Well-read

What constitutes as well read to you?

For me, when I picture a well-read book I think of broken spines and the indescribable smell of paper.

A book that is well-read has the signs of being read and loved.

As a younger reader, I used to loathe the idea of breaking the spine on a book and the thought of bending pages on it would send a shiver up my spine, but there’s also something special about a book that has obvious signs of reading.

A book can tell a story, but it can also tell a story about the reader. It can show your reading habits, how much you’ve enjoyed the book and how much you’ve taken from a book. A book that sits on your shelf or next to your bed looking too read is just as amazing as a book that looks untouched.

I remember once going to a book convention in London, and I apologised to the author who was signing my book about how unkempt it looked. But they told me it showed them I had enjoyed.

There is always another side to the story, and what you take from it. I used to be so bad about preserving my books the way I’d bought them, but now I don’t mind so much when they end up a little worse for wear.

Do you have any unbreakable rules when it comes to looking after your books? I find a lot of people differ on their views on books than I do, and it leads to an interesting discussion!

A Book Cover

Many of us, like me, find a kind of solace in visiting the book shop. There’s something about the smell of a bookshop that greets you and welcomes you.

The first thing you notice about a book? For me, it’s usually the cover.

If the book cover is interesting, I find myself more drawn to the book.

Perhaps more of a coincidence than anything, but most of my book covers end up being blue. A blue book cover must really spring out to me.

I always admire the effort that goes in to making a book cover, there are so many out there! From shiny, to simple, to abstract art. A good book cover is imperative to get the readers to your book in the first instance.

Where do you place the title of the book? What kind of font is it?

These are all things that interest me.

There are suggestions that with the rise of ebooks and digital reading, the book cover has lost it’s meaning, or is of less value than it used to be. I would like to disagree, with the rise of social media and images being readily available, the book cover has now been granted more than one meaning. Walking into a bookshop and seeing a book cover is one meaning, using the book cover online to promote the book has another.

Browsing through your online stores is similar in principle to walking into a store. You scroll through the lists of books and pick out the ones with the most interesting covers and titles. You make your first instinct of the book based entirely on it’s outside attributes.

Essentially, judging a book by it’s cover. This is why the book cover is necessary, and the need for marketing a book will always secure the use of a book cover.

The book cover is your first impression, does it draw you in? Does the cover of the book give away a little of the story? Does it intrigue you enough to read the summary on the back and to skim a few pages in the book shop?

What do you think? I love a good book cover, especially when I’ve finished and I can tell people about it. A book cover will always make someone interested.

How Do You Read?

In this day and age, accessing a book is getting easier and easier. Accessibility in books is also getting better. We now have e-readers such as Kindle and Kobo, we have the paperback, the hardback, the audiobook.

The different mediums of reading is so interesting to me. For example, growing up, and with the introduction of e-readers, I hated them. I always thought the paperback book was better.

I still do, but I have also discovered how useful my Kindle is. Gone are the nights where I’d be forced the turn my light off early, bring on the nights of reading under the bed covers with my kindle.

The hardback book is also fun, you get the soft feel of the dust jacket. The smell of a new book. The enduring strength of a hardback book is not one to beat.

The paperback is a long enduring favourite. The covers, the ability a paperback has to pull another into a conversation. A book cover speaks volumes, and, for me, nothing beats the ache in your hand when you’ve been holding onto a book for too long!

Then there’s the audiobook. Ever wanted to lulled into a fantastical world with soothing voices? The audiobook is definitely one for you. Recently, I’ve found there’s been a boom almost in people listening to audiobooks, and it’s probably due to the increased availability of the audiobook. You no longer need to buy them on CD/Cassette, it’s available at the touch of a button.

With so many different ways of enjoying literature, which one do you prefer? There are so many now, and I find it harder and harder to choose!

Your Favourite Novel

It’s possible to believe that everyone has a favourite novel, or at least a novel they look back and think, ‘I adored that’. It doesn’t matter what kind of novel it is, it’s a novel that makes you happy.

Throughout my life, there’s always been one novel (Technically!) that stands out for me, and a novel that I’ve always thought back to with a smile because that novel has taken me through a lot of places.

That novel for me is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved that novel to the point of writing my undergrad dissertation on it. It opened up a new world of folklore, myths, legends, and things I would be studying further into my education. It inspired me to look at the folklore of my own country, and since then inspired my Masters dissertation (on the Welsh stories ‘The Mabinogion’).

What’s your favourite novel(s)?

Don’t forget to vote in our May book poll here!

[Read-a-long?] The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Hello,

Since our first book isn’t for another half a month yet, and whilst we wait for suggestions. I was wondering if anyone would like an impromptu read-a-long (if that’s what this could be called?)?

My next book is The Handmaid’s Tale, as this is a book I’ve been waiting to read for a while.

I’m currently on Chapter 9 if anyone would like to join in and share their thoughts with me on this novel!

If you would like to suggest our first book, you can find it here!