25 April 2009

Types of Reading

I put the things I read into three categories.
1. School / research reading: this takes up about 90% of my reading. If it is assumed that I read 8 hours each day, more or less, then about 7:15 of those 8:00 are dedicated to the courses I'm taking and the lists below.
2. Bedside reading: this is, on the nights I don't pass out immediately, about 30 minutes of reading. Usually, this book is the one that takes me the longest to finish, since most nights I fall asleep in less than 5 minutes.
3. Morning reading: since I dry my hair upside down, I get extremely bored with my head hanging towards the floor looking at wood. So, I always keep a book handy. The best books for this type of reading are books without extremely intricate plots, since I spend about 10 minutes reading these books at a time.  I finish these books much more quickly than bedside books, because I read every time I dry my hair.

Why don't I just read one book at a time and finish it more quickly? Well, I obviously don't read school books when I get in bed or when I dry my hair because I have to actually focus on these books. It only took me four years to realize that I would get a lot more out of a book for school if I read it diligently and closely. And, of course, I need a pencil (preferably, but a pen will work in a pinch) when I read for serious purposes. And I don't want to read either my bedside or my blowdry books too quickly, because I try not to stockpile more than 4 books at a time.

11 April 2009

yet another social networking site... or is it?

So, I was recently procrastinating, as I am wont to do with those large lists looming below and in front of me, and my fiancĂ© recommended I look at the site shelfari. 

Shelfari is basically a book-networking site, rather than a social networking site. Each member has a bookshelf holding all your books, and you label each one as "plan to read" or "reading now" or "I've already read". You can review books and everything as well.

Facebook has an application that is basically the same as it, under the social-living category called "virtual bookshelf". I think it's great for people to share their books and their opinions about recently read books, but the best part of the facebook feature is that it also tells you which of your friends have read the book in question -- I'm sure that Shelfari does this too, but since I just joined and I'd never heard of it before, I don't have a very large network of people to browse.  

I'm willing to give shelfari a shot, because I think that any platform for getting out the word on books is a great platform. But I find myself wondering what the function of a site like this is. Its biggest draw is that there are "book groups," which basically function to give people a way to link up with one another based on a variety of topics, such as "Twilight movie and books," "1001 Books to Read before you die," and a variety geared towards high schoolers and younger readers to give them ideas of books to read. 

If you're interested in trying out shelfari, the link is www.shelfari.com and it's a pretty easy platform to use. Maybe you already use it, and I just don't know about it.