Sunday Links

Looking for bookish links? We’ve got them! Enjoy these stories we’ve found in the last few weeks:

  • Claire Messud asserts that “if you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble.”
  • Project Bookmark Canada is placing “bookmarks” (large ceramic plaques) with text from Canadian stories and poems in the exact physical locations where the literary scenes take place, helping Canadians read their way across the landscape.
  • Sasha Weiss writes for the New Yorker Page-Turner Blog about how the Oxford English Dictionary has been crowdsourcing definitions and quotations long before “crowdsourcing” was ever in the dictionary.
  • Tobias Buckell ponders what happens as a book blogger when our voracious reading inevitably changes us as a reader, and therefore as a writer.
  • Smart posts on The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins from Litlove at Tales from the Reading Room and Nic at Eve’s Alexandria.
  • The trailer for the film version of As I Lay Dying isn’t funny enough. It should seem like a Coen Brothers film.
  • Amy at My Friend Amy on how our TBR lists reflect the person we want to be.
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6 Responses to Sunday Links

  1. Buckell’s piece is quite interesting. I doubt I would have started a book blog if I had not already been well past the sort of cusp he describes, which is a real phenomenon.

    To anyone suffering through it now: eh, you get over it.

  2. That Bucknell piece is interesting. I’m not sure exactly what I think, but I do sympathize/understand about getting to a point where books all seem boring and bad, on some level. But I also think it’s wonderful to read a lot because it gives you a frame of reference for books and I really like developing that.

  3. & of course the alternative is too awful to contemplate – not reading enough or watching enough movies or listening to enough jazz or sewing enough quilts so that you never know enough to be jaded.

  4. Jenny says:

    I’ve unconsciously used some of Buckell’s tricks, too — reading in several genres to keep myself fresh, and re-reading old favorites to remember what I first liked about them. But yes, I’ve gotten to this stage. Thing is, I haven’t seen it as a bad thing, or a stage where I’m jaded. I have noticed that I like fewer new (that is, newly published) books, but as long as I’m selective, every reading year gets better for me, at least so far.

    And yes, the alternative too awful to contemplate. Like the people who say “getting older has its problems, but it’s better than the alternative, har har har.”

  5. Teresa says:

    I find that reading in lots of genres helps me avoid getting jaded. When I can’t bear another “literary” novel, I can turn to crime, and when that doesn’t feel right, I turn to a classic. There are certain kinds of books I get more easily jaded about–but I’m better at avoiding them than I used to be.

    I also appreciate books that are wholly predictable sometimes. If a formula works, I’m happy for a book to follow it, even if it means I have less to say about it. But after a while, it does become tricky to write about those books–so I write about the challenge of writing about them. After a while, I may find the challenge of doing even that is more than I want to bother with and give up writing about every book I read. For now, though, the value of having the record for myself is worth the difficulty of saying something original.

  6. Jenny says:

    I think when you say you’re better at avoiding certain kinds of books than you used to be, that’s part of what Buckell is talking about, After a certain point in your reading career, you start to choose for yourself what you’re going to like, and it gets choosier and choosier, and maybe your audience doesn’t really like that as much any more. For me, that’s okay. I read for myself and I hope I write for a community, but it might be a smaller community as time goes on, which is only partly a function of what I read and partly a function of how big the book blogosphere has gotten.

    I like the way you write about books in a long series, Teresa. I always think you keep it fresh.

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