On the Subject of Reading with Music

It has been my observation that people fall into two camps when it comes to reading with music: those who do and those who don’t. I admit that I fall into the former group, and I thought it might be an interesting subject to cover. The reasons for not listening to music while reading seem pretty obvious; distraction that leads to lessened comprehension and attention to what is happening in the story is most likely the biggest drawback, but what about the positive experience of listening to music for those who choose to do so?

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I wonder if anyone there is reading; hopefully not since that’s rude to do at a performance.

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On the Subject of Revisiting Books

There are those who believe that a book should be read once and then passed on to its next reader; I am not one of them. Granted, many of the books I read end up becoming favorites of mine (19 of the books reviewed on my blog have been re-reads), but most end up being sold to a used bookstore (see On the Subject of Giving, Keeping, Selling, and Buying Books). I understand why people believe that once a book is read, all of its secrets and beneficial qualities have been leeched out through the act and that it has nothing left to give; I don’t agree with it, but I understand. So, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the reasons for re-reading a book.

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As an aside, I feel like I would hit my head on one of those light bulbs.

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On the Subject of Giving, Keeping, Selling, and Buying Books

One of my favorite aspects of being a reader is finding a book that I feel needs to be shared; whether with someone specific or just in general, giving the gift of a story is one of the best gestures that someone can extend. That being said, the question of how to bestow said book upon another person can have different answers. Some people give books as gifts, lend them to friends, decide to keep them on their shelves, or sell them to bookstores. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look into how I approach these actions and some of the reasoning behind it.

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This is technically still one rule…

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On the Subject of the Discworld Series and Terry Pratchett

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time have probably noticed a pattern of Discworld novels popping up every few reviews, and there is a reason for this. Terry Pratchett has become one of my favorite authors even though I hadn’t even heard of him until four years ago. Perhaps this puts my minimal knowledge of the greater realm of fantasy novels in perspective, but for the others who are ignorant of his existence, Terry Pratchett wrote the Discworld series which totals 41 books and takes place on the Discworld. Though I didn’t realize (or realise) the magic of his prose until relatively recently, his work has come to influence me heavily and I felt compelled to write a piece about how his impact.

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The man himself.

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On the Subject of Net Neutrality

I want to take a moment to interrupt the usual flow and pattern of my blogs and raise awareness of an issue that is relevant to everyone reading this. We all take the open and fair Internet for granted, but the time to defend this service is now at hand. Our freedom as Internet users is at risk because of the agenda of the new FCC Chairman who wants to put more power and money in the hands of big cable companies at the expense of consumers.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach their audiences.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

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But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall in order to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools to make it easy for your friends, family, and followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that we can stop censorship and corruption when the Internet comes together. Now, we have to do it again.

Internet services have basically become a public utility in the 21st century and big cable companies should not be allowed to skew the quality their services in favor of sites that can afford to pay them more. I will stand up on July 12th; I hope you will too.

You can learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12

We will return to the regularly scheduled blogs next Wednesday with a review of one of my favorite books: Good Omens; The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Thank you for indulging this digression; I wouldn’t have posted this if it weren’t something I care about and feel must be shared.

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On the Subject of Attribution and Citing Sources

I wrote a post about plagiarism last year that didn’t do very well since the editorial was prompted by politics which, in retrospect, wasn’t the greatest idea in such a turbulent election year; I still want to expand upon the idea and make an argument regarding why citing sources is a necessary part of creating or sharing content on the internet, so here we are.

If you were to put a significant amount of time into something, wouldn’t you be upset if someone took your work and shared it without your consent or went a step further and paraded it as their own? It is easy to share a meme or image online without checking the source and unintentionally spread ignorance by not doing our due diligence as responsible adults; maybe a quote from a celebrity will make this point hit home:

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This is my favorite line from the Gettysburg Address.

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On the Subject of Choosing to Read

In today’s fast-paced world (because apparently that’s a phrase that can still be used despite being what I assume to be decades old), it is difficult to hold someone’s attention for more than a matter of seconds. I wasn’t even sure there was an audience for my writing on here because I tend to stay away from short content; thankfully, I was wrong.

If I am going to write something and put time in revising and editing, I want there to be something substantial to show for it. However, there are countless blogs and websites that have more followers and clicks because they stick with short posts that fit into people’s limited attention spans. If reading long articles online barely keeps someone preoccupied, how can reading books for fun even compete in this age of micro-attention?

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I think this is supposed to be profound or something. I dunno.

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