Friday, February 8, 2013

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPREAD GOOD NEWS

This was my Facebook post today.  I thought it postive and perfect enough to share here.
 
"Dear FB friends. Forgive me for this long post and allowing me to stand on my soapbox for a minute.

I read a blog post this morning (see link) that talks about how we can allow our world to shrink down to only a small number of people who look like us, talk like us, think like us and act like us. It talks about how some people have a tendency to "hide" or "un-friend" people on social media sites who post things that you don't agree with simply because you would rather not deal with it or see it.

I will readily admit that I have done this in the past by deleting, hiding or otherwise un-friend people whose posts were continually vulgar, rude or contain material that I felt offensive in a sexual or degrading way. I really do appreciate different points of view and will allow comments of differing opinion but what I won't tolerate and do not appreciate is the posting of comments on my wall that use vulgar language, are of a sexual nature or are degrading of other people.

While reviewing and re-working my goals for 2013, I have decided to begin using my FB page as a platform for good. I hope to use it to spread the Good News by sharing inspirational quotes, pics, blog posts, links and other information that I think will be positive. Occasionally I will share a link or information about a topic that may be difficult for some people to see in order to get the word out about the awful things that are happening around the world. In these cases, I will pray for God to guide your conscience and lead you to pray, contribute or act in some way for the common good.

I fully understand that not all my FB friends have the same beliefs that I do; that is fine. I will say a prayer for you! ;) But as of 2013, I have determined that instead of using this awesome, free, social tool as a meaningless time waster, I should put it to good use and spread a positive, loving, gentle, encouraging message.

Thank you for allowing me my soapbox speech. I will step down now. And if you choose to un-friend me after this, all I can say is I still like you and still want to be your friend.

God Bless!
Tamara"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My e-reader...admiration or disdain?

Well I did it.

I got an e-reader.

I didn't actually go out and purchase an e-reader, but rather received it as a gift.

I have to admit I like the idea of having several books readily available, at my finger tips, all stored in one easy to carry about place.  The problem is...it's not a book.  It's a computer which displays words on a back-lit screen in a book page format. :(
There is no faint smell of paper...slightly musty...slight dusty.

There is no sound of rustling paper as I turn the page.  Rather a slight mechanical "click" as I brush my finger across the screen.

There is no heft to the feel or ability to flip through the pages.

There is no way to turn down the corners to mark my place.

And I certainly don't want to use this while relaxing in a bubble bath! :)


While I am thankful for the gift and have found it to be something that I will definitely use, especially while traveling...I just don't think, for me, it will ever replace the real pleasure, the "all senses in" experience of reading a story that has been printed on paper and bound together with paperboard, thread and glue.

Check back in a few months or years and I may have a different opinion.

“I need to experience books, not just read them.”  - Lauren Morrill



Thursday, September 20, 2012

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Library Card Sign-up Month is a celebration held at the beginning of the new school year during which librarians across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

This year, Troy Polamalu, safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, joins us as Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month.

Visit your local library with your children and teens today and sign up for a library card!

Not sure how to get a library card? Check out: How to get a library card.

A library card is a key resource in achieving academic success, and the library is the perfect place to spend quality family time together.

60 Ways to Use Your Library Card

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's on my e-reader?

I don't have an e-reader per se, but have found that reading books on my HTC Android phone using the Amazon Kindle app for Android works pretty well in a pinch.  I primarily download free or nearly free Kindle books to my smartphone and skim through them while I wait in line at the bank, grocery store or the dreaded license branch.  I find it very convenient since I don't have to carry a separate device like an e-reader or pad around and I almost always have my phone.  I still read alot of books in print, but my phone has become a quick and easy option for reading on the go.

Here are a few of the ebooks I have on my phone today.  You can see where my current interests fall; food and saving money.  These days we all need to learn to pinch the pennies.  And who wants to sacrifice eating well doing it? 

100 Easy Recipes in Jars - great "brown-bag" ideas

30 Delicious Muffin Recipes - Quick and Easy - quick "grab and go" breakfast

51 Quick & Easy Family Dinners Under $10 - eat well on less

Achieve Anything In Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals - confidence building

Blue Collar Wealth: Money Lessons from the Middle Class - lessons we can all relate to

How to Manage Your Money When You Don't Have Any - these days it seems we have less and less

Warning, the prices on Amazon change all the time.  Please double check the current price before downloading.  What I may have posted as free may no longer be free by the time you follow the links to Amazon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recommending books to others

I was recently asked by a friend if I would mind recommending a book that she could take with her to read on an upcoming vacation.  I thought..."Wow, really?  I have never been asked to recommend a book before.".  It was very flattering.  :)  So of course I jumped at the chance and began thinking what book(s) I might recommend.  That's when the doubt and mild panic set in.  How could I recommend a book to someone with different tastes, different interests, and different likes and dislikes?  What criteria should I use to come up with my recommendations?  I had to come up with something, but what was it going to be and how should I decide?  After I thought about it for awhile, I finally did recommend two books I really enjoyed reading these past few months.  But it got me thinking, how should I recommend a book to someone and what criteria should I use in those recommendations?

I didn't originally start this blog to be a book reviewer.  In fact, I really don't like reviewing books.  I don't read with a critical eye for analysis, paying attention to strengths, weaknesses, themes, narration, arguments, etc.  I read a book to relax, to travel to new places, meet interesting characters and to escape the stress of the day for just a little while.  My method of reading books doesn't really lend itself too well to recommending books to others by any other method than "I really liked This Book by This Author".

How do you recommend a book to a friend?  What criteria do you use when deciding whether a book is worthy of sharing?  To help me a little in the future, I did some research on different book review methods by various book review blogs to see how they go about reviewing and recommending a book.  Some book reviewers rate the books they review, other just review and leave it up to others to rate.  Most of the methods were more methodical than I really wanted to get into but made sense if book reviewing was your passion and/or livelihood.

Then I got to thinking, Am I mixing apples and oranges here too.  Is the reviewing of a book and the recommending of a book different things or similar related things?  Some reviewers just review, others review and rate.  I consider reviewing and recommending related, similar things.  After you review a book a reader could then determine whether you would recommend a book based on your review and/or rating.  If your review is negative, then it is likely that you wouldn't recommend the book.  If your review is glowing, then it is easy to assume that you would recommend the book.  So in my mind, people who review books are making book recommendations.  I guess that's why recommending is so hard for me, because I don't consider myself a very good book reviewer. 

But after some thought and a little research I've decided that I should develop a method for reviewing and recommending books since this is a blog about reading and books. :)  And I've decided that the most comfortable method for me to use when reviewing/recommending a book will be to ask the following questions.

1) Did I enjoy the experience of reading the book?
2) How did it make me feel?
3) What emotions did I experience in the course of it's reading?
4) Did it introduce me to characters I will never forget?
5) Did it allow me to discover new places and experience exciting adventures?
6) And did it keep me engaged from beginning to end?

That is to say, for me I will stick to recommending those books that hit me between the eyes, tug at my heart and take me on an emotional ride.  And in the process hope that you too find them to do the same.  Enjoy!!!

"The best books for a man are not always those which the wise recommend, but often those which meet the peculiar wants, the natural thirst of his mind, and therefore awaken interest and rivet thought." - William Henry Channing

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's been a long time without blogging, but not without reading.

Ok, so I can't say that I've been too busy to blog.  I can't say that I've been too busy to read.  In fact I have been reading...alot!  I just haven't taken the time to write about my reading.  It's been a long 6 months full of good books and not so good books.  But I have rediscovered my favorite all-time novel series and I'm reading through them from start to finish.  I first read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon back when the 2nd book in the series Dragonfly in Amber was first published...oh say early 1990.  I loved it then and instantly became a Diana Gabaldon fan.  But one thing or another got in the way...kids, family, career, etc. and I never even knew she had continued the series into books 3 - 7!!

So one day I'm at my local bookstore browsing through the literature section and see Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber on the shelf.  I don't usually re-read books, that's just not my style.  But these have always been my favorite books and I hadn't read them in so long that I thought it would be worth a second try.  And to my extreme delight...Diana had written 5 more!!!  So that sealed the deal...I would re-read Outlander and Dragonfly and then continue with the rest of the series.  So here I am, 3 months into the reading of the series and I'm on book #4.  I fell in love with them then and I'm definitely in love with them now!!!

I don't think I'll write a review on Outlander or any of the series, but maybe just give a synopsis of each of the books.  I know that if I did write a review, however amateur a review as it might be, I would give the entire series 5 stars and Diana Gabaldon an award for best fiction author...that's how much I love these books.  :)

For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough."
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)