The Measurement of Books

The Measurement of Books

James Bryce once said, “The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”

I like this quote. It’s not about the quantity of words but the quality that matters. I think that you can learn from almost any book you read, but some are just better than others. Books are meant to educate, entertain and stretch your imagination to its limits. That’s why we have a “brain fuel” day once a week in our English class. The purpose of this is to read books that make us think. While I often prefer the more entertaining books, this day reminds me that I should also read more educational books too.

Hoot

Hoot

Everyone is capable of making a difference in the world. You don’t even have to be an adult. In Hoot, Carl Hiaasen demonstrates that even children have the ability to make a difference.

Hoot is the story of a 12-year old boy named Roy who moves to Florida. Roy, a mysterious boy known as Mullet Fingers, and a tough girl named Beatrice quickly become involved in trying to save the burrow owl’s home from being destroyed by a corrupt company. The company wants to build a pancake restaurant on the grounds where the owls, who are an endangered species, live. It is up to the three friends to save these small, defenseless owls, and they are up to the challenge.

Hoot is a great book. In 2003, it won a Newberry Honor Award. It is a wonderful tale of friendship, sacrifice and standing up for what you believe in. Even though it is meant for middle school readers, I would recommend this book to everyone.

E-Books vs. Real Books

E-Books vs. Real Books

The other day, my English teacher showed our class a few really cool innovations. Among these innovations was a digital library in a subway station in Bucharest, Romania. Basically, the pictures of books up on the station’s walls have codes so you can download the book onto your iPhone. People then take the book on their iPhone and read it on the subway. I think this is an awesome idea. People have something to do while they wait for the subway to come and take them to their destination.

But it also makes me worried.

What if all libraries become digital? It seems more practical. Less ink, less paper, and more trees saved. No more lugging heavy books around. Many schools are already replacing textbooks with iPads. I am starting to see more and more people with e-books. I have noticed library hours becoming fewer and fewer and their crowds smaller over the years. Like it or not, the world is changing and leaving good, old-fashioned paper books behind.

Many people welcome this change. Others just don’t care. But if you’re like me, then you are praying real books will stay around until after you die. I know many people that would rather have their school textbooks on an iPad than drag their heavy weight from class to class all day. Personally, I don’t mind carrying the extra ten pounds. I like the feeling of holding a real book in my hand, where the words can’t move or become larger or smaller. I like flipping through the dry pages. To me, it feels wrong to slide my finger across a small, polished surface to turn the page. This technology that lets me hold a thousand page book in the palm of my hand feels cold to the touch and impersonal. If I dislike the book or if it had a terrible ending, I can’t even throw the book in frustration, otherwise my expensive device will shatter. If something happens to my device or my battery dies, then I would not even be able to read it.Holding a real book is different. A good, broken in book that has been read millions of times feels well-loved and homey. I can curl up the couch with it and I can forget my worries and relax. It feels good, like talking to an old friend.  Real books are much more reliable than e-books. You can hold them, touch them, and feel their weight. In my opinion, nothing beats having real books.

Harry Potter vs. Mom

Harry Potter vs. Mom

Hey guys. Most of you have probably read the Harry Potter series. For those of you who haven’t, you should. They are amazing books. Even if you don’t like reading, I believe you will enjoy Harry Potter. Here’s why.

One of my earliest memories is of me, my mom, and my sister at our elementary school book fair. I remember seeing many huge tables piled high with books. Perhaps it just looked that way because I was so small. One table in particular seemed to stand out. It was obviously the most popular. Children crowded around the table, clutching the books and their merchandise excitedly to their chests, looking up hopefully at their parents with pleading eyes. I certainly did not understand how they could get so excited over such huge, thick books; especially when they could read fun, colorful books like Curious George or Green Eggs and Ham instead. Nevertheless, I was curious. I asked my mom what all those books were called that everyone seemed so excited about. “Harry Potter,” she told me with a look of disgust on her face. She also told me that I could never, ever read them because they were evil books full of dark magic and sorcery. I did what all five-year old do: nod and agree. From then on, Harry Potter became the “forbidden book”.

Years went by, and rebellious thoughts about reading Harry Potter hadn’t crossed my mind. Until sixth grade. By this time, I absolutely loved reading. I found books about magic and supernatural worlds especially fascinating. I knew some of my friends loved the Harry Potter series. One of my friends was a particularly huge fan. She had posters, merchandise, and the books, which she had read many times. When the last movie came out, she waited hours in line for the midnight showing. At a school show when we had to chose to be a character from a book, she immediately decided to become Hermione.

By eighth grade, I was dying of curiosity. One week, I ran out of books to read. I was bored. The temptation was too great. I borrowed the series from my friends next door and I finished all seven books within the week. I instantly fell in love with the series.

In ninth grade, the subject came up and I told my mom that I had read the books and that I loved them. To my surprise, instead of getting angry and giving me a stern lecture about how evil Harry Potter is, she merely shook her head, laughed a little, and sounding exasperated, she sighed, “Oh, Adrianna…” I could tell she was disappointed in me, but she seemed too tired to reproach me about my reading choices. I was relieved.

After that, I passionately defended the Harry Potter books whenever the subject came up and my mom spoke badly of it. One day, at the beginning of my sophomore year, I went to the library with my mom to help her pick out some books for my younger brother. She disapproved when she saw that one of the books was called Magyk. She told me that she certainly did not want my brother Daniel’s mind to become infected with books about evil magic and sorcery. I asked her, “What’s so bad about magic?” She replied, “Magic is raising demons and using dark evil magic…” I almost laughed. Clearly, we had very different opinions on the definition of “magic”. My definition is more like Cinderella’s fairy godmother and Tinker Bell. I grew up watching Disney. I was offended that she had such a low opinion of a book she had never read. So I insisted she read it. For the next week, I persisted in asking her. Every time she refused. Since I am very stubborn, I checked the book out of the library and began to read it to her during her small pockets of free time: while she was doing laundry, while she was eating, etc. At first she did not share her thoughts on the book. One day while I was doing homework, she randomly turned to me and told me she actually liked the story. I smiled, feeling triumphant, and tried to resist the urge to say “I told you so.”

So there has been an interesting development in this story recently. I finished reading the first three books to my mom, but then I got too busy with school. Over winter break, I noticed that she was more tired and more irritable than usual. About a week after break, I realized I still had four book left to read so I asked my mom if she wanted to finish. She turned to me with a look of guilt on her face and told me that she had a confession to make: she had secretly finished the series over break. I laughed so hard; this is like a repeat of eighth grade but in reverse.

That’s why I love Harry Potter. It’s written at a lower reading level, but it is a great story for people of all ages. If your nine or ninety-nine, you can read it. If my magic-hating mother likes Harry Potter so much that she will stay up late secretly reading them behind her daughter’s back, then I am sure you will too.

Books

Hi, my name is Adrianna. Welcome to my blog! As you can see from the picture above, I will be writing about books. Why, do you ask? Well because I freaking love reading. It’s the best way to escape from the stress or boredom of the day. Sometimes it’s fun to read about fictional character’s problems because they are often worse than yours and you realize that you actually have it pretty easy compared to them. Ok, well in a lot of books I read, not all. But it IS more exciting when a character’s life hangs in the balance or something like that. Or sometimes it’s also fun to read about a character who’s a rich, talented celebrity and imagine you were like them. I like many different genres. Just give me a book and I’ll read it.

reading challengeI especially love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome books. Anyway, I laughed so hard when I saw this picture, so I had to post it. This is basically me every year when a new Rick Riordan book comes out, or any new book for that matter.

book ruining lifeI also thought this picture is pretty awesome. If you’re a book lover like me, then you will totally get it.

nerd girl problem when you have to wait a year

Hahaha yeah this is a MAJOR problem! Well, I hope you like my blog. Peace out fellow book lovers!