You’ve Got To Be Kindle-ing Me

Technology doesn’t really float my boat; it sinks my boat, down, deep, into the sublime depths of technological annoyance . Some specific burdens strongly aid in the sinking of my boat (they irk me). They are what I call fake books: Nooks, Kindles, and eReaders. Why are they the source of my annoyance? Do I not like convenient reading means? Here are my reasons:

1. Don’t be confused, I adore books and avidly jump into the plot of any story whenever I get the chance. This fondness enhances my dislike of these new “books”. For me, I like having an actual book in my hands, holding real pages bound together by beautiful–most of the time– covers, and being able to absorb the gallantry scented whiff released after turning the page. This, in my opinion–along with others, including some of my good friends–beats swiping a screen.

2. They cost money!! Why spend hundreds of unnecessary dollars on a machine to contain books–many of which you have to purchase–when you can simply go to the library? I know with my sister’s Kindle Fire, not only are there books on there, but games as well: a negative distraction if your true intention relates to reading.

3. You don’t have to charge a book. (I never have, and probably never will here someone say, “oh darn, my book needs charged.”) Many people use the argument of, “you can have as many books as you want on vacation or far away trips without having to lug heavy books around.” Though that point is true, let’s see how that argument stands when your on the beach or in London, your Kindle gets down to 1% battery level, and needs to be charged; books are at 100% all the time.

4. For one of the last, but definitely not the least: studies have proven that reading information through a screen actually rewires our brains, inhibiting the full capacity of information to be retained. We remember more of what we read, if we read through actual books because we have started acquainting ourselves with scrolling and fast paced Twitter or Tumblr skimming. This rewiring also impairs some people’s abilities to carefully read more difficult literature; our mind is so used to jumping around on electronic devices from reading, to Facebook, to Email, to Pinterest, that taking time to slowly digest literature–Shakespeare for example–requires a lot more effort. ”Our ability to focus is being undermined my bursts of information” (Richtel) Reading from a screen also takes more time, “the most common experimental finding is that silent reading from screen is significantly slower than reading from paper”. ( Kak,1981; Muter et al, 1982; Wright and Lickorish,1983; Gould and Grischkowsky, 1984; Smedshammar et al 1989)

I’m still baffled as to why anyone would prefer a Nook, Kindle, or eReader over an actual book. If my parents bought be one, that thing would go straight back to where it came from. Now that I’ve put mine out there, feel free to comment your opinions!

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References:

Dillon, A. (1992) Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature. Ergonomics, 35(10), 1297-1326. (www.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon/Journals/Reading.htm)

Richtel, Matt. Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature. The New York Times. June 7, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Once Upon a Prince (Book Review)

16164030“It’s amazing what we can see when we take the time to look.” (Hauck 87)

Once Upon a Prince is a new romance novel by Rachel Hauck; it puts most other love stories to shame by bearing a wonderful, gripping, and realistic (well, mostly) tale of love without any raunchyness found in many others. To begin, this love story starts with the ending of a relationship. It starts with Susanna Truitt being told by her boyfriend of twelve years–yes, you read right–that he had found someone else and they both were more in love with the idea of them, than the actual relationship. Unlike most other cliche stories where the story starts with a meeting of two people, this one has truth to it: the fact that relationships do end, quite often too. Susanna copes, looking to prayer to help her through this difficult time. Then she meets Nathaniel. No, they don’t fall for each other instantly. Nope. They become good friends, little does Susanna know he is a prince–of a kingdom in Europe–on his last vacation before becoming king. Well, she eventually finds out. Nathanial teaches through his words and actions what a true loving relationship should be about and emanates chivalry by saying heartfelt things like, “A girl in love has a right to believe her man would lay down his life for her.” (Hauck 97)

The story continues, and feelings eventually develop (as they should in a love story), the full truth of Nathaniel comes out, and he brings up an obstacle that would prevent a marriage between them: a marriage act set in place to prevent the prince/king from marrying a foreigner, not to mention the cruel, lying media is pushing the king to marry a specific lady of royal blood. But, I won’t spoil the ending.

But, seriously, this novel is an enjoyable breeze to read through. I read it in a couple days. Do not judge this book by the slightly questionable cover (is she even wearing clothes?) because it’s far better. It proves that love stories do not have to be invested with raunchiness to be good. For ages, I’d say 12 and up, but probably more enjoyable for 15 and up. Really though, pretty much anyone (mostly girls though) would enjoy this charming novel. I know summer’s almost over, but if in need for a summer chick-lit, I suggest this one.

Don Quixote: Define Insane (Book Review)

quixote-picasso-lg_1Disclaimer: *Spoilers

“for there is no book so bad, as not to have something that’s good in it” (Cervantes)

Yeah, I’ve been putting this review off and I also couldn’t think of any proper way to write this review without mentioning the ending; it could have been done, but it would have been boring because although this exiting classic has many, many, great lessons in it, the ending completely changed the way I though of it.

When reading a book I, along with many other readers, often have trouble not emphasizing with the main character, which is usually the author’s main intent. In this story–one of the world’s first modern novels– written by Miguel de Cervantes (originally in Spanish), the reader follows a “mad” or “crazy” Don Quixote (his made-up knight name) on his knight-errantic adventures: “Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.” (Cervantes) We “know” he lacks sanity by his unexplainable actions: claiming inns are castles, hiring a simple farmer (named Sancho) to be his squire, claiming various things are enchanted, etc. (though there is some debate to whether Quixote was faking his insaneness or truly believed in his endeavors). We feel sympathy for him because we consider him to be naïve: he doesn’t know any better. But at the same time I think to myself, what makes him any less sane than anyone else? If anything he should be more sane for not letting any obstacle get in his way of protecting valiance.

Along Quixote and Sancho’s humorous journeys, Quixote eventually bribes his loyal “squire” with government of an isle–one he doesn’t even own–which I believe Sancho deserves, but is never exactly given to him by Quixote. Instead, later on in the book, Don Quixote literally whips his sleeping, loyal servant for the purpose of freeing his “love”, Dulcinea, from an (imagined) enchantment; Quixote was tricked into thinking Merlin himself prescribed the antidote of lashings. Though, Dulcinea is actually just an average peasant. Personally, through the majority of the story I empathized with Quixote more than I did with Sancho because Quixote’s goal is to live his life with chivalry–a cause rarely seen these days–while Sancho acts as his silly follow along, that is, until the end of the book.
Having just lost a joust against another, Quixote solemnly renounces his knighthood as he had promised he would if he lost–on top of his pride being wounded. Then, going with Sancho back to his town, he falls ill. In his near death illness he claims his insanity has cleared and he now sees he was wrong. He has renounced all that he had been living for, looking down on the values he once held high. Meanwhile, Sancho still holds onto and tries to restore his master’s faith of his earlier beliefs.

Now, after going though 1000 pages of his adventures in pursuit of constant gallantry, I’m thinking WHHHAAAAT? How could you possibly think this? How could you possibly look down upon your ideals? Unless of course, he truly is insane. Maybe the author’s purpose is to indirectly ask us what we think about Quixote’s ideals. Whether or not Cervantes meant for that to be the meaning, I think the meaning is to ask ourselves this: do we want to aimlessly go along and conform to what society tells us is normal or “sane”, or do we want to strongly fight against that, and stand for our values, even if people think we are crazy?

“They (stories of knight-errantry) are already going down, and I do not doubt but they will drop and fall altogether in good earnest, never to rise again.” (Cervantes)

Final Thoughts: All together it was an amazing–but slightly tedious–novel. It’s one you shouldn’t read with a sleepy brain, though it’s definitely a read that will make you laugh loudly at times, and make you reflect upon yourself and your actions.

Follow Me (a poem)

1044231_3178855528390_823229546_nCome, follow me, walk by the sea

Throw your pride in the waves,

It can change the way you be–

How you behave.

Walk by me,

Like sounds in winter,

Calling through the leaves.

Like steps, mush in sand

Pace determines mind and

If silver radiant glowing water is secluding you

Walk.

Lead not, not required

Don’t hold, hold onto dread

Follow endless

Follow me.
Change the way you be.

Like Water for Chocolate–I Think I’ll Stick to Chocolate

200px-Like_Water_for_Chocolate_(Book_Cover)

The quite popular Mexican novel, Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel, can be viewed as bitter-sweet–much like it’s title. The author wonderfully illustrates the traditions, food, and customs of Mexico, mainly through the main conflict that the main character, Tita, is forbidden marry her lover (Pedro) because it’s tradition for the youngest daughter to stay and care for their mother. This tradition wouldn’t be a big deal to break except for their mother, who strongly enforces it (hmm, I wonder why?). Tita battles through her suffering in the kitchen where she conjures up delicacies which convey her bi-polar emotions. This part right here is sweet.
The bitter part, the part I’m not too found of, comes along when Tita’s older sister, Rosaura, marries Pedro. Keep in mind, Pedro apparently still holds true love for Tita. It doesn’t bother me too much except, if he still loved Tita THAT much than why marry her sister?? The answer: he says he wanted to be close to Tita. Well, okay, that’s fine: marry her sister and remain friends with Tita; but, no, Pedro doesn’t treat Rosaura very well at all, instead he just takes every opportunity he can to ogle and caress Tita while he is married. Yeah, yeah, it happens all the time in real life. People cheat all the time. But guess what ends up happening (which I think is completely unrealistic)? Tita’s mother AND Rosaura both end up dying–quite a lot of people die in this book, actually (some from food poisoning). Isn’t that a coincidence: the two forces keeping Tita away from Pedro die. There is though another obstacle, another man is in her life and he is kind and is, in my mind, a much better catch than Pedro (the one who cheated in his marriage). Needless to say, Tita chooses Pedro and they get married.
Granted, the story contains more elements to this, this is just the basic premise. I think it’s worth reading, but just don’t be too disappointed if it’s not the greatest book ever. Some people may enjoy it, but for me unrealistic novels such as this are just not my type.

Time and Its Passage

The last time complied well,
Right before the tower fell.
Traveling without a mount,
Carrying pains more than one can count.
What is it to leave?
To think indifferent and believe.
Dark invaded the space,
Bringing an insecure face.
What is rewinding time?
To fix the renowned crime.
Nostalgic and memorizing your past,
Perfection disappearing fast.
Who can define life?
Not one below the golden knife.
Are there any who think like me?
Few stay unseen to me.

–Erin Servey

Why Poe is Like Caviar

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Edgar Allen Poe’s writing is like caviar. Caviar is very rich and dark, but It is an acquired taste preference; people either love it, or hate it. It is the first time you try caviar. You, the eater, sit there not exactly sure what you think of it. You chew, more and more: unaware of what exactly you are consuming. Then the fancy waiter comes along, and after asking, you receive your answer only to realize you have been gnawing on black fish eggs. The thought of the poor underdeveloped fish you have unknowingly killed, disturbs you; goose bumps cover your arms, and your stomach becomes queasy, undoubtedly turning your face green. Yet you continue devouring the baby fish because they taste too delicious, in an unusual way: the saltiness adding to the flavor. Lastly, it makes you think about the way the world works regarding life, and cycles of life, as well as death, those that cause it, and their motives.