quit reading my own books (not a good thing).
It seems like every year I resolve to start reading all the books on my own shelves -- and it has yet to happen. It has to do with my job; working at a library I'm surrounded by ALL THE BOOKS, and I'm always finding stuff to check out, and I guess it feels like I need to read those first since they have a sort of time limit (although you can renew stuff 10 times at my library, so that's really not a good excuse). As a result, I seldom read books that I actually own -- and I have quite a few that I've picked up secondhand over the years. It's almost like I'm giving a book the death knell when I purchase it instead of checking it out from the library.

5. I've quit reading books right before seeing their movie renditions.
What a relief it was to break this habit! I used to just have to read the book before seeing its movie version. The biggest example of this is Harry Potter; I'd re-read the entire series before each new movie came out. i finally realized that this practice ruined the movies for me, as I spent the entire film picking out every single difference. Now I'm the opposite kind of reader: I try never to read a book within a few months of seeing the movie. Occasionally it happens -- I finally read "Still Alice" right before the movie came out on DVD -- but I always find I enjoy the movie more if I can view it as a separate experience and have some distance from the book.

6. I've quit reading authors' collected works (sad face).
This is another bad habit that I'd like to change. Before I started blogging and working at a library -- two facets of my life that combine to make me dizzy with literary possibility -- I would enjoy a book and then immediately read a bunch of other stuff by the same author. Now I read a book I enjoy and add all the author's other work to my Goodreads to-read list... and then never actually read those books because there are so many other things I want to get to. I suspect I'm missing out on a lot of potential favorite authors because I keep putting off reading more than one of their books. I really want to fix this unfortunate tendency his for several reasons, not the least of which is that it's just plain fun to get absorbed in one author or series and do a binge read.
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