Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daily Thoughts, Reading With A Purpose

A public domain clip art image which I liked. Reading In The Study.

I did a bit of weeding for the electronics section. Now, I am ordering consumer electronics books. Books on audio, appliances, television repair, home theater, and similar subjects. I have started using to look up and see what different libraries around the country have on various subjects as part of my ordering process. I find it to be a very useful tool. It is almost a national library catalog for the United States.
People are taking more books from the display stand for current events.

Today is another quiet day. I have to go to one of those standard trainings on violence in the workplace and sexual harassment on Monday. This one is a little bit different. The local police department is giving the training to different agencies around the city. I think it will be more complete than the other ones I have attended. The public library is open to anyone who comes in.

Also the new director of the system is coming on Tuesday for a visit. We are a cooperative library system. This means we share resources but not rules or regulations. We have a common catalog and interlibrary loan, but separate budgets. Each town in our county runs their library differently.

I have started reading Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire. For some reason, I could not get myself to read his most famous book, Wicked about the Wicked Witch of the East from the land of Oz. It was even turned into a Broadway play.

Reading With A Purpose

Many people participate in reading challenges. I have done one so far. They usually involve reading a number of books in a particular subject like China, graphic novels, science fiction, or by a specific author. Sometimes people will read through a list of different authors in alphabetical sequence, or titles in alphabetical sequence.

There are a lot of different reasons to read. I am hoping to read a number of science fiction and fantasy novels and review them. My goal is to get some of the reviews linked to by the authors of the books. This has already happened with Slow Train To Arcturus, and A Secret History of Moscow. There is something very satisfying in getting your reviews acknowledged.

Although, I have never really asked openly, I would not mind receiving reviewers copies of books to read. I really don't need them because I am always surrounded by books, but if something especially interesting became available, I would not mind reading it. Maybe a new general interest non-technical computer book like Groundswell or Wikimomics would be interesting to receive.

The other reason I am reading is to improve my skills. I think that books like Spunk and Bite will improve my writing skill. I am not just looking to improve my general writing skills by reading, but specifically, my writing skills for blogging. Hot Text helped me a little bit with this. I am always looking for something new to learn.

Another hope I have is to gain access to free conference or training opportunities. A couple of years ago, they gave away free passes to bloggers at Book Expo America. It would be nice to go as a blogger and get in for free. I don't think this will happen again. Still, there is a nice discounted rate for librarians. I am looking forward to going to the O'Reilly Tools of Change For Publishing Conference.

Of course what I really should be doing right now is writing the reviews of the two books I finished reading yesterday.

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