Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Reading Machine

I have been reading like a madman, lately. Ever since we found the Normal Public Library, I have been devouring books.

Just today I read and finished Robert Cormier's The Rag and Bone Shop. This one is a nifty little read about a kid being interrogated for the murder of a little girl. Will justice win out? Fast-paced and exciting read, especially since I like courtroom dramas so much. It's the interrogator versus the suspect, an innocent suspect at that. Great stuff. Now I have another fantastic Cormier book to recommend, on top of The Chocolate War and I Am the Cheese.

Then I read an utterly fantastic graphic novel called It's a Bird...
written by Steven T. Seagle and drawn by Teddy Kristiansen. What a realistic and emotional portrayal of a writer connecting with his subject. This is by far one of the best comic reads I ever had the pleasure of reading. It made me feel emotionally involved with the character. I found it genuinely real, especially with the literary background on how modern day people perceive their lives. Fantastic. I would write it up fully as a review over on Independent Propaganda, but it's DC and, hence, not independent by my definition, even though it is a Vertigo title.

By the way, I have pretty much taken over the editorial duties over on IP. I will be putting up press releases from independents and trying to get around to writing more reviews.

But after reading that Star Wars book about the rise of Darth Vader, I was psyched that I was reading so fast. I am not usually a fast reader at all. I don't know whether it was standardized tests as a kid, making me read all those selections carefully so I wouldn't have to re-read them multiple times for a picky little question, but that's my hunch right now. In school, we were always doing that SRA reading program, and testing over our comprehension abilities. I am so used to concentrating and reading in my head as if I were reading aloud to an audience. I tried, this time on the Darth Vader book, to just read. Let it get into my head, but move along at a good clip. I did not have to ingest the entire meanings behind every single little word. I got what was going on and moved on. And I think I could honestly answer almost any comprehension question about the book. Nothing picky, but all major plotlines and factors are fair game.

What book is next? I still have a few graphic novels from the library to read. They actually have single issue comics there too. We may make another trip to the library this week. It's a great family trip because the girls can get whatever they want and I don't have to worry about paying for it. We'd go today but Amy has the truck. She is working today! One of the staffing places has her trying out an office. She still has some interviews too, but this is money in the hand!

Then I have a debatable question for myself: is it still considered reading the book if you listen to it on audiobook? I found several sites on the net where I can download whole classic audiobooks, http://www.freeclassicaudiobooks.com/ is just one of them. Since I will have 40 minutes in the car each way to and from work, I will be able to go through these lickety-split. But is it still considered reading the book? Amy says no, it's not the same.

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