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February, 2011

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Romantic reading? …not so much.

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Today’s Booking Through Thursday had me pretty well stumped, which I found interesting. I mean, I know I’m not a big fan of capital R “Romance,” but you’d think, being the complete sap that I am, I’d be able to rattle off plenty of examples of beautifully “romantic” reads.

Ummmm…. No.

The first one that came to mind was Message in a Bottle. Really, though, there was only one bit of the book that stood out in my memory (which was left out of the movie – boy, did that burn my biscuits), and that doesn’t seem to make it a fair contender.

Next up, Tipping the Velvet. A better choice, as it’s one of the few books I’ve read with a storyline that somewhat parallels my own love life (queer, butch-femme, the way one of the relationships develops), but still, the romance I found compelling in that one is only really covered in a small bit of the book. That doesn’t count, right?

So I visited my trusty LibraryThing catalog. Surely something in my 4-5 star range will be more…. romance-y. But really, the “love stories” that exist as sub-plots in the books I love are messed up. Like, seriously codependent, or abusive in some way, or otherwise unhealthy. What gives? So this got me thinking about how “romance” is portrayed in books and media.

As for me, yes, I have a tendency toward codependence. Yes, I have stayed too long in an abusive relationship. Yes, I have plenty of work to do in therapy to make sure I’m the healthiest “me” I can be, in general and for my partner. But I don’t elevate my behaviors to “devotion” or “truly in love” or “unconditional” or whatever other crap is used as justification for ignoring our own needs because of a partner. Almost every book I’ve ever read with some romantic thread has an example of one of these unhealthy behaviors masked as something desirable. Is that just because of the genres I read, or is it across the board? Are we unsatisfied with healthy relationships because we aren’t throwing aside our lives to prove our love, like we see in books, film, and television?

Nook love

Friday, February 4th, 2011

So I haven’t talked about e-reading here in a while, and it’s definitely overdue. This fall I received a Nook 3G as a gift, and it has completely changed my reading life. I read more, and in more situations, than I previously did, or could, and for longer periods. The convenience of a single flat surface rather than an open book makes it truly hands-free, it weighs significantly less than most hardcovers, and the ease with which I can have a book to hand when I think of a title is almost scary.

This does NOT mean I’m going to convert entirely to e-books from here on out, nor will I get rid of any of my physical books just because I can get them on my Nook. I have chosen to check out e-book versions of some titles I own but hadn’t read yet simply because my books are still mostly in boxes and it doesn’t cost me anything to use the library, but bookbuying is one of my greatest pleasures, and browsing online doesn’t even remotely touch the feeling I get lingering in a brick and mortar store, particularly one with lots of awesomely musty volumes.

So, your turn – do you own an e-reader? What would you say, if any, is the difference it has made in your reading?

Readathon FAIL

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Epic failure on the readathon, guys. Huge. I spent half of the day setting timers for Joshua’s activities and the other half… I don’t even know. But, I only made it through about 150 pages of one book, and didn’t even pick the other up. Sigh.

At any rate, I’m getting a TON of reading done on my new job, as all I’m doing is scanning thousands of pages of medical records and then taking five minutes here and there to assign them to patients in the database. Not the most exciting work, but hey, I’m getting paid to read, pretty much – and blog! :)

Speaking of which, I’ve decided to start using my main page of Femme Flavor as a journal type of blog, so I’m not restricting myself to writing just about bookish things using FolioFiles or in snippets on Facebook and Twitter. I’d love if you’d join me there, as well (http://femmeflavor.com) and get caught up on what’s new in my universe. I’d love to hear updates from you, as well, so come on over! New post will be up shortly :)

LibraryThing Readathon

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

It seems like readathons are always what bring me back to posting after an absence from the blog, and this time is no different. Stasia, a wonderful member of LibraryThing‘s 75 Books Challenge group, is hosting a readathon running from 10p last night until 10p tonight. As I’m snowed in and have no intention of leaving the house for any reason, it seems like a good day to try to finish the two books I’m currently reading and get going on at least one more. I’ll post responses to the hour 1, hour 12, and hour 24 memes here, as well as write an update post for those of you with whom I’m not connected on Twitter and/or Facebook, as much has changed in my life since Thanksgiving! Happy reading, all; off to work on Jonathan Stroud’s The Ring of Solomon, a fun prequel to the Bartimaeus trilogy. :)