National Read a Book Day

national-read-a-book-day-september-6national-read-a-book-day-september-6No one seems to know who came up with the idea for National Read a Book Day. Perhaps it was a teacher or a librarian. With September 6th chosen for the date, the idea was probably designed to instill the love of reading in children starting a new school year. Whatever that good soul intended when s/he set this day on our national calendar, the day has become a time for everyone, of every age or reading habit, to celebrate the joy of reading books.

When is the last time you read a book for pleasure? If you have a hard time even remembering, then you’re most likely a student who has to read textbooks and assigned materials. Or maybe you’re in a profession, such as law or medicine, that leaves you little time to read anything outside your chosen field. If you’re a busy mom or dad, you’re probably wondering if this is a trick question. When did I last read a book just for fun? Hah, good one!

If it’s been a really long time since you’ve read a book, then here’s a helpful chart: Continue reading

Why Writers Should Read

mark twain readingYou’ve heard the advice often enough: To be a writer, you should write, because that’s how you get better as a writer. But you should also read as much as you can.

For those of us who never met a school reading assignment they didn’t like (Lynne raises her hand), this is the best news ever. But those of us who regarded their college-prep reading list with deep suspicion are going to be less than thrilled. Continue reading

Writer, Reader, Reviewer

3starsSometimes I hate being an author.

No, that’s not true. I never hate being a writer or an author. I love writing; I love reading. I love supporting other authors and especially, obviously, my friends. What I hate is writing critical reviews. Recently my buddy, Yvonne Hertberger, wrote about a similar situation where she was called on to assess a book. It wasn’t pretty.

Case in point. Recently I read a friend’s latest. I wanted to like it; I really did. But I didn’t. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for most of the characters, I found the pace slow and therefore frustrating, and there were many things that it seemed I was supposed to implicitly understand but did not. Whenever I read a book that affects me like this, I have to wonder: is it not grabbing me because I’m not giving it enough time and concentration, or am I not giving it time and concentration because it’s not grabbing me? Continue reading

Newsbites: Men Don’t Read

NewsBitesGreetings from the IU news desk in the prestigious but entirely fictional BlackBox Tower Complex. It’s our job to track down the news, grab it by the ankles, and hold it upside down until the truth drops out of its pockets.

It’s a dangerous job that takes our staff to far-flung corners of the internet. Our crack team of reporters wade through a digital jungle of pop-up ads and 404 errors to get to the bottom of whatever it is that got their undies in a bunch in the first place.

Remember, NewsBites is the official news snack of the junior auxiliary astronaut team, whose proud motto is: We may not have been in space, but we are willing to go. Continue reading