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Monday, September 26, 2011

Read then Watch: BBC by Rion

Most of us have “To Read” lists filled with exciting, new titles from the New York Times Bestseller list or from the latest “Daily Show” guest.  But how about reading something a bit beneath the radar?  Maybe a less well known title that has (as an added bonus) a film adaptation that you can watch after reading the book?  You may be thinking--why watch some disappointing, half-hearted production of a book you truly enjoyed?  Well, here’s the rub, the BBC really knows how to pick great books and how to adapt them into film.

For those of you who prefer mysteries, try reading Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen series (Book 1 is Ratking), which the BBC adapted into three episodes called “Zen.”  The DVD series is now on order for the library.

A similar, though more serious choice is “Wallander” (Book 1 is Faceless Killers), which the BBC adapted from novels by Henning Mankell. This series has also been ordered.

If it’s a bit of contemporized nostalgia you are looking for, I recommend “Sherlock,” adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novels.  Each of these BBC productions is recent, incredibly well cast and performed with everything from the cinematography to the locations beautifully represented.

Maybe you do not feel like trying to read an entire series.  In that case, I recommend reading and watching “Bleak House” or “Little Dorrit” by Charles Dickens.  If you’re in a Bronte Sisters mood, I would suggest the BBC’s 2006 production of “Jane Eyre.” 

These are just a few titles to wet your literary pallet and perhaps introduce you to a lesser-known author or reacquaint you with an old favorite.  Whether on the big or small screen not all adaptations are created equal, but the BBC is definitely ahead of the curve. Check the stacks at the Stillwater Public Library—we own most of these books and BBC films and have many more on the way!

Stillwater, OK

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just Say No to Bad Books! by Summer

One of the hardest lessons to learn is, “Sometimes it is ok to give up.”  Moods, goals, and interests change, and often we are better off reassessing and switching our energies to other areas.  While this is true in life, it is especially true when it comes to reading books.  After working in a library for six years, I finally figured out there is no way I can finish every book that I see.  There are far too many fantastic books out there to waste my time and effort on reading something I don’t love.  

A famous librarian (Yes, there are famous librarians.  She has her own action figure and everything.) named Nancy Pearl summed up this idea and created a general rule to save us from wasting time on bad books.  She suggests if you are under 50, give a book 50 pages. If you are not hooked, give up on it for now and try it again later.  Different moods affect your interests and a book that seemed mediocre at one point, may be life changing later.  Pearl advices those over 50 that time is even more precious and you should subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before you decide to commit to reading the book or moving on. 

We all have the right to read and like any book we want just as we have the right to dislike any book and not read it.  Remember, just because Oprah loved a book, does not mean you have to too.  So once you decide to quit a book, what do you do?  Find another!  Nancy Pearl literally has thousands upon thousands of suggestions.  Check out her books of recommended reading lists which include, “Book Lust,” “More Book Lust,” “Book Crush,” and “BookLust to Go.” 

Stillwater, OK

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to School by Levonn

School is now underway and we all want our children to do well.  One of the most basic skills they need is to be a good reader, so why not help them by being a good reading role model. Your child walks like you, talks like you, and absorbs everything you do, so set the right example when it comes to reading. 

1.  Surround yourself with reading material. Books don't belong only in libraries and classrooms. Make the written word a part of your living space, with books, magazines, and newspapers readily available. 

2.  Draw attention to all the things you read.  Practice reading labels or instructions together. When you share information from books, pamphlets, recipes, etc., you'll show your child how knowledge is largely shaped by the things we read and how reading connects us to the world.   

3.  Buy or borrow books together. When you go to the library or book store, let your child come along. Even if you aren't looking for anything in particular, practice the art of book browsing and admiring. Make an event out of it, and your child will learn to be exhilarated by the sight of books.  

4.  Don't be a solo reader.  Share the Sunday comics, thumb through your favorite magazine together, or share tidbits from your newspaper or books.  You will show that reading in not a solitary activity.  

5.  Read for leisure. Show that reading isn't work. Cuddle up with a good book and you'll model how reading can be just the thing to make your day.  

6.  Bring something to read everywhere you go. From the office to home, or even the living room to the bedroom, make sure you're equipped with reading material — for yourself and your child.  When you have some extra minutes, you can show that reading is a constructive (and fun!) way to pass the time.  

7.  Emphasize the universal importance of reading. Librarians, teachers, students, mechanics, lawyers, doctors, architects, athletes . . . everyone reads.  Make a habit out of living through reading.

Stillwater, OK