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Booking Through Thursday: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

 

btt buttonIf you could see one book turned into the perfect movie–one that would capture everything you love, the characters, the look, the feel, the story–what book would you choose?

deweyThis one’s easy for me: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Perhaps with some material from the followup Dewey’s Nine Lives.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Maybe it’s odd that I’d want to see a non-fiction autobiographical piece turned into a movie. But see? They already did a movie of Marley & Me…and this is in–to me–the exact same vein, and so totally plausible. Except, of course, that filming a cat would be so much different than filming a dog. And kittens! You’d probably have to give someone an award for successfully filming kittens doing what you want (as not every random kitten would be like Dewey–they’re all so unique!)

Thing is…I never got to meet the real Dewey, the cat these books are about. I’ve never even been to Iowa.

deweyninelivesBut I remember seeing some blurb about the book coming out, and while I recall thinking along the lines of “Oh…interesting. A book about a cat in a library, and his name is Dewey.” Out of sight, out of mind, nothing deep.

But then I lost my cat, Christy. Dewey came out 5 days later. I bought it 3 days after it was out, and read it cover to cover in roughly 20 hours. It was cathartic–reading about another’s cat. What the cat meant to them, to so many people. Maybe Dewey didn’t touch my life during his own life…but he sure impacted mine by his story being told!

christyonchairThen I found the audiobook, and while I dislike the abridgement (whole other topic for some other post, abridgements) of it, the audio still fascinates me and I will randomly activate that playlist in iTunes to have something playing in the background…or when I’m finding myself particularly wistful for my cats.

kaylawithcomicsAfter I lost Kayla last May, I found myself using the audiobook again, seeking some of that catharsis. Of course, I did this at work, and when THAT scene came up, I had to leave the room to recollect myself.

I mean, such is the necessity in a way…whatever joy there is, sharing that story of a beloved animal, beloved pet, that special member of the family…

But as someone who spent 2 1/2 years in library school, who has family ties to libraries, who has always been someone who has had a library as part of his life…I never thought of having a cat live there. Until Dewey.

And ever since I found out they were making a movie of Marley and Me…I’ve been waiting for the movie of Dewey.

Maybe it’ll “just” be “made for tv.” I’d absolutely go see a theatrical release. But if I can count something like Tuesdays With Morrie as one of my all-time favorite films, and it was made for tv…so, too, I’d “settle” for a made-for-tv film for Dewey.

Kayla (age 13) in mirror

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Booking Through Thursday: Serial

bookingthroughthursdaybuttonSeries? Or Stand-alone books?

 

When it comes to non-graphic books…I don’t think it really matters to me if the book is standalone or part of a series. At least, I don’t choose a book because it’s one or the other.

Most of the Stephen King, Brad Meltzer, and John Grisham books I’ve read have been standalone (even if they’re set in the same world/continuity, they aren’t necessarily part of a series). I look forward to their new books based on it being a new book by an author whose work I enjoy…not because it’s the next book in a series.

At the same time, in the last couple years, I’ve read the Twilight series, the Percy Jackson series, and I just finished listening to the latest two books in Weis/Hickman’s Lost Chronicles (Dragonlance) series. A few years back, I spent six weeks reading the entire original Left Behind series. A couple books on my to-be-read list for this year are the first books in new series—but they’re there due to the author, and not for kicking off new series.

When it comes to comics, though, I’m a bit more choosey.

I prefer series. If something is an “ongoing” series and has proven itself to last, I’m more likely to give it a shot. (a $2.99 or under price point certainly helps). Superman, Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern…there’s a history, there’s a reasonable expectation of the series continuing indefinitely, and so I’m more likely to be comfortable checking things out long-term.

For the most part, I tend to avoid “mini” or “limited” series as these will inevitably be collected into collected volumes/graphic novels, which I may pick up if my interest’s there by the time that edition is published.

Given the serial nature of comics, while there are the occasional great self-contained stories…overall, if it’s just a one-off short story (under 12 issues) I’m generally not going to check it out without much prior critical acclaim—I’ll feel cheated, as it’s a comic, I enjoy it, and I want more. V for Vendetta and Watchmen are a couple of notable exceptions on my own shelf.

Of course, as always…I’m sure there are plenty of exceptions to all this, holes to be poked in my thoughts that make sense before 9am. But hey…that’s the point of discussion. These are my stand-alone thoughts, for the moment…and they’re open to the changes/molding/evolution of a series of posts…

Booking Through Thursday: Multi-Tasking

bookingthroughthursdaybuttonDo you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?

Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?

(Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)

Very rarely, I’ll physically multitask while reading. Sometimes while I’m waiting for water to come to a boil, or waiting for noodles to boil that proper amount of time, I’ll read a couple pages in a book as able. This tends to be if I’m toward the very end of a book, incredibly involved in the book, or particularly antsy or bored with the water/noodles.

On a slightly more passive note, I’ll often read while I wait for something that’s in the microwave for more than 5 minutes, or something in the oven for awhile.

I prefer to focus on my reading and ideally have time to read a significant chunk of something in one go. If I’m reading a comic, I want to read the whole issue at once—or at least the main story if the issue has more than one story in it (such as Specials, One-Shots, Annuals, Anniversary issues, etc). If I’m reading a graphic novel or collected edition, I like to also read at least a fully issue’s worth of pages. If I’m reading a book, I prefer to be able to read at least a full chapter.

Mostly, my “multi-tasking” with books is the fact that I rarely have one finished when I start another. And through the years, I’ve found myself with dozens of books that I’ve started, but to this day have not finished. I get distracted by life, or another book, or other books, or comics, and eventually a book that’s sitting around waiting to finished will get shelved, and for the most part forgotten.

Because of more than two decades of reading comics—typically this tiny chunk of a much larger story, with at least a month between issues—I usually have very little trouble with picking a book up after weeks or even months away and simply resuming where I left off…even if I’ve read another book since putting this one down.

This tends to be the primary reason I find myself BUYING most of the books I read, and rarely obtaining them from a library. Library books have an odd feel to them for me, as I see the “due date” as a “deadline,” and a deadline implies “forced” reading, and I have trouble trying to read something that may not be IMMEDIATELY engaging, AND/or that I feel like I’m being forced to read. The library’s due date comes and goes, and being just a few pages into the book or not yet fully engaged, I’ll return it with the best of intentions of checking it out again later.

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