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Old 07-27-2008, 02:39 PM   #16
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Elsi, how do you keep up with all that. You must really have an organized mind.
No. In fact I tell people that I've reached that age where every morning is a reboot!

I am never without my laptop. I keep files on it to keep me organized. Every time I finish reading a book, I add an entry to the list of books I've read this year. I keep a list of series books that I have enjoyed and mark which I've read and therefore which ones I still need to read. I also indicate whether I actually have a copy of the book or need to find (buy or swap for) one.

When I move from one book to another, I usually don't have much trouble if they are dissimilar. With Steve Jordan's book and Scalzi's, I do find myself backing up a page or two and re-reading to reset my mind into the particular universe and situations.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:07 PM   #17
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elsi, you've mentioned book-swapping several times, how exactly does that work ? i'd never heard of it before you mentioned it.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #18
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When I move from one book to another, I usually don't have much trouble if they are dissimilar. With Steve Jordan's book and Scalzi's, I do find myself backing up a page or two and re-reading to reset my mind into the particular universe and situations.
The only time I have that problem is when I can't get my mind out of a really good story I've just finished and want those characters to show up in the book I'm reading.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:23 PM   #19
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elsi, you've mentioned book-swapping several times, how exactly does that work ? i'd never heard of it before you mentioned it.
I frequent a site called BookObsessed at http://bookobsessed.com/ The members there came from BookCrossing (http://www.bookcrossing.com/) and set up this complementary site to facilitate book swapping. So, to explain how it works:

There are 3 main types of swaps:
  • Yankee Book Swap. This is like those "auction" type of Christmas parties you might have attended where everyone brings a wrapped gift. Draw numbers and #1 will pick and unwrap a gift. #2 can then steal the gift from #1 or unwrap another. If #1's gift is stolen, it's her turn again. And so forth until everyone has a gift. We do the same thing with books. The leader will announce the genre and everyone picks a book to swap. From there, it proceeds much like the holiday party. You keep your swap book title secret until you are asked to reveal it -- the online equivalent to unwrapping.
  • Virtual Book Box. These were set up to eliminate the cost of mailing a real box of books. So, take the SFF VBB as an example. At the beginning of the round, the leader will shuffle the participants and establish the order. When your turn comes, you take as many books as you want from the box and put the same number back in. Whomever put in the books you take out will then mail the book to you. If a book you put in isn't chosen in 2 or 3 rounds (varies with the different boxes), then you must replace it.
  • One-on-one swaps. There are too many styles to describe them. One that I'm fond of is a "pay-it-forward" swap. Within a theme (say "alphabetical"), someone offers a book (say The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood) and someone else will post to the thread, "I'll take The Handmaid's Tale and offer The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry."
Books are tracked on the BookCrossing site. Each book is registered there and assigned a unique ID.

Feel free to check out either site and join in if it interests you.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:46 PM   #20
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I have always a fiction and a non-fiction being read together. That way I can keep focused on both as they don't interfere
I've never understood this thinking. Maybe if one read only in a very restricted genre (Victorian vampire detectives, say), the details of one story might bleed into another, but in general, stories are sufficiently different that that's not the case. I'm currently reading a fantasy set in ancient Atlantis, a 1940s mystery set in a casino town, a time-travel anthology, an adventure set on a terraformed Mars, and a nonfiction work about the history of money. These are not characters and settings that I'll tend to get confused.

On the mechanics of reading, I convert twenty or so works and put them on my eBookwise, and read several of those at a time until I get down to a few, at which time I load a score more. I have a list of everything I've read, and that list also tracks how far I am in a dozen series, so I can usually have one or two of those loaded.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:03 PM   #21
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I'm a faithful guy. I read a book at a time. The mood dictates the chosen one. But the mood can change and I can see myself trapped with a book that doesn't match my mood anymore. But I just can't pass it and start another book. That would be like cheating, so or I just endure or I make a pause of 2 or more days from reading.

Maybe I should use some method, for a healthier reading experience.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
I frequent a site called BookObsessed at http://bookobsessed.com/ The members there came from BookCrossing (http://www.bookcrossing.com/) and set up this complementary site to facilitate book swapping. So, to explain how it works:

There are 3 main types of swaps:
  • Yankee Book Swap. This is like those "auction" type of Christmas parties you might have attended where everyone brings a wrapped gift. Draw numbers and #1 will pick and unwrap a gift. #2 can then steal the gift from #1 or unwrap another. If #1's gift is stolen, it's her turn again. And so forth until everyone has a gift. We do the same thing with books. The leader will announce the genre and everyone picks a book to swap. From there, it proceeds much like the holiday party. You keep your swap book title secret until you are asked to reveal it -- the online equivalent to unwrapping.
  • Virtual Book Box. These were set up to eliminate the cost of mailing a real box of books. So, take the SFF VBB as an example. At the beginning of the round, the leader will shuffle the participants and establish the order. When your turn comes, you take as many books as you want from the box and put the same number back in. Whomever put in the books you take out will then mail the book to you. If a book you put in isn't chosen in 2 or 3 rounds (varies with the different boxes), then you must replace it.
  • One-on-one swaps. There are too many styles to describe them. One that I'm fond of is a "pay-it-forward" swap. Within a theme (say "alphabetical"), someone offers a book (say The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood) and someone else will post to the thread, "I'll take The Handmaid's Tale and offer The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry."
Books are tracked on the BookCrossing site. Each book is registered there and assigned a unique ID.

Feel free to check out either site and join in if it interests you.
thanks elsi for the explanation. that sounds like a fun system. not for me though ; too much pressure !! i love sharing books with friends but i don't want to worry about deadlines or making people wait. already, sometimes i have to return a book lent by a friend without having read it, because it's been 6 months and i haven't been in the mood for that particular one, or have been busy reading other books... (i know i don't have to tell you about unmanageable piles of books awaiting their turn lying around the house...)

i've heard of book crossing before but i thought you just left the books in public places with a note and hoped that someone would find / take the book and leave a note on the site. i didn't realise it was so organised.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:58 PM   #23
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There are so many exceptions in my reading patterns that calling it a methodology would be laughable.
Well, from the posts following yours I can say your methodology is the norm rather than the exception

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when i discover a new author i like, i usually devour everything i can find by them whether or not the books are part of a series or not, until i run out of them. often i will fall into a "theme" and read a lot of books having something in common (even if superficially) ; for instance a few years ago i discovered the portugese writer Saramago ; then i discovered another portugese author by chance (the name escapes me now) and for several months i read only portugese litterature.

it's interesting to look at people's reading habits. you seem to have a well-thought out system.
You as well as BookishDreamer have reminded me of themes. I'm also usually following a general theme in my reads, and it carries over from fiction to non-fiction and vice-versa. Take now, I'm into eastern religions, or religion in general (especially considering I'm an atheist), so I'm reading biographies such as Dalai's, Buddha's, and lately Greg Mortenson's, as well as meditation manuals and holybooks, and then all SciFi/Fantasy I can find that has religion as a theme. And they're interlaced in my reading list and tackled in groups of two or as much as three.
Habits really are fascinating, it's the scoop I was into when posting this!

By the way, your reminder of Saramago might have me into him from the theme of religion (portuguese as a theme is rather weird when it's your mother tongue!). But then maybe I should have it sit untill I get into atheism along with Dawkins and Darwin. It could be a good follow-up theme alright!

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I'm not at all sure why you (the original poster) considers reading fiction to be a "trap". That makes it sound as though it's something to be ashamed of! Nothing at all wrong with only reading fiction if that's what you enjoy.
Nothing's wrong indeed! My meaning of trap is when you care to read non-fiction but find yourself overly enticed by the attractive fiction as to barely get by your non-fictions. It's my own trap to dodge!

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I just have a problem with the choice of reading being restricted in any way. You can read anyway you want, but if you limit yourself to such discipline that you only read in certain orders, aren't you foregoing something you want to read in order to read something you don't, and therefore lowering your pleasure in reading, which is the purpose of reading? I don't know how else to put it.
Having a method doesn't mean I force myself to read something when I don't feel like it. It restricts my choices, yes, in that I stick to the handful I have picked untill they are finished, not beginning others untill the job's done. But the fact that I have 2 or 3 overly different, if not opposite (or "triangularly opposite"! Is there even such an expression, not to say notion ?) books to choose from sees me mostly always having a choice according to my mood. As said above, though, I won't change themes all of a sudden or start a new book impulsively because of a given state of mind. If I don't feel like reading any of my options, then I probably just don't feel like reading at all. That's what I think and feel about myself, it doesn't have to apply even to my left big toe, had the poor thing any freedom of thought.

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Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
On my computer, I keep a list of the books I've completed and the pertinent statistics. At the end of each quarter, I post this list on my LiveJournal blog at http://gee-elsi.livejournal.com/
Now you don't even need a methodology, at a book every three days, you just crush'em before they even get in line!! You probably read in half a year more than most people read their entire lives. Do you have the help of any speed reading skills or just a solid-grounded habit (more than enough for anything we do) ?

Very nice tracking you keep and paste to your blog. I do some statistical record keeping myself, only private I suggest you look into gauging by words instead of pages, it's far more reliable and really easy to get accustomed to (50k makes the average novel, below ~5k is a short story, over 100k a monster: the Hugo award has good definitions).

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Originally Posted by Jadon View Post
I've never understood this thinking. Maybe if one read only in a very restricted genre (Victorian vampire detectives, say), the details of one story might bleed into another, but in general, stories are sufficiently different that that's not the case. I'm currently reading a fantasy set in ancient Atlantis, a 1940s mystery set in a casino town, a time-travel anthology, an adventure set on a terraformed Mars, and a nonfiction work about the history of money. These are not characters and settings that I'll tend to get confused.
I tend to agree with you that it's hard to completely lose yourself even amidst half a dozen books, but the reason I try not to mix up types of reading is to avoid taking too long to complete a book, because it can get to a point where the whole background is shady in your head, and I hate having to reread or being clueless otherwise.

The 'interfere' I was referring to is more akin to 'competing', in that I might start a scifi that has me so hooked, whenever I feel like reading scifi I choose it over the other one I was halfway through.

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Originally Posted by Over View Post
I'm a faithful guy. I read a book at a time. The mood dictates the chosen one. But the mood can change and I can see myself trapped with a book that doesn't match my mood anymore. But I just can't pass it and start another book. That would be like cheating, so or I just endure or I make a pause of 2 or more days from reading.

Maybe I should use some method, for a healthier reading experience.
See, that's part of the reason I have a couple books on the going. I make a point to endure the pair, finish them before any other takes their place, but I have an option still


Finally, it's not a conveyor belt I get me'self into. I'm 'allowed' to wander about in all respects It's just I see myself having a more varied reading experience following those outlines.

I like to vary, even if my heart occasionally says, in the sweetest of internal voices, that I shall be hanged should I ever stray away from Asimov.

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:25 PM   #24
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Nicely answered, bzpilman.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #25
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I usually read 3-4 books at any given point, although I don't have a strict rule on it. I'm usually reading one nonfiction book (currently Physics of the Impossible), one denser 'literary' book (Michelle de Kretser's The Lost Dog), a public domain book (Kipling's Captain Courageous) and a genre book of some sort (Reichert's Legend of Nightfall, sadly the only one of the list I'm reading in paper.)


Sometimes I'll read straight through one of the books without breaking and the others just hover around the edges. This is more likely to happen on a weekend.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:50 AM   #26
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Get Organized or Drown

Recently, I found that I was swamped with books and spending as much time downloading as I was reading. Something had to be done to stop the madness. So I used the EBW Librarian (basically, a spreadsheet setup) and collected all of my downloads from home and work computers into one master list. They are categorized as Finished Reading, To Be Read, and Nonfiction.

Then I wiped everything off my device except for the few things that are "secure" and could not be put into the Librarian. After that, I loaded all of the TBR books onto the device. It took about 4 days working off-and-on to get it right.

Now I'm happily working my way through the TBR books, one after the other, and don't feel pressured or worried that I might be missing something. I'll get around to everything eventually. If I start something and don't like it, then it gets deleted from the device and changed to Finished in the Librarian.

I have a self-imposed moratorium that no more books will be put onto the device until I have read or rejected all of the books already there. By the time I finish that long list of titles, the only things that should be TBR in the Librarian are things that I have downloaded since getting organized.

I wasn't sure at first if I had the self control to slow down my reading and enjoy the books again, after going hog-wild and devouring eooks wholesale since getting my device. But it worked and I'm a happy reader.

As for pbooks, well, I haven't touched one since getting my device. I'm going to experiement with slicing the binding off of a few favorites and scanning them, but the others are destined for a thrift store retirement home.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:09 PM   #27
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interesting points bzpilman ! i will have to try to apply a bit of method to my madness, because as discussed on a different thread since discovering liseuses i have so *many* books at my disposal that i find myself flitting around like a bee from flower to flower, reading many but finishing few... it's getting to the point where i'm almost exasperated with myself. maybe i should set a few groundrules. to start with, i should probably decide not to start any new books until i finish all the ones i've already started. that should keep me busy for a while... i can worry about other groundrules later.

oh, and since you know (and apparently appreciate) saramago, please feel free to recommend any other portuguese writers you think are good ; i remember really liking what i read ; there seemed to be a particular ambiance universal to all the authors i read which struck me as dinstinctively portuguese (although of course i can't claim to have made an in-depth study, and perhaps my sample was too small to be significant). i liked them though.

and damn, i wish i could remember the name of that other guy !!! arg !! does a story about a boy telling about his half spanish, half portuguese childhood mean anything to you ? i think in portugual he lived in a stately old home and spent a lot of time in the very well-stocked library... i remember him talking about books, and stone walls, and rain, and foggy countrysides, and ancestry, and philosophy. i know, it's not much to go on, but i might get lucky. (or that might be one of saramago's, in which case i'm back where i started, with the additional thought that i've forgotten all the saramago books i've read and should really read them again).

see, that is the danger of themes ; it's hard to distinguish later on if you read too many similar books at the same time.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:44 PM   #28
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On my computer, I keep a list of the books I've completed and the pertinent statistics. At the end of each quarter, I post this list on my LiveJournal blog at http://gee-elsi.livejournal.com/
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Originally Posted by bzpilman
Now you don't even need a methodology, at a book every three days, you just crush'em before they even get in line!! You probably read in half a year more than most people read their entire lives. Do you have the help of any speed reading skills or just a solid-grounded habit (more than enough for anything we do) ?
No special training in speed reading, though I read fast enough. I just make sure that I'm never without a book to read. My hubby has a mild aphasia as a result of a stroke 14 years ago. He won't talk while he's doing something else like driving or even eating, so I have a book with me so I don't get bored. I also read for a short while when going to bed. Might be only a page or two or many, many pages.

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Originally Posted by bzpilman
Very nice tracking you keep and paste to your blog. I do some statistical record keeping myself, only private I suggest you look into gauging by words instead of pages, it's far more reliable and really easy to get accustomed to (50k makes the average novel, below ~5k is a short story, over 100k a monster: the Hugo award has good definitions).
Oh, but you see, I never read short stories and almost never read novellas. I might be convinced to read a book of related short stories where the stories were more like chapters of a novel.
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