Monthly Archives: September 2013

Settled in Seattle

Hello, BookEnders! It’s been awhile. I’ll mention here that this post is only loosely bookish, as it’s really more of a life update about my first impressions of my LIS (library and information science) program. Though it does include a few fun facts about the history of the book!

I’ve finally reached a point that I had well and truly started to think would never come – I’m feeling settled in Seattle (but certainly not Sleepless). I’ve been in my new house for a month now; I’ve been at my entertaining, challenging job serving food at a retirement home for about a little longer; and I finally finished my first week of graduate school. On a subconscious level, I’d also been worrying about whether or not I was going into the right program. After making this enormous move across the country, what if I’d made a mistake? What if I should’ve just gone to University at Buffalo, the local program, or worse, not gone into library and information science at all?

New city, new school, new haircut. Also a fine view of my new bookshelf in my new room. Can you guess my favorite author from it?

New city, new school, new haircut. Also a fine view of my new bookshelf in my new room. Can you guess my favorite author from it?

Within my first few days of classes, though, it became clear to me that I’m in exactly the right place. Although the classes are longer than I’m used to, the discussions are engaging enough that I barely noticed. Likewise, the reading, although intense, has been fascinating. Did you know it’s been almost two-thousand years since the actual form of the book has changed? Even when we switched from hand-written books to machine printed ones, we still stayed with the codex, a set of thin sheets, bound on one side, between two protective covers (re: the traditional, non e-book book). Also, silent reading wasn’t discovered until the 11th or 12th century. Considering how much time I spend engaging in silent reading, I was amazed to realize I’d never even thought about silent reading as a discovery, something that hadn’t been around as long as writing.

And then there are the people in my program. Maybe it’s because the Seattle area has so many opportunities, or the professors have so many connections, but there isn’t the competitiveness I feared. Instead, I’m surrounded by brilliant people who have lots of overlapping interests with me (*cough* Tamora Pierce *cough*). Now instead of worrying I’m in the wrong program, I get to worry about keeping up with all the talented, experienced students and professors around me.

Speaking of Tamora Pierce, I’ll end this ramble of a post with a quote from one of my favorite books, Squire. “Suddenly Kel’s view of the next four years changed. She had expected hard work mixed with dread for the Ordeal of Knighthood at the end of it . . . Never had she thought she might have fun.”

Author’s Note: I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about the future of this blog. Namely, there are so many book blogs out there; how do I make mine worth reading, aside from staying true to the uniqueness of my own writerly voice? Do I put in too much of my personal life? And do I focus more on books themselves, or library science, as they aren’t necessarily the same topic. I’d love to hear any feedback in comments.

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Reblog Book Club

Hello, Bookenders!

This is just a quick update to let you know about a new project I’m taking part in. I’m contributing to the discussion in, the Reblog Book Club, the first official Tumblr book group. Here’s the first paragraph of my initial (spoiler-free) reflection on the first book, Rainbow Rowell’s new novel, Fangirl:

“As you may have surmised from my recent deluge of Fangirl posts, I’m contributing to Tumblr’s first official book club, the Reblog Book Club. Fangirl is Rainbow Rowell’s newly released YA novel. Cath is a devoted fangirl to the mega-hit Simon Snow fantasy series, and a popular fanfiction author in her own right; her twin sister, Wren, used to be. As Cath heads off to her first year of college she explores how college life and Simon Snow diverge and how they overlap – and how she and Wren do.”

You can find the rest of the review here, at the Reblog Book Club. My other posts will be put up periodically under my tumblr name, “your-ya-story.”

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Movie Endeavors?

Like most others, when I first meet people I tend to hold back some of the more less favorable facts about myself. Like that I enjoy peanut butter and turkey bacon sandwiches, or that I’ve watched nearly every episode of Who Wants to Be the Next Food Network Star? (I’m still trying to catch up from the half-season I missed while moving across the country). And although I know it’s enjoying a surge of immense popularity, I hate red velvet cake and have never much cared for cream cheese frosting, either.

Maybe the most damning is the fact that I don’t really like movies. Sure, there are some that capture my heart enough that I’ll watch them again and again. Miracle, Grumpy Old Men, Wild America, and 27 Dresses all make the list of favorites. But I tend to be very hesitant to try new movies. Halfway through, I’ll find myself looking at the clock, trying to figure out how much longer it will last. You might blame this on a short attention span caused by the instantaneous Internet Age, but I can watch episode after episode of a television show without losing interest. There’s just something about movies that makes most of them drag for me.

I have a special affection for this one after my own cross-country road trip.

But this week I made a discovery bound to entirely shape my vision of cinematic possibilities. I made a visit to one of the last, and undoubtedly the best, video rental stores: Scarecrow Video. Every obscure movie I have ever watched or wanted to watch, they have available. The way they’ve organized their titles made this budding librarian swoon; movies within the adventure section are also subcategorized by type – jungle, knights, swashbucklers. A large selection of foreign films arranged by country. And a whole section devoted to British films, British comedy television, British dramatic television series, and so on.

Wait a second, you might be saying. Isn’t this blog called Book Endeavors? What are you harping on about movies for? (You are probably not actually saying this, dear reader. You are likely far smarter than the rhetorical straw man reader I frequently converse with. But I digress.) Some of my other favorite movies are based upon books. I use the 1980s Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea movies as a frequent point of reference for life. I adore the Richard Harris/Jim Caviezel The Count of Monte Cristo. And one of my favorite movies of all time, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, is based on a novel (which I haven’t read, but the story is fantastic). Sadly, as an independent movie, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont has been difficult to find, but luckily Scarecrow Video has it. It has all of these.

Seriously, if you can find it, watch it. Especially if a) you’re a writer, or b) have ever worked in a retirement home setting.

Even better, the store has a room dedicated to movies based on books and plays. Movies about authors’ lives. Documentaries and biopics about authors, and movies explaining theories and criticism about literary works and worlds. Interviews with authors, and compilations of poets’ readings. Shelves of Jane Austen and Dickens adaptations. Every movie exploring Narnia you could think of. And then in the children’s section they have all of the television series devoted to exploring L. M. Montgomery’s books – Emily of New Moon and The Road to Avonlea (a combination of Avonlea and Story Girl books).

It’s basically an English and Creative Writing B.A.’s dreams incarnated in a video store. Which is not the first place I would’ve looked for enlightenment. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont was checked out when I went there yesterday, but I’ll be back for it. In the meantime, I rented Vitus – a Swiss movie I watched during college in pursuit of German 200 Culture and Communication Points – and The Way We Were. I have to thank my friend Paige for the latter; if anyone has helped me expand my horizons when it comes to films, she has. Before we became friends, I honestly thought Robert Redford was a fictional character.

What’s your favorite movie based on a book? Let me know in comments.

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