Tag Archives: book blogs

Blinded By the (Reading) Light

Recently, my husband was flipping through a catalog and came across a clever gadget for the bookworm in the family: a “Book Torch”.  The torch, a reading light that clips onto a book cover, was touted as a lamp that provides ample wattage for nighttime reading without disturbing anyone in the vicinity.  All this for the bargain price of $29.98, plus shipping and handling.


Based on the image that accompanied the copy, I thought the book light could, in a pinch, double as a beacon for ships trying to pilot into a foggy harbor from rough waters.

If only Captain Smith would have had this handy book light on the Titanic’s maiden voyage, disaster could have been averted and countless lives saved.  To my untrained eye, the book torch looks like it’s part of the position lights on a taxiing 747. 

Can these book lights really be so effective?  I thought the whole point of them is to allow your bed partner to slumber on without interruption while you do your nighttime reading.  If I fired this sucker up after crawling into bed, I’d not only singe my husband’s retinas, but most probably blind any and all neighbors in a 2-mile radius.

Vacation Reading:Trashy Novel Time?

Nothing brings out my desire for a trashy novel like being on vacation.  On Saturday morning, I left my home on the coast of NJ and drove straight through the day and night to my parents’ house on the west coast of Florida.  The drive was 1,238 miles and took me 18 hours and 55 minutes.

I brought a suitcase, toiletries bag, cooler bag of PB&J sandwiches, my purse, and a giant canvas tote bag positively brimming with BOOKS–34 in all–but none of them trashy! 

bag-books My only excuse for such literary selections is that visiting my parents isn’t technically a vacation–not in the frozen margarita, hammock on the beach type of trip.

Do your reading choices or genres change with the seasons, weather, or while you’re on vacation?

Book Blogs: What are your favorite features?

I spend lots of time visiting other bloggers’ pages in my efforts to idle away time at work night.  There are some really cool features and extras that some bloggers have on their pages.  And then there are some not-so-cool features.  (But of course these are just my own personal pet-peeves and I still visit blogs that have these features.) 

In the blogging community in general, I find the follwoing the most annoying things on blogs:

  • Music: I love music…but don’t relish a musical assault when blog-hopping.
  • Fort Knox Security: Why, oh, why do I have to enter nonsense words, the name of my first-born, and my mother’s maiden name to leave you a comment.  It makes me want to weep a little (and not leave you a comment, but I do anyway).  *Update: Apparently, Blogger uses word verification to prevent spam.  I never knew…and all this time I thought it was just to torture me. Ha!
  • Long Posts: I don’t mind a long post (400+ words) every few days, but can’t commit to reading War and Peace every time I drop by. 
  • Stalker Widget: I get so nervous from the widget that says, “Nat @ Book, Line, and Sinker just arrived from Anytown, USA.”  It’s just too stalkerish to me.

My book blog is new and I’ve been doing a ton of book-blog visiting–such clever stuff out there!  I haven’t had the time or energy to figure out how to install the features, but appreciate them.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Bookshelf Feature: Shows off what books the blogger is reading.
  • What I’m Reading Slideshow: Small images of book covers that flash by.  Much more sophisticated than my sidebar still pictures.
  • Rating System: I love when bloggers have a rating system.  Sometimes I don’t have enough time to read an entire review and the rating system makes life easier.

So, what are some of your favorite (or LEAST) favorite book blog (or regular blog) features?  Have at it!

Are Readers Born or Bred?

While in college, I took a number of children’s literacy classes as part of the requirements in the Education and Reading Specialist programs.  A long-standing debate in those fields is whether or not readers are born or shaped by their environment–an argument that harkens back to the nature versus nurture argument.  What role does environment and heredity play in the life of a bookworm?

My parents are avid readers and were constantly reading as my younger sister and I were growing up.  There were lots of books in our house and Dad took us on weekly trips to the library.  He read to us each night from one of our many favorites–a few I own to this day! (see pic below.)  Reading to your children is supposed to be a sure-fire way to get them interested in reading.


At age 8, I started reading independently.  I tackled small chapter books and by the time my teen years rolled around, I was reading magazines, newspapers, and about five books a week from the library.

My sister, who is 2 1/2 years younger, never picked up a book except for a brief stint with the RL Stine Goosebumps series.  Today, if she reads 4 books a year, it’s a big deal.  I managed to get her hooked on Twilight and the Kay Scarpetta series, but as a rule, she doesn’t read.

It seems perplexing that the two of us are such opposites when it comes to reading despite growing up in the same environment and sharing much of the same genetic makeup.

And so, on to you.  Are you the lone reader in your house?  Do you think that reading to your children (or being read to as a child) can shape literary preferences and predilections?  Let’s psychoanalyze this together…