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catch up on the #shortread discussion for #rwpchat

February 26, 2015

If you missed the #shortread discussion on Tuesday, you can read about it on Storify.

Next month we discuss #poetryread.

Join us today for the #shortread discussion for #rwpchat

February 24, 2015

 

Short , S.29, Stirling

Short airplane

There will be a #shortread twitter discussion today 24 February starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.  Use the tags #shortread and #rwpchat as you discuss #shortread reading, watching playing so others can join in the conversation.

We have social media sites where people can talk about themselves and their interests and microblogging sites for the same but shorter – which beings up the subject of Twitter: While thinking about ‘short’, tweet your short thoughts using #shortread #rwpchat; add to the discussion on Pinterest too; post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr using #shortread #rwpchat.

 

 

Harry Potter Book Night

February 5, 2015

HPBN-logo

For many of us, every night is book night, and many, many book nights have involved Harry Potter. Now, for the first time, there is an official Harry Potter Book Night…… and it is tonight, the 5th of February! Tonight, Harry Potter fans from around the world can share their love, and introduce a new generation of readers to the magic of the Potterverse.

You can register at Bloomsbury for an event kit, you can devise your own magical celebrations, or you can simply settle in with your favourite Harry Potter book. If you do join in, share your celebrations using the hashtag #HarryPotterBookNight. The first three books definitely qualify as #shortread contenders, and there are short people in all the books, so pick your favourite and you’ll fit in with the Read Watch Play theme for February.

Don’t forget to join in the #shortread Twitter conversation on the 24th of February, using the hashtag #rwpchat.

There’s always time for another short read, here’s a quote from Harry Potter: “It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.” –Albus Dumbledore [Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets].

February is #shortread month for #rwpchat

February 1, 2015

Short /ʃɔːt/ (Adjective)

 

  • measuring a small distance from end to end.
  • lasting or taking a small amount of time.

 

But what is a ‘small distance’ or a ‘small amount of time’?

In The one thousand and one nights Scheherazade prolongs her life by telling short stories – ‘shortreads’ that lead to a longer life.  The New Zealand author Brigid Lowry has a short story called Curriculum Vitae about how we have many short lives within our long life, or maybe it’s literally about the many short lives we live: “Once I was waitress at the Golden Dragon.  Before that I worked in a bookshop selling car manuals to men with greasy hands.  Before that I was a …”.  The shortest short story is usually attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”.  Many novels are collections of intertwined short stories: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan; Let the great world spin by Colum McCann.

Is Zadie Smith’s Embassy of Cambodia (69 pages) a short story or a short novel?  The Guardian thinks it’s ‘a novel in miniature, divided into 21 tiny “chapters”’.  And what about Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain (58 pages)?  It started life as a short story but did it evolve into a short novel or an individually published short story?

It is all relative – compared to most lives, the time taken to read The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (828 pages) is short.  The same would be true for Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu – consisting of seven volumes totaling around 4,300 pages, and featuring more than 2,000 characters – but has anyone ever finished it?

Flash fiction is short.  Some ‘long’ novels are shortened into quick reads for those learning, English: The Godfather by Mario Puzo, originally 676 pages, becomes 53 pages (including photographs from the movie).  Some Graphic Novels are shorter versions of longer works – Robert Fitzgerald’s verse translation of Homer’s The Odyssey is 416 pages, Seymour Chwast’s wonderfully illustrated graphic novel The Odyssey is 123 pages – chiefly illustrated.

Some long books have short characters: Tyrion Lannister from George R.R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice books; Sophia from Stella Duffy’s Theodora books. Some full length movies are about short people: The Station Agent’s Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) , and there are short people in TV programmes: Bethany Horowitz in Boston Legal (Meredith Eaton).  Folk tales are full of short characters: Tom Thumb, Momotaro the Peachboy , the dwarves from Snow White

It is fortunate that some characters are short: In Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy two warring species from a distant galaxy, the G’Gugvuntt and the Vl’hurg, join forces to attack the Milky Way.  After travelling for thousands of years they attack the first planet they encounter, Earth, but they are so small their entire fleet is swallowed by a small dog.

Hobbits are short; Peter Jackson movies aren’t.  Some movies are short:  New Zealand TV and film director Alison Maclean came to prominence with her short film The Kitchen Sink.

Poems can be short – even long poems are often shorter than novels – but some poems are very short: Aram Saroyan’s poem of a four-legged “m”.  Haiku are short poems but can encapsulate large themes and moments:

summer grass —

all that remains

of warriors’ dreams

(Basho)

Children’s picture books can be short – take out the pictures and they can be very short: Hug, hug, hug, hug, hug, hug, hug, hug, hug, Bobo, mummy, hug (x 14 on a page), hug, hug, mummy, Bobo (Hug by Jez Alborough 32 pages).

Games tend to last a while, but some don’t, Snap and Pig the card games are short.  Some online games are too short: the beautiful Monument Valley.

Aphorisms are short: Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream (Khalil Gibran); some epitaphs are short: O rare Ben Jonson ; and some famous statements are short: I think, therefore I am ([Cogito ergo sum] René Descartes, or even shorter: Eureka! ([εὕρηκα] Archimedes).

As our lives are busy we look for shortcuts – fast food, instant enlightenment, speed dating.  In our library we have, among others, books offering 15-minute meals (Jamie Oliver), 15-minute Mandarin Chinese (Ma Cheng), Draw Dogs in 15 minutes (Jake Spicer), Speedcleaning: a spotless house in just 15-minutes a day (Shannon Lush), The easy gardener: tough reliable plants, tips for the impatient gardener, 15 minutes a day calendar (Jacqueline Sparrow), and The 4-hour body (Timothy Ferriss).

Short , S.29, Stirling

Short airplane

 

We have social media sites where people can talk about themselves and their interests and microblogging sites for the same but shorter – which beings up the subject of Twitter: While thinking about ‘short’, tweet your short thoughts using #shortread #rwpchat; add to the discussion on Pinterest too; post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr using #shortread #rwpchat.

There will be a #shortread twitter discussion on 24 February starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.  Use the tags #shortread and #rwpchat as you discuss #shortread reading, watching playing so others can join in the conversation.

 

catching up with the #wellread discussion – the first #rwpchat for 2015

January 28, 2015

The first discussion for 2015 for Read watch play took place yesterday.   You can catch up with the discussion on Storify.

#wellread was interpreted in many ways.  #wellread is lots of reading, it is reading for heath (and most reading is reading for health), reading with healthy pastimes like walking/hiking, cooking (okay, not all cooking is healthy), reading crime (when it is solved), humour, reading with and about pets, and much more.

Next month we will be back with #shortread

Join the #rwpchat discussion today – what are your favourites for #wellread?

January 27, 2015

#wellread

Exercise with Gloria - Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6cEydH

Exercise with Gloria – Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6cEydH

There will be a #wellread twitter discussion today, 27 January starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST.

Note this is a staggered discussion. Use the tags #wellread and #rwpchat as you discuss #wellread reading, watching playing so others can join in the conversation.

For many of us, reading, watching a movie/television show or playing games are our number one choices when we want to relax. We need to unwind, to restore calm to our lives and we’re starting 2015 off with a month of reading, watching and playing to celebrate wellness.

There are so many things you can read that will further improve your health. Bookshops and libraries are bulging with books and magazines on healthy eating, whole of life wellness, exercise, sport, gardening for health and for finding a work/life balance. Declutter your life to feel better, keep a spotless house, be inspired by the stories of others and listen to relaxing music.

Books, films and games can be our therapy, but we can go online for other therapy, too. “A girl can never have too many handbags or pairs of shoes. There is also no such thing as too much stationery.”The Internet has transformed the way we shop. Retail therapy is now only a few clicks away; all of life’s essentials (books, groceries, perfume, shoes and more) are now as simple as “add to cart”. For the budget-conscious shopper you can fill your cart with wonderful treats and just never enter your credit card details. Your personalised list of needs (and a few wants) can just sit there, patiently awaiting review.

Laughter is the best medicine, so read something that will make you guffaw, watch the funniest movies or just watch Miranda for the fiftieth time. You’ll feel better, how could you not?!

Do you strive to be well read? You might read some classics, such as Middlemarch, follow someone else’s list, or follow your own heart, exploring across the genres. You might settle for the well known – read the best sellers and follow trends.

 

Keep your brain healthy with games – train your brain, play Sudoku, develop new skills.

Studies prove that reading itself helps to reduce stress, and many of us have a happy place contained in a book or a movie. Most reading makes me feel well and happy, but sometimes, when I need to lift my spirits, a little bit of Jane Eyre is what the doctor ordered. Which books, movies and games restore you?

 

We are starting the year with #wellread for #rwpchat

January 1, 2015

#wellread

Exercise with Gloria - Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6cEydH

Exercise with Gloria – Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6cEydH

For many of us, reading, watching a movie/television show or playing games are our number one choices when we want to relax. We need to unwind, to restore calm to our lives and we’re starting 2015 off with a month of reading, watching and playing to celebrate wellness.

There are so many things you can read that will further improve your health. Bookshops and libraries are bulging with books and magazines on healthy eating, whole of life wellness, exercise, sport, gardening for health and for finding a work/life balance. Declutter your life to feel better, keep a spotless house, be inspired by the stories of others and listen to relaxing music.

Books, films and games can be our therapy, but we can go online for other therapy, too. “A girl can never have too many handbags or pairs of shoes. There is also no such thing as too much stationery.”The Internet has transformed the way we shop. Retail therapy is now only a few clicks away; all of life’s essentials (books, groceries, perfume, shoes and more) are now as simple as “add to cart”. For the budget-conscious shopper you can fill your cart with wonderful treats and just never enter your credit card details. Your personalised list of needs (and a few wants) can just sit there, patiently awaiting review.

Laughter is the best medicine, so read something that will make you guffaw, watch the funniest movies or just watch Miranda for the fiftieth time. You’ll feel better, how could you not?!

Do you strive to be well read? You might read some classics, such as Middlemarch, follow someone else’s list, or follow your own heart, exploring across the genres. You might settle for the well known – read the best sellers and follow trends.

Keep your brain healthy with games – train your brain, play Sudoku, develop new skills.

Studies prove that reading itself helps to reduce stress, and many of us have a happy place contained in a book or a movie. Most reading makes me feel well and happy, but sometimes, when I need to lift my spirits, a little bit of Jane Eyre is what the doctor ordered. Which books, movies and games restore you?

There will be a #wellread twitter discussion on 27 January starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST. Note this is a staggered discussion. Use the tags #wellread and #rwpchat as you discuss #wellread reading, watching playing so others can join in the conversation.

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