Tag: notepad

Become a Better Reader

Posted September 13, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 15 Comments

I have been thinking about myself as a reader lately and I thought I might talk about it in a post. I really want to be a better reader but there seems to be so much I need to learn or get into a habit of doing. So below is a list of those things and I would love it if people can give me some hints or tips to help improve myself as a reader.

Note taking
I really struggle with this; I want to learn to write down thoughts and interesting quotes but never seem to work out a good way to do this. I don’t often have a notepad with me so I don’t know how to get into a habit or what will help. I thought about using Tumblr or Goodreads progress updates to do that but I’m not sure if they will help. I just have to somehow train myself into doing this.

Reading Critically
I want to be able to pick out symbolism, motifs and themes throughout the book. If you have been a reader of my blog for a while you probably can see that my reviewing seems to have improved and has more of a focus on critical understanding but I still think I’m a long way off to where I want to be. This might mean I need to read slower and reread books.

Understanding Literary Theory
I think part of reading critically would be to learn literary theory and that can be tricky. I started a BA in English Lit to learn this stuff but feel like I haven’t got into literary theory yet which is probably not true, I’m just impatient. I would love if there were a podcast or something that will slowly go through basic literary concepts and explain them in a practical, easy to understand manner. If I was smarter I would write my own but I still need to learn and probably need help to bounce my autodidactic learning off to make sure I’m on the right track.

Better Reviews
I struggle with synopsis’s and often fill tempted to use a book blurb or Goodreads synopsis instead. This is just one element of a book review that I want to improve, I know I’m getting better but I would love to write ten pages analysing a book without any effort. I know people won’t want to read a review that long but if I learn to write something like that, then I can work out a way to incorporate that into my blog.

There is a lot to learn here and I think I will eventually get to a place where all these points will be incorporated into my regular reading life. When that day comes I am sure I will have a new goal, I’m just inpatient and I want to have a better understanding in literature than I do now. I feel this will come with practise and continually pushing myself to be better and I hope that my blog is a reflection in this progress.

ArmchairBEA 2012: Top Tips for Book Blogging

Posted June 8, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA, Top 5 / 0 Comments

While I’m supposed to be talking about the top tips for getting beyond the blog, I think for me my blog has been my top tip. It has led me to connect with some great people and organisations within the community that do book related events and I think I’ve started to create a name for myself with that. So I thought I would focus more on the blogging side of things. I don’t want to give my top 5 tips for book blogging because I think The Oaken Bookcase did a great job doing that in a post recently so I want to give you my top five essential tools needed to be a good book blogger.

5. eReader

I know paperback books are probably better but when you are a book blogger you will run out of bookcase space quickly so an eReader is a great way to carry books easily. Also as an added bonus, places like NetGalley and Edelweiss are a great way to request digital ARCs to read and review on your blog.

4. Notepad

or anything to write notes on while reading a book. When you are reading a lot of books I’ve found it helps to write down your thoughts of a book or a new blog idea before you forget them. There are too many times in my life where I’ve had an interesting idea half way through the night and lose it in the morning.

3. Google Reader

As a blogger you want to connect with other bloggers so instead of getting bombarded with emails or having to remember to check each blog why not just add them all into your Google reader and have a central location to look at and read all the blogs you want to follow.

2. Goodreads

I know there are other book social networks like Shelfari and LibraryThing but let’s face it; Goodreads is the biggest of them all. As a book blogger you want to be able to look at what is being read by others, what is trending and what people think of the books. I’ve found all the book bloggers I follow are on Goodreads as well and it makes it easier to see what books are trending so you can get onto that book before the public. Also there is a great Aussie book blogger community as well as the Literary Exploration book club on Goodreads to join.

1. Twitter

Out of all the social networks,  for a book blogger, Twitter is the essential one. You can create lists of authors, publishers, readers and book bloggers; this way you will always have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the world of literature. Make sure all your posts are going onto twitter as well. This is a place to network and while all the other social networks are good to have; you won’t get the same effect as you would on twitter. Keep an eye out for bookish chats on twitter as well, like #armchairBEA, and for the Australians and South Pacific, #spbkchat. Also follow me @knowledgelost

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots