silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
I don't actually care about books.

No, no, don't run away!

BACKING UP TO EXPLAIN NOW. I've always defined myself, for lack of a more widely understood shorthand, as a a lover of books and reading. What I really mean is I don't care about the book's physical format. I do have preferences between books "bound in 1850 with spines falling off", "bound in 1960 and grungy with that ugly university bindery", "bound in 2007 never opened as a paperback" and "bound as a hardcover in 2007 and opened" and "ebook as a .pdf" and "ebook as .epub" and "printed out with 1" margins on white paper".

But what I mean is I evaluate all these on the axis of how easy they are to read.

I have terrible eyes, so reading on a computer is kind of not all that great, and makes me feel like my eyes are radioactive after too much; reading destroys my sense of time passing and so I can read for two, three, four hours at a stretch. (It doesn't stop me from consuming fic and borrowing epubs though.) I like books bound hundreds of years ago, but purely as a historian and for general wonder - look, here is a book that has passed through hundreds of years into my hands! I wonder where it's been, and who's read it, and how it has come to be here. But I don't care so much for them as a reader, because if I try to open them on my pillow (I like to read under the covers), it's sure to get grit all over the place, so I have to actually sit at my desk to do it. Hrmph! And paperbacks - you have to either break spines, or else open them a crack and cant your head one way and then the other to read them. Hardcovers are heavy to carry. The bindings on the 30-year-old books, and their dusty and dirtiness are not to be mentioned; those I have to read at my desk too.

Think of me as a vampire. The Bookish Vampire. (I am sure that will sell.) I re-read a lot, but I also have very good memory, so I need only read the book once to create a version in my head. Like I've sucked the lifeblood of the book - the ideas, the world built in there, the characters, the themes and atmosphere - and kept it inside me. The physical shell I don't care about. I like to reread, to refresh the world over, and - if the writing is enjoyable in itself - to wade through the words again. But the most important part has already been imported. Next time I have to wait for the bus, I can think of this particular book's core, or cackle, or replay events.

This is what I'd like to tell the friends I have who don't like books, and are badly puzzled by me liking books. (Also the random guy participating in the lab who was intent on psychoanalyzing me on why I didn't like movies and preferred books: seriously, lay off.) And the people who assume that since I like books, I should want to spend time in the library, or am suited to working in a library*. I like words a lot, but ultimately it's the soul of the book. I like libraries all right, but the library isn't magic in itself; it's what it houses and what it stands for that's magical. If the Library of Alexandria were still standing I would go visit - but as a historian, not as a reader; a book that came from that fabled library and from my home branch, four streets over, makes no difference to me whatsoever as a reader. All I need is the words and the things contained therein.

This is why I don't have shelves and shelves of books. In addition to having no space, little disposable income, and the necessity of moving - I just don't see the point. I can borrow from the library, and it's the exact same book. Other than to re-read, why should I keep copies of books? They're already inside me, and a book is nothing but ink and paper and paste, a physical burden that I can carry in another way.

*OK, so I do work in two separate library systems, but those don't count! It has nothing to do with my reading.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
Is there any consensus from AO3 over whether or not meta is allowed on the archive? I thought they'd retracted their previous statement, but I searched the FAQs, the ToS, and the ToS FAQs and still haven't found out.

(I am reminded of the profile page of dw_docs, which references the documentation monstrosity of Arthur Dent's universe:

ETA: OK, it's not that bad. But I mean, your ToS defines acceptable work as fanwork. So much that some original fic is allowed! If you took down meta, then why isn't there a clear saying in the ToS regarding that exception?
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
dear flist, I would like your opinion on this book.

I started reading and then about forty pages I finally reached my limit of LOLNO and put it down. And now I wonder if maybe this is overreaction - maybe this is just fantasy convention I have missed? (I have read tons of children's and young adult fantasy but very little adult fantasy).

From Ian Irvine's A Shadow on the Glass. With the most relevant examples.

Prepare for book. )

What do you think? I am really not inclined to read sounds like it will be a lot more of this. Some parts are good, and then there are patches of oddly modern speech ("he felt let down" in one memorable bit) and - well!

Is this just convention? Am I missing something?


Feb. 18th, 2012 01:24 am
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (_support)
Current definition of euphoria: After an 8-day struggle with Overdrive and Adobe Digital Editions' "Error getting license Server communication problem: E_ADEPT_IO" and the library site (you lie, command prompt, there is no way the ping is 14ms it takes a whole minute to load a stupid page) seeing the words "Downloading document" AND THE STORIES OPEN!

I am starving for books, and I just finished one the day before. I NEED BOOKS. I am going to go devour the three I checked out. o/

(On a side note, the book lately finished is Indigo Springs and is, surprisingly, fantastic! Will get round to a post of capslock tomorrow.)
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
Oddly formatted requests sound like poetry
especially the garbled ones
composed in a cranky email editor
fed through an internet translator and back
the meaning struggling through the words--

It's been snowing gloriously for the last few days. I think there was freezing-rain on Thursday, so everything - tree branches, grass blades poking through the snow, the fence - acquired the most exquisite spikes of ice. Then it snowed, and is snowing, and the street looks picturesque. The wind has made one side of the trees white and green, and blown the snow off the other side :P

*political noises* Non-confidence vote re national budget is forcing an election. Maybe this time we can get a majority government; it's been three minority governments in a row and it would be nice to get things done quicker. *crosses fingers*

I've been listening to the soundtrack from Tangled and I am in love with Donna Murphy's voice. Warning: it is by an emotionally manipulative mother trying to control Rapunzel - but so dramatic, powerful and perfect for the scene.

By sheer force of repetition (a lot of requests are filed from Russian-speakers), I recognize "Thank you" by sight - Спасибо. вопросы - problem. Attempts to learn the alphabet have been vaguely in the not-success-and-not-failure range - I never realized quite how much easier it was to learn something like French, for example; the (almost) shared alphabet is an enormous help.

And note to anyone on LiveJournal using attempting to use Internet Explorer 9 and the Rich Text Editor - it's currently quite broken (anything requiring the grey pop-up window - poll creator, adding links, etc), it's been reported to developers, and in the meantime try the HTML editor.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
My to-read pile (the physical one, not the mental one that stretches faaaar into the horizon) is becoming absurd. In addition to the rest of W&P, there is an intriguing book about van Rijn (knows ~nothing about art history), several nonfiction about Cicero and fall of Republic, a YA fantasy The Exiled Queen, and I still have yet to finish Atlas Shrugged. Which I started months ago. Added to this pile of books is the second and third discs of the second season of In Plain Sight, practices for everything (at the moment, the only night/afternoon I have free is Sunday) and February is busy. On top of that I do not feel very productive. Edited a FAQ today, did other minor things, but still. I feel as though I should be much more focused than I am.

Did you know LJ has a to-do list feature? Unfortunately, if you are a Plus user, you can't set security (everything is public). Still, that's nifty; I don't think it's well documented, which may be why there seems to be little awareness that such a thing exists.

I am accumulating so much knowledge (read: trivia) from answering Support requests. I am quite fine with my one userpic on LiveJournal and have no desire to add others, but I am now more or less an expert on how à la carte userpics work; I had no idea syndicated feeds existed for LJ/DW and, uh, now I know how do look for date out of order entries with them; did you know that you can forward your domain to LJ? or banning makes it impossible for the banned to comment, but not unfriend them?...some days I feel like the interior of my brain is a library of semi-organized trivia.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
Dive season started yesterday! I arrived early (very early; bus schedules are less flexible in the evening) and was stunned by how many people we had this year. The first year, there was perhaps six, seven, eight people who would show up consistently; this year, there must have been that many new divers, and the five of us veterans also.

I have not lost my fear for heights. The three metre was...nervewracking, and as I went to the top of the ladder I kept feeling as though I was going to simply tip backwards and fall, smack my head against the floor tiles, etc. But really, the first time I went off (I think I used the three-metre about twice last season) I was terrified of the long fall. Accustomed to the shorter one-metre, where you land almost immediately, I was freaked out by the time period where you just fall, and fall, and keep falling.

Obviously I have not been getting enough exercise, because I feel sore everywhere. My hair smells of swimming pool. I am sure I will acquire bruises by the end of the season, but I am so excited. Training's started! It feels like forever since the last season.
silverflight8: a blinking Word cursor and text: it mocks me (writing)
Currently quite frustrated with myself, because I have got ideas and ideas for stories (I feel like the quintessential kid in the candy store; also, the idea of having bilingual stories is really, really appealing) but I'm not writing. Which is no-one's fault but mine, but aggravating.

It's snowing gorgeously outside. I mean the lightest snow, that covers up everything and makes the world sparkle under the streetlamps. The kind of snow where you can see every individual snowflake.

(I always get poetic about weather. I do not know why.)

I've discovered, by accident and then by Google searching, about the wonderful, wonderful shortcuts for Microsoft 2007's equation editor. It's amazing how much faster I can input equations now that I don't have to hunt and click around for formatting options and operators and Greek letters; typing is so much quicker. Microsoft, your documentation for this is terrible. The help files were no use at all.

Lastly: I will do my utmost to avoid a job that requires customer service.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
- context - I am re-reading War and Peace. The first time I read it, I had no idea about naming conventions in Russian. I spent the whole book confused about who was who. In the meantime, one of my friends explained most of the conventions to me, and I'm still having trouble keeping them all straight.


Mr. Tolstoy, I'm really sorry, but I can't keep up with all the names. For one, you have many many many variants of names (Anna, Anna Pavlovna, Annette, her title, Scherer, or x's wife) . I get that characters X and Y have a different relationship than X and Z, which necessitates all these variants. But you have a novel (huge enormous thing that can be used to fend off an attacking octopus if I ever had the misfortune to meet one) that really does deserve the title of "epic" and the cast of characters reflects this. Plus you introduce them in huge lumps.


I propose a new system for writing character names! How about, after every name that's in a book, we have a little number after it? That way, readers (i.e. me [*wail* surely there must be others!]) can actually keep track of names. Like, since you mention Anna first, she could have a 1 after her name. In thinking about this, I think it would be awesome if there were an option to hide the number (like an electronic screen or just different editions *dreamily*). Imagine the possibilities! You could even twist their names 'round and still not confuse readers.

Impossible, but one can dream.

silverflight8: Canadian flag waved by stuffed dog (Poog)
Re: A note on your activities
Priority: Urgent

I know I haven't talked to you all in a long time. (That is, a year). However, it has come to my attention that you're all wandering around again. Everywhere. I mean, I walk into the bathroom, and one of your union members is squatting in my sink. The sink I use everyday. In the spring, all the little babies were tolerable, but now it's becoming ridiculous. You could pass for a big beetle. I'm getting tired to inspecting EVERY DARK SPOT on the carpet to see whether you've decided to amble along my floor.

So I think I'm issuing a decree. I am totally fine with all of you living outside. But the minute your legs set foot in my house, you're all facing immediate death, and then a toilet flush.

With all due respect,

This communication is private and is intended for the recipients to which the email is addressed only.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
Hi! Welcome to my journal! I like books and words and languages and all sorts of things. If you like books, we'll probably get along splendidly. This journal is a mix of fannish and bookish and real-life stuff, but in general I keep this journal lighthearted, as a place to have fun--this is where I relax, chat with people, and do silly things. My favourite genres of books are historical fiction, fantasy, alternate history, historical fantasy, science fiction... Come in, pull up a chair!

Let me be terribly earnest for a moment: I like Aquinas' quote "Seldom affirm, never deny, always distinguish." I believe truth is complex, that slogans rarely express the complexities that underlie them, and that when possible I should try to understand why before attacking. There are terrible people, terrible beliefs, terrible things, but merely shouting about "wrongness" has rarely worked. (I am atheist, but I remain fascinated by medieval Europe, the role Christianity had in shaping that society and ours today, and I enjoy Aquinas' logic and writing.)

My reviews/critiques tend to be whatever catches my fancy, but I am not interested in defending what I like on anyone's merits. I also consider this place a space for me, the reader: reviews I write represent only my point of view, are for other readers, and are not intended to be personal attacks.

LiveJournal is my home--my LJ is the same name. Everything on DW is on LJ, but not the other way around.

If you need to contact me, my address will reach me.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
Dear blog,

Today at work a lady came in (she was new to the community so I was supposed to talk to her about it? Give tour?) I turned on the overhead light--it was about seven-thirty and rather cloudy--and the lightbulb above her head. Just. Exploded.

 I'm still bursting into little giggle fits as I think of this. I honestly didn't know that light bulbs exploded. I mean, I turned on the light, waved my hands to turn on the sensor thing, and then there was a sound and all of a sudden there's glass all over the place. I really thought that only happened in special effects. I woul've thought this was a dream (a very bizarre dream), 'cept I can look up into the light socket and see the jagged edges of glass.

Anyway, I cleaned up the mess (thank God for the vacuum), but not before the lady had to go into the washroom (conveniently about three steps away) to remove all the shattered glass from inside her shirt. I showed her around the lounge and pool and things, but I'm quite sure she now has slight qualms about this facility. I mean, not a very auspicious start...

Also: exploding lightbulbs make BAM sounds. :D
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
Dear blog,

I am so very sorry. I really didn't mean to forget to post yesterday; really, I didn't. Please accept this humble human's apologies.

With all due respect and affection,

When I kept a physical journal--forced to, actually, by my parents for the longest time--I had to write everyday, with the exceptions of holidays or my birthday. Occasionally, though, I'd forget,go  on a trip to somewhere out of country or something or other and not write; the next entry, I emulated those "Dear Diary" novels and wrote an apology to my journal. Sorry!

*On a totally unrelated note: upcoming post about why The Heir is making me justifiably angry.


silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)

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