How to optimize your Goodreads “To-Read” list

A few weeks back, I posted about how we select the books we want to read now, next and never.

On a related theme, I just spent an hour culling unwanted books from my Goodreads “To-Read” list. 

Because what good is a “To-Read” list if you don’t really want to read the books on it?

After my very well-intentioned husband took the aforementioned list to the library and returned with many of the books it contained, I discovered few were readable in the land of Mrs. Rebecca Klempner. Three offended my (admittedly rather sensitive) sensibilities so much that I immediately took them out to our van and left them there to be returned to the library. Ugh.

How do such books get on my “To-Read” list in the first place? Continue reading

Regional dialect in the U.S. – Pardon me for my nerdiness

two women talking

“I’m sorry I laughed at you for calling the ginger ale, ‘Coke.'” “That’s alright, Mabel. I’ll forgive you if you pardon me for laughing when you called the spigot a ‘spicket.'”

Like most people who read and write SF and fantasy, I have a tendency towards nerdiness. I watched Star Trek loyally (until I ditched my TV at age 24). I read graphic novels. I watched foreign films as a teen and young adult and snubbed “Forrest Gump” and “Titanic.” And my idea of a fun day out could easily involve a museum, planetarium, or library.

Yes, I sat at the table with the nerds, geeks, and dweebs in high school. At least the social consequences of nerdiness drop drastically at some point during college.

One of the things I studied in college and graduate school happens to be sociolinguistics, and the topic still fills me with geeky glee, so when Discover Magazine directed readers to Joshua Katz’s work at NC State University, I had to give it a look-see. Continue reading

When Reading Books Becomes a Dangerous Habit

Young Boy Sitting with Dog Reading
Image from That little reader looks so innocent, doesn’t he? Little does he know the life of addiction that awaits him!

I just read a hilarious article on Tablet by Marjorie Ingall about how to encourage your children NOT to read. My favorite hint is number one:

Do not set aside 15 minutes to read each day.If you set aside 15 minutes to read each day, at bedtime or before bath, you will turn reading together into a habit. You know what kind of people have habits? Junkies.

This is actually something we currently struggle with in the Klempner household. We used to have just one juvenile book delinquent (you know, the type of kid who smuggles literature into their bunks well past bedtime), but we have recently acquired a second, and a third appears to be close on his heels.  Homework is no longer getting accomplished by my second son in the prompt, no-nonsense way I used to love–he’s now forgoing his nightly worksheets, Hebrew fluency practice and spelling drills in favor of reading Tintin, Geronimo Stilton, and Stories of Tzaddikim.

My eldest son will chose to read over eating. Sometimes even over eating pizza. 

It’s probably my fault. I used to one of those slackers who read novels instead of doing my homework. And now, I read instead of doing dishes or scrubbing the bathroom. And sometimes–truth be told–even instead of writing. Maybe I need to re-read Marjorie Ingall’s article.