Posts Tagged library

The Reading Bug

Posted by Jen in Books, Movies & TV |
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I’ve been bitten by the reading bug.

I used to be quite the voracious reader back when I was in high school and throughout my college years.  (The college years when I was 20 or so…not my current college years.)
I really don’t know what happened to my reading habit along the way.  I think the main issue was that I  found myself spending more time online and giving myself less time to do other things.  My school, my job, and my play were all done at the computer and the computer is a time-sucker.
I also found myself beginning the “art” of multi-tasking.  I would work on my laptop and watch TV at the same time.  I would listen to music and browse the internet.  It was like I didn’t know how to do only one thing at a time.  I was unable to sit still long enough to do just one thing – like enjoy a good book.  Reading requires a quiet mind and a “single-tasking” environment.  I stopped being able to do that.

Soooo…as I mentioned in a few recent posts, I have been trying to make a few changes in my life.  I am trying to discover new things, experience a little more and most importantly…slow down and enjoy “the now.”  I have actually borrowed books from the library to teach myself how to do this.  I am learning how to schedule my time better, quiet my mind, enjoy the present moment and not always feel like I have to do two (or twenty!) things at once.  It’s funny how I have to learn to do this again.

These days, I’ll take my tea and sit outside in the morning for 10 to 15 minutes  and just focus on what’s happening outdoors and not think about any of the tasks or projects I am working on.  (That probably sounds a little silly or something, but you have no idea how hard it is for me to turn my mind off…I’ve seriously been needing this for a loooong time.)  :)

After that quiet time, I am then prepared to face the next part of my day.  My mind is clear and little more focused.

This all leads back to the reading bug.  I now give myself a nice half hour to an hour before bedtime to read, which has actually helped me sleep a little better.  I keep a book in the car and I’m actually giving myself extra time to get my appointments so that I can sit and read in the waiting area.  (To actually be a early for my appointments is an new and wonderful thing.  :lol: )  I find that I can actually pay attention to a book again without my mind drifting to other tasks.  All in all, this has been quite a positive change…and one that doesn’t cost too much money either.  My library is small, but it has enough books to keep me busy for a while.  I’ve also been marking my calendar for all the library book sales in the area and I just joined and have 3 books headed my way.

My next step is to find a few fiction authors I like.  I’ve been sticking with mostly reference books, self-help books, health books, and biographies, but I would like to try some fiction. I’ve liked Michael Crichton (R.I.P) and John Grisham in the past and I am a sucker for some of my daughter’s YA fiction (Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot.)  I’m ready, however, to try some new authors and new genres.  I guess I’ll start with some of those best-selling fiction book lists and see what catches my eye.

Well, it’s definitely bedtime here for me.  I’m off to read and then take a restful visit to dreamland.  :)   G’night!

A Trip To The Library: Part 2

Posted by Jen in Books, Movies & TV |

Well, it was time to visit the library again.  I can’t believe how small our library is.  It still has enough books to keep my busy for the next year or two, I think.  I’m excited because they have a sidewalk sale this Saturday.  I found about 15 books at their last sale in September, so I hope I’ll be as lucky again this time.  I’m definitely going to open my mind up to the idea of trying some new genres and topics for reading.

I returned 2 of my previous books: Someone Like You and Good Calories, Bad Calories.  I didn’t get around to finishing Someone Like You.  I really thought I would like it. It was a fun, fluffy YA book, but it didn’t hold my attention.  The movie “How To Deal” was inspired by it and I like that movie, but the book just didn’t keep me interested.  I don’t think it was the book’s fault…it definitely was me.  I might try it again in the summertime when I’m running out of chicklit to read by the pool.

Good Calories, Bad Calories was…wow.  There was a lot of info in there.  It was filled with medical studies and explanations about the misinformation that has been passed around for the past few decades.  What truths are we supposed to learn from this book?
1) Fat doesn’t make you fat and
2) Simple carbs are very much responsible for weight gain in most individuals due to the rapid increase of insulin in our bloodstream.   I knew all of that, but it was interesting to see how and why the diet industry keeps changing their tune over the years.

Which books did I pick up this time?

Well, I renewed my Positive Energy book by Judith Orloff.  I wanted to read the first half of the book again.  I actually felt inspired by this book.  It delved a little into the scientific side of the energy connecting all living beings and it also focused on the spiritual side of living in the moment.  I was raised to be very wary of anything that would fall under “New Age” philosophy, but I think I have learned to loosen up and go with my gut a little more when it comes to trusting the information I read.  After reading the book, I definitely came away with some insight as to how I can learn to slow down and focus inward.  I have learned to really pay close attention to my 15-month-old niece and how she interacts with her world.  To babies, there is only “the present.”  They don’t worry about the future and they don’t get depressed or stressed thinking about the past…they are in the moment.  I think I definitely need to relearn that particular state of mind.

In addition to renewing Positive Energy, I picked up two new ones:

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

I used to work in a law office and one of the attorneys there would make fun of  the fact that I was a bit of a “comma whore.”  My law briefs, my legal correspondence…they would all be filled with lots and lots commas.  I love grammar, but I will be the first one to admit that I am a little rusty on some of the rules.  Those darned commas…I could swear they belong in a lot more places than they actually do.  Well, this book is quite entertaining in its pursuit to teach us proper punctuation.

The second book I borrowed was:

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

It was meant to be a supplement to the Positive Energy book, but I started reading it and I don’t think it’s quite what I was looking for.  It’s a little bit “out there.”  I don’t know.  I’ll try to finish it and see what I think when I get to the end.

A Trip to the Library

Posted by Jen in Books, Movies & TV |
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So, I decided to visit my local library today.  I’m not a big fan of libraries, to tell you the truth.  We prefer to buy most of our books and keep them forever and ever…or sell the really bad ones on eBay.  Now that I am incredibly broke and finding myself with a desire to read more and learn more and do more, I decided the library would be the best place to do just that.

As it turns out, I found so many books that I want to read and I seriously can’t wait to go back and get some more.  My library is pretty small, but I think there are more than enough books to keep me busy reading for a while.

So what did I pick up today?  Well, I mixed it up a little bit.

Someone Like You

This is a Young Adult book which was one of the books that inspired the movie “How To Deal.”  I know I might be a little old for Young Adult, but I like Sarah Dessen and I like to share what I read with my teen daughter, so I will occasionally pick out books she might like, too.

Next on the list was:

Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love

I’m being a little bit cautious when it comes to reading this one.  I picked it up on a whim, mostly because I am always talking to my daughter about how susceptible we are to the energy of the people around us.  (When I’m in a bad mood, she tends to get in a bad mood, too.  When someone in our family is sad, we only need to be around them for a short while and we quickly find ourselves to be sad as well.) My cautiousness is due to the fact that I fear this may be a little bit too “New-Age” for me, which might conflict with my Christian upbringing.  I would like to think I’m intelligent and open-minded enough to be able to gain insight from this type of book and  even find a way to mesh it with my (semi)firmly rooted Christian beliefs.

My final library book of the day was:

How to Solve Physics Problems (College Course)

This one…well, I’m a nerd who likes to learn new things.  I have a firm belief in those studies that state that our brain will deteriorate if we don’t keep using it.  This looked like fun and I like math and it’s not like I have anything else to do all day…ha.  I wish.  In any case, I am excited to get cracking on this and start creating new connections in the neural network of my brain….or whatever it is that happens when we learn.

As for everything else going on in my life.  Well, Meghan was home from school again today.  The virus knocked down her system enough that she seems to be fighting some type of sinus infection.  This is her 6th or 7th day out of school this year.  I sincerely hope this will be the last of her absences for a while.