by syaffolee

Memes (And Memes Past)

Booking Through Thursday: Definition

What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is? Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?

It depends on the context. The word “reader” doesn’t have to have just one definition. A small kid can be declared a reader if he/she has learned to decipher words, no matter what the material the words are printed on. When someone calls themselves a reader (or when I say I’m a reader), the reference is usually about books. But I have no problem with the constructions of “reader of newspapers”, “reader of comic books”, “reader of weblogs”, or even “reader of grocery receipts”. There’s also the phrase “my readers” used by authors of various written media–and that’s okay too, if you understand on the outset what they’re talking about.

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Booking Through Thursday: Flavor

Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books…what is it about them that makes you love them above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?

It’s a mixture of story, character, and authorial style. I like stuff with plot, with characters who are sympathetic or at least understandable, with flowing language. I can forgive lack of plot and obnoxious characters, but style is essential. Bad writing will make me put down the book unless I’m feeling stubborn or I have some outside reason to finish it.

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The Thursday Threesome: Guts and Determination

Onesome: “Guts”– sometimes can determine the outcome: whoever digs in and plays through the injuries and circumstances. What is your favorite memory of someone or a team driving past adversity to win the big one?

I don’t follow sports, so I don’t know of any sports teams or sports players overcoming adversity. In my life, I don’t have a memory of ever witnessing anyone really overcoming adversity either. Well, maybe if you count handicapped people, or homeless people, or ill people in a hospital. And in those cases winning the big one meant living and not getting the highest number on the scoreboard.

Twosome: …and– what brought that question on? The local team won the College World Series last night, winning every elimination game possible to advance as the lowest seed ever to win a National Title. No question, just kudos to them. Okay, easy question: did you hear anything about the games where you are?

As stated above, I know nothing of sports. If someone else is talking about sports, I don’t bother to eavesdrop. If they’re talking about sports to me, I will most likely tune out. So, no, I haven’t heard about any games. And even if I had, it went one ear and out the other, without a pause in between. (This doesn’t mean that I won’t read a book about sports, but that’s probably a little too meta for this question.)

Threesome: Determination– helps in life: what have you accomplished through sheer determination that will remain with you as a bright spot in your life?

I’m still on the determination part. Focusing on the accomplishment is sheer folly and hubris–possibly a way to madness. Sometimes, the fear and humiliation of failure is a larger motivator. Mostly, I waver between running from something and running after something. I pay little attention to the signposts that I pass.

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The Thursday Threesome: Stating the Obvious

Onesome: Stating– things clearly? In your job/vocation/school do you like to have everything spelled out in detail? …or are you one of those people who does better with broad guidelines and a free rein?

Detail is good–for following experimental protocols, for explaining things to other people, for writing science-related stuff. But for things in general, I like broad guidelines (if there are any guidelines at all). I hate micromanaging. I intensely dislike having someone tell me every little thing I need to do. If someone was breathing down my neck and watching every move I make like a hawk, not only will I feel squicked by the fact that someone is invading my personal space, but I will also get the impression that others think I’m an incompetent. Besides, how can one be creative with too many restraints?

I’m aware, of course, that there are some people who need rules–giving them free rein is like dropping them in the middle of the ocean without a flotation device. This is neither bad nor good. But rules work for people with certain temperaments. I’m just not one of those people.

Twosome: the– food I miss the most is? (loaded question, but hey…)

Dim sum and Vietnamese cuisine. I’m in freakin’ Idaho. It’s so whitebread and conservative, not even the Mexican restaurants are all that good.

Threesome: Obvious– to some, but not to others: what is something that seems obvious to you but others seem to miss? …or how about something you just don’t ‘get’?

I don’t get rap. I don’t get some popular books. I don’t get olives. (But I do get olive oil.) I don’t get iPods. I don’t get flip-flops. I don’t get TV. I don’t get big hair. In short, I mostly don’t get fads.