Posted in Book Talk

Reading versus Listening?

Is it Better to Read Books
or Listen to Them?

I struggle to listen to audiobooks. I don’t want to sit and do nothing but listen, but I also can’t do anything much or I will end up not paying attention. While you might argue that I’m also just sitting and doing nothing when I’m reading a physical book, for some reason it’s different! (I’m sure there’s science for the reason why.) I feel more engaged with and focused on what I’m reading than what I’m listening to.

There’s not really a “right” answer here, as it’s all down to preference and what you’re able to do. But this article looks at what each is best for, and strengths of both forms.

Posted in Book Talk

Book Towns Are Tiny Cities Made Up Almost Entirely of Bookstores

The Venn diagram of book lovers and globetrotters actually has a lot of overlap — both are just trying to experience the world, whether from an airplane seat or an armchair.

That is 100% me, as my many travels take place in many locations around the world and around my home. Looks like I’ll have to add Paju Book City to my itinerary when I head back over to South Korea! Apparently there are towns all around the world known as Book Towns, where there’s a huge ratio of books or bookstores to people. I guess I’ll have to register my living room as a low-key Book Town soon. 😀

Classic cursing: a cure for all boredom

I absolutely love words, and I love learning about the way words morph over time. One of the most fun ways to see that is to look at the curses and slang used in each period. It reveals what was common, important, and valued at that time. It is also wildly hilarious, and I very well may end up reading this whole dictionary of insults and slang. It’s called “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” and it can give you a slew of new-again comebacks from 1785.

I feel like this could be great fun for a higher-level English class; maybe something at a college level while studying 18th century literature? You know, for research, to better understand stories like

Some of my favs from this:
birds of a feather: rogues of the same gang (is that where the phrase came from!?)
to blow the grounsils: to – er- lie with a woman on the floor
gollumpus: a large and clumsy fellow
mettlesome: bold, courageous (presumably this has turned into meddlesome, or someone who bothers in others’ business)
ruffles: handcuffs

Fantastic name. ♥
One of the sources for the words found in the collection; sounds like a good read!
complete with handwritten notes, language of origin, and notes on when a word is specific to “Canting” or the language used by thieves and scoundrels
Posted in Book Talk

More Than Words Gets A Well-Deserved Award!

What is More Than Words?

More Than Words is this amazing Boston-based non-profit that works with at-risk youth to give them employment, training, and support in their personal and developing professional life. They do this through fully running a bookstore, with both online and physical locations. What takes this program above and beyond other similar programs is their support for the struggles teenagers may be facing that they shouldn’t have to face alone: homelessness, physical abuse, substance abuse, being involved in a court case, living through a foster care system, and more. I feel it’s this attention to the most difficult things anyone – let alone a teenager – can face that takes it to the next level.

What did they win?

I’m a little late to this announcement, but I was extremely pleased to see that MTW won eBay’s Small Business of the Year award this year! They received funds to support their mission, a donation to another small charity on their behalf, and a VIP trip to the award ceremony. It made me so happy to think of what an amazing experience that must have been for the young adults working so hard to do good for themselves and the world.

Don’t forget about their bookstore!

Seriously, this place is amazing!! The books are in great condition, they have a huge variety, and they’re super affordable: when I went last, most books were about $6.95 – $7.95 each! If you live in the Greater Boston area, I highly recommend taking a trip to one of their locations in either Waltham or South Boston. If you don’t live near there, no fear! You can still find a ton of excellent books on their eBay store.

Look, I don’t work there. I super wish I did, actually. But it’s an incredible program doing a lot of good, so I want to cheer about it! And it’s a great blend of “doing good for others” and “buying books for myself” too which I’m always a fan of! 😉

Human Libraries: What’s Your Story?

The Human Library Lets You “Check Out” People To Hear Their Stories

As always, the most amazing ideas come from Denmark. Instead of checking out books, you sit down with a person for a half-hour conversation. People can register as available and give themselves a title. The idea is to allow people to meet people they might not have otherwise, and to have a place they can safely ask questions they might have or shared experiences they’re dealing with. Examples of human book titles? “Olympic Athlete,” “Fat Woman,” and “A Questioning Christian.”

Would you be willing to “check out” a person for their story, or would the idea of talking to a stranger feel too strange or invasive? What would your title be if you signed up? Mine would probably be, “A Traveler,” but I think I need a few more places under my belt before I’d feel like I could really live up to the name.

Libraries eliminate late fees?

No more late fines?

I had to find a dime for a library fee recently, and it was a struggle. (And for the record, I returned it day-of but they had already closed, so they counted it as next day. 😞)

Apparently some libraries are removing late fees after seeing that some people will just keep the book and stop coming to the library to about the shame of paying a late fee.

What’s worse for you: the shame, or the fee itself?

The Scientific Smell of Old Books

Researchers have broken down the smell of old books

This is so cool! I feel like every reader knows the smell of old books, but what actually IS that smell?? Well, we finally have our answer, broken down into what people say they think it smells like connected to the actual chemicals that might be making it smell that way. Cool!

You should really read the article, but for people who like to skip to the last page, the overall smell people reported is a sort of woody, earthy smell. Think of damp peat moss, if you have any familiarity with damp peat moss.

My top 3 weirdest results in the list:

  • “green”
  • “old seasoning”
  • “fish”

10 Books That Predicted (Or Created!) the Future

See the source image
These 10 Books Predicted (or Created) the Future

I immediately thought to Divination in Harry Potter. I also can’t help but start wondering what books now are predicting the future? I feel a bit grim to think it won’t be so much cool technology advancements or interstellar travel, but most likely the disaster novels about world-ending weather.

Since I’m awake…

11 Famous Books You Had No Idea Began As Dreams

SleepAdvisor, June 13, 2019

11 Famous Books You Had No Idea Began As Dreams

At this early hour, I learned just how much I could be missing. My dreams do tend to be pretty awesome and crazy; I’m lucky I usually remember them! But no sleeping means no dreaming, so I guess I won’t be following in their footsteps (keystrokes?) anytime soon. I tend to be more of a reader than a writer anyway. ☺ Some of the dreams these books came from are hella depressing though – I can get why they woke up and felt the need to get it out of their heads.