The Reading Spree

Flipping pages and finding common denominators

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Salman’s Side of the Story

The author of The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie, will pen a book about his time in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued his 1989 fatwa, according to Yahoo! News.

(Yes, I’m three days late.)

Will definitely get it when it comes out.

Taking Matters into Your Own Hands: Self-Publishing

For writers, having one’s work be published is the ultimate reward. The thrill of letting the public read the product of conceptualization, research, composing original content and impeccable editing is incomparable, and it is what keeps all wordsmiths going. Writing hits two birds in one stone: it lets readers in on what needs to be said, and it gets a writer’s byline out there for everyone to see.

However, what is worthy of publication is relative. The downside of the writing/editing process concerns varying opinions: not everyone will think that your work is worth the ink and paper. You may hold your latest work in high regard, but your editors or advisors may think otherwise: they may ask you to make changes ranging from minor revisions to total revamps, consider other points of view, put in additional information and/or better cater to a specific audience. Revisions and rejections are necessary evils in the writing/publishing business; they weed out substandard work and make sure that the output is presentable and can stand on its own.

For those who don’t want to make any compromises whatsoever or ensure that they wield complete control over their work, there’s another way to have your stuff published: self-publishing. Blogging and desktop publishing are two of its most popular forms, but since The Reading Spree is all about books, we’ll stick to book publishing and print-on-demand services/vanity publishing.

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Traditional vs. Newfangled

I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, and there’s nothing like having a great book in your hands, turning each page to finish a story or narration. I remember fighting with my late mother several times when I was around 6 or 7 years old; I wanted to buy 4-5 books on a single trip to the bookstore, and she wanted me to pick out the one I like the most, and be satisfied with that choice. My school library card was well-worn, and I would marvel at various plots and characters’ interactions. I have had my fair share of teen novels, biographies, encyclopedias, history books, mysteries, thrillers, etc.; the only thing I’d swear off from were Danielle Steel novels (because that was my sister’s territory) and those cheesy Pinoy romance novels with the even cheesier caricatures posing as covers.

As a writer, I guess the habit comes naturally. And I don’t care if I get my books brand-spankin’ new or on the cheap; for me, there are some things that should be done old school.

While I’m stubbornly holding on to the traditional way of reading books, the world has adapted to the new-school way. E-book readers are now in vogue, and Amazon’s Kindle 2 has had a hand in it.

It does have its advantages over printed books in terms of space allowances and convenience, plus it’s friendlier on the environment as well, since it doesn’t use paper (I find the term “e-paper” funny, by the way). I don’t know if (using Philippine currency) the price of an e-book on a Kindle is higher or lower compared to the price of books in retail stores, and we’ll find out soon enough.

I’d definitely want to read consumer feedback on the new Kindle. Maybe I’ll let go of the old-school way eventually.

The 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards

I’m still deciding whether to go to this event or not. Yes, Neil Gaiman will obviously be there, but I’m not looking forward to the huge crowd. Plus, I don’t have the urge to have my Gaiman books signed to be considered a fan. I’d rather pay homage to his impressive body of work by continuing to read everything he churns out; I’m sure he has enough rabid fans already. 😉

That, and right now, I don’t have PhP 2,000 to spend in one go. LOL!

Poster/Info can be found here: Fully Booked Online.

Good luck to the finalists, and congratulations to past winners!

Speaking in Tongues: Invented Language.

Asking a bookworm why he/she loves to read would get one a whole plethora of answers, reading being one of the few true solitary activities available to human beings. If I were asked why I love to read, I’d say that it allows me to venture to different worlds and arenas, as well as widen my imagination and knowledge. If one does not read to learn and imagine, then it would be a complete waste of time, wouldn’t it?

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Death from Three Perspectives.

One of the goals I have for 2010 is to read all the books that I bought through the years (I refrain from the word “resolution” because, like “diet”, it just calls for an epic failure). For the first time in a decade or so, I finished reading three books in a single month, and I unconsciously chose death as the theme for January. It may be because of the recent and sudden deaths of two close friends, my longtime (mild) fascination with anything morbid, or that death falls into what I call the five “L”s of fiction: Life, Love, Lust, Lunacy and Loss.

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