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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Judging a Book by Its Cover

This is an article in today's Shelf Awareness for Readers, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, Volume 1, Issue 62. It's interesting. Here are my favorite parts, in case you don't want to read the whole (short) article!

"On an airplane, do you notice what people are reading? Do you surreptitiously contort a bit to see a cover? Do you think about the (usually) men who are reading genre thrillers quite openly while women seem to hide romances? Same thing on the bus or subway or in cafes at lunchtime. Checking out book covers brings many pleasures; it also subtly imprints a book in your mind." - [Comment from Krys - This is the ONLY reason I read Room, by Emma Donoghue!]

"With e-books, there are no book covers. There's no tipping point reached by cover art, no visual validation of your own reading tastes. What will replace this passive advertising? Is it even a worry? A recent survey found a plateauing of e-book reader adoption (December sales notwithstanding)--52% of readers say they are "not at all likely" to buy an e-reader; additionally, e-reader owners buy almost as many printed books as e-books. [Comment from Krys - THANK YOU, JESUS! And btw, my sister gave me a gift card for Amazon and suggested I used it to buy a book or two for my Kindle Fire. I did, and I'll review below...] Good news for people who like cover art, for publishers who devote so much time and money to cover art, and for those of us who like to see what others are reading (or proclaim our own good taste). There are many good reasons to use e-books, but don't forget--it's really hard for authors to sign them."

Loved this article, and even though I have such strong opinions in favor of printed books, I'm so happy to hear that e-readers are STILL buying print editions, not just e-books.

So I bought Down the Darkest Road, by Tami Hoag, in e-format, thanks to the gift card from sister P. (Thanks, P!) I can't say that I'm a convert, and I am STILL a print girl, not an e-reader, but it wasn't so very horrible that I'll never read an e-book again. I may not be an e-reader, but I am a techno-geek-dork - I like gadgets, and I like my new smart phone (yes, I'm an iPhone person now), and I like my Fire, but I'm just not an avid e-reading fool. I never will be. That said, however, I think I left myself at a disadvantage...

1. I was reading it on my Kindle Fire, the screen was similar to a regular Kindle, so I think the reading experience was comparable. (Yea, I know all about the backlighting, etc., but I spend quite a bit of time on the Fire, and I don't think it was an issue for me.) What I HATED was how quickly I had to turn the page, and funnily enough, how I didn't like not being able to see two pages at once. I read quickly and I think I even speed read a bit, and scan ahead as I'm reading; I don't know how else to explain it. Now, I admit, until after I finished reading the book, I didn't think about making the font smaller to fit more on the page (duh!). But I'm already dealing with old eyes that need reading glasses, so I was put off by having to constantly flick the page. It gave me a headache to read across such a narrow page. BUT once I turned the Kindle sideways, the pages were still short in length but I was able to read across a longer span and that seemed to help with my eyestrain.

2. I admit, and always have, that I can see the benefit when I'm traveling. I've never gone on a trip anywhere, not even overnight, where I wasn't carrying at least 2 books with me, or an extra carry-on full of books to read on vacation or in the evening when I'm on business. My Fire will most definitely be traveling with me, with books loaded and games at the ready (Mah-Jong helps pass the time, to say nothing of Bejeweled or Words with Friends!). Not sure how much I'll like it and it will be interesting to see if I read as much on the e-reader as I do when I have print books with me, but I know my back and my arms and shoulders will send a thank you card to Amazon!

3. I admit, too, that I loaded a couple of Amazon freebies on my Fire to read on the train, when I have to commute without my chauffer (aka, hubby). And I've ordered - in advance! - an e-book version of Lisa Gardner's new Catch Me! which will be delivered when it releases on or around February 7th... In fact, I'll be reading a $3.99 sale book I bought for my Fire today, when I leave at 4pm to take the train home. It's a thriller and the synopsis intrigued me. And Lord knows paperbacks aren't $3.99 anymore so this was a financial plus and I got a new story to read!

As previously stated, I will not ever be e>print, but I'm trying to incorporate it into my reading experience, at least to a small degree, and perhaps the day will come when I'm less anti-e-reader, but I will never ever be less pro-print!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Little Word - FOCUS

Someone else chose FOCUS as their One Little Word, and Ali Edwards chose to feature her OLW on her blog today...
In case you want to hear why someone else chose FOCUS...
One Little Word / Community Member Feature:  Michelle & Heather

Friday, January 13, 2012


Last year I took a class from Ali Edwards:  One Little Word.  I'm not taking it this year because I'm signed up for too many other classes and I just can't swing another one!

But I'm picking a word and trying to live by it and I'm sure somewhere in the year I'll do a spread about it, either as a scrapbook page, or in my diary, or in my Project Life binder, or in my art journal, or in my soon-to-be-started gratitude journal, or perhaps in all five of those places!  I'm sure I'll probably blog about it when it strikes me, too, so you can add this blog as another place that my One Little Word will show up...


That's my word.  As a matter of fact, that was my word last year.  I intended to focus in every aspect of my life, but as happens quite often, life gets in the way!  I got a necklace for myself with the word "focus" stamped on it.

That helped a lot, as long as I remembered to wear it!  (Got it from Lisa Leonard - she has some lovely pieces and her prices, I think, are pretty reasonable.)

There are still a lot of places in my life where I need to focus.  Here are a few:
  1. I want to focus on being a better wife, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend, employee.
  2. I want to focus on my faith during the week, not just when I'm in church on Sunday.
  3. I want to focus on my creativity, through the online classes I'm taking, by sketching and scrapping and taking photos.
  4. I want to focus on my health.  I'm taking a class called Move More, Eat Well with Cathy Zielske.  I'm hoping that this, along with Weight Watchers, can help me accomplish this year what I've been trying to accomplish for many years.  I've joined a gym, too, so I want to focus on actually going!
  5. I want to focus on my job.  I get too distracted:  the internet, my new iPhone, Words with Friends, Facebook and Twitter - they're all more interesting and more fun than my job.  But I need to focus on my job.  I always do a good job.  Now I want to do a GREAT job.
  6. I want to focus on my house.  Both of them.  They need to be decluttered, cleaned, painted, refreshed.  And it shouldn't be on J to do it all.
Get the idea?  Last year's One Little Word was FOCUS.  THIS year's One Little Word is FOCUS.  While 2011 wasn't an epic fail, I could have definitely done better.  I'd like to say, on December 31, 2012, that I DID do better THIS year.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I wish Katie was my friend...

Bower Power is one of my all-time favorite blogs.  To see the funniest, frickin' post I've read in a VERY long time, click here.  And be sure to read it, and scroll down, and see what a beautiful family Katie Bower has...  I SO wish I was friends with her!!!  I just KNOW we'd get along!!!  You'll know why when you get to the bottom of her post...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy 2012!

Oops, one of my unwritten resolutions was to blog more in 2012...

Yea, epic FAIL!!!  It's January 4th and I haven't even wished my readers a Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  May you all have a 2012 filled with love and happiness and good health, and may you all accomplish whatever it is you set out to do, achieve whatever it is you want to achieve, and enjoy whatever it is you wish to enjoy in this new year...

I want to write more, take more photographs and post them here on the blog.  I am taking part in an online class called Move More, Eat Well by the esteemed Cathy Zielske, and so far, I've gone to the gym once, yoga class is at 1:30pm today, I'm hoping to go to the gym tonight, and I haven't eaten fast food yet this year.  I've started my journal (oops, another resolution:  learn Photoshop Elements). 

I'm also taking two art classes online with Alisa Burke:  Sketchbook Delight and Create Daily.  I'm not very talented but I've learned to call what I dabble in "art."  According to Donna Downey, with whom I took a class in December, when I call myself an "artist," THEN I'll really be one...  Can't really see that one happening any time soon, but Donna, I'll let you know when/if it does...

Last year I took an online journey with Ali Edwards.  I signed up for her One Little Word series, and while I started off just fine, as usual I tapered off into simply filing the emails in the file called OLW and that was about it.  So this year I didn't sign up for it again, but I've chose my word to be FOCUS again:  FOCUS x 2, if you will...  I hope to remember to FOCUS on everything in my life, to pay attention, to learn, to make better decisions...

As I created all these links for you, I realized something:  I'm determined to be more creative and artistic, even if it kills me, or breaks the bank!  I have spent a lot of money on scrapbooking supplies, on printing photographs, on sketchbooks and watercolor paint sets (I've found I like watercolors better than acrylic paints, although I like acrylics in my art journal), on mixed media supplies, on classes...  What I haven't done is spent the TIME I'd like to spend on creating.

So here we go: 

In 2012 I resolve to spend less money on classes and supplies and spend more time on actually creating, or practicing/developing my creativity.

There it is:  in black and white.  Out there for the world (my readers = the world!) to see.  I'm accountable.  Sort of like Weight Watchers for the artsy me. 

I might not blog more, but I hope to include more photos of what I create, be it a scrapbook page, a mini-book, a sketch, a watercolor painting...

Feel free to remind me next month that I haven't blogged, posted a photo, or cracked open my sketchbook - I'll most likely need the reminder...