So many books, not enough time! Seriously…I’ve done the math! Factoring in how many years I have left before reaching the end of the average lifespan of a female Canadian and the number of books I read each year, I can expect to read roughly 2,000 more books in my lifetime. In other words, every 20 books I read means I’m about one percent closer to “the end”.
Maybe it’s better to apply this logic: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. Applying this perspective, I have two thousand more lives to live!
Yet 2,000+ is a tiny fraction of the 130 million different books that have been published in modern history (estimated by Google), so how to choose? I keep an eye on bestseller lists, am inspired by author talks at Calgary’s Wordfest, look forward to the annual Canada Reads debates (hosted by CBC), take recommendations from friends, and check reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and 50 Book Pledge. Sometimes, my next read is selected for me – by the members of my book club or by Mr. GeoK (who, BTW, has a high success rate when it comes to choosing audio books for me to enjoy on my daily out and about adventures). How do you choose your next great read?
Enough words about my love of books…time for this month’s photos…
1. I Heart Books
A few things went into creating this abstract: a thick book laying open with the outer edges of two pages curved into the center fold to make the heart shape, a long-exposure zoom burst and extensive processing. It’s my Valentine card to books!
2. Fairy Tales…
Simon and Schuster commissioned all-new illustrations for this 1955 printing of a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It’s one of a handful of old books I have from the small collection of children’s books that my maternal grandparents kept on hand for when we visited. The binding is in pretty rough shape, so I opted for a composite of two photographs so that I could show both the cover art and the state of decay. Two images were combined using the layers functionality of ON1.
3. …and Fantasy
Our boys have always preferred science fiction and fantasy over pretty much any other genre. I read them all seven (increasingly lengthy) books in the Harry Potter series. Thanks to Scholastic book orders, they read Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle in middle school. And when the Lord of the Rings trilogy came to the big screen, our youngest put in the time to read the books. Our family’s LOTR’s fandom was a factor in selecting New Zealand as our 2014 family vacation destination. Our youngest selected a rune-engraved precious from the gift shop at Hobbiton, which he loaned me to create another photo that shows my love of books!
4. Calgary’s Central Public Library
Calgary’s new Central Public Library opened late in 2018. In addition to the award-winning architecture (it’s simply stunning), it’s already become a real community hub, with resident artists; Indigenous placemaking (through permanent art installations, First Nation’s language lessons, and an Elder’s Guidance Circle); an indoor playground; a cafe; numerous and varied meeting, studying and social spaces; a performance hall; and more. Best of all, Calgary Public Library cards are free! One of the reasons we opted to renovate (instead of move) in 2011 is because we are within easy walking distance of a community public library branch. 🙂
5. Instruction Books
When it comes to home appliances, vehicles and electronic gadgets, it’s common to ignore the enclosed instruction book and learn by doing. But when it comes to board games, reading the rules is essential. For the two most recent additions to our small library of board games, game play is so complex that the rules are open and referred as play progresses. This picture is from our first evening playing Gloomhaven, which is rated the overall number 1 game on BoardGameGeek. I am finding the learning curve to be pretty steep on this one; by the time we selected, named and equipped our characters, set up our first campaign and defeated the six monster guards in the first chamber, more than two hours elapsed! At that point we opted to suspend play and complete our first campaign on the weekend.
That’s it for photos. In closing, I offer a couple of borrowed thoughts…
“The book you don’t read won’t help.” –Jim Rohn
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” –Haruki Murakami
To learn how other participants feel about books, head over to a ‘lil Hoohaa’s post – link up at the bottom of the page.
While you’re there, please consider joining us! This photo blogging challenge is like a low-stress photo assignment. For each month’s theme, you’re asked to share five photos; the amount of accompanying text is up to you. The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa at the start of next month.