Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘books and reading

I saw this at Cornerfolds, and I figured I could try it out and give my two readers here a bit about me as a reader. Questions are as provided.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Not particularly. I do read in bed, and I do read in my work station/desk at home, which is where I also do my blogging, my Tarot and oracle card practice, and some other things.


Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I prefer a bookmark, and in fact I collect bookmarks. I have plenty of bookmarks, enough to last me a few lifetimes. However, in a pinch, I will grab a random piece of paper to mark a reading spot.


Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop reading at a certain page, chapter, part, etc.?

Depends. If I am reading nonfiction, I can usually stop just about anywhere. If I am reading fiction, where I am following a story or narrative thread, I need to find a logical stopping point be it the end of the chapter or part or just a pause in the narrative. This is why I tend to prefer reading nonfiction, especially outside of the house because I can stop and interrupt as needed and pick it up fairly quick.


Do you eat or drink while reading?

Yes. Not every time, but it has been known to happen.


Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

If it is soft music, I usually can read just fine. For television, unless I am paying attention to the program I can read right through it just fine. I am pretty good about tuning out the exterior world overall once I am reading. I am the kind of reader who can read almost anywhere including moving vehicles and aircraft.


One book or several at once?

Several. The minimum rule for me is to have a nonfiction, a fiction books, and a graphic novel or comic going at any given time. It is pretty normal for me to have more than the minimum three mentioned going at any given time.


Reading at home or everywhere?

I can read everywhere just fine. I do try to have a book with me handy as much as possible be it in print or loaded as an e-book in my electronic devices.


Reading out loud or silently in your head?



Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

This is where I break (full pun intended) with most book lovers and librarians. I have no problem if a spine breaks. Way I see it books are for use not to be art objects (at least not the books I use and/or own). While I appreciate pristine books, as I said, they are made for use, so I have no problem breaking a spine or two.


(cross-posted from The Itinerant Librarian)

I saw this blogger tag over at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures, so I decided to try it out. However, since I rarely buy books these days, I decided to modify the prompts to account for things like media and Tarot and oracle decks, my latest growing passion.

Prompts are as provided.

  1.  Pay Day! – A book you would buy right now. Cost doesn’t matter!  These days I am not buying too many books. There are various reasons for that ranging from I am using my libraries more (my work library and more so my local public library), and I do get ARCs for review now and then from a few places. The one area I may be buying books still is in Tarot and esoterica but even that is limited. So this is tricky. So I’ll do a Tarot deck, and my choice at this time would be Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot Decoratif. Anyhow, I would buy it right now. . . if I actually had the funds. And I do not even like Marseilles Tarot decks; the Decoratif is a hybrid deck combining Marseilles and Waite Smith Tarot systems, and an artistic masterpiece (in my very humble opinion). Librarian pay day does not stretch that much lol. If you want to see more, here is the promo video when the deck was made (YouTube video). On a positive, U.S. Games Systems recently announced they (finally) got Marchetti’s Grand Luxe Tarot deck (also you can see the trailer for that one on YouTube too) on pre-order, so in practical terms, this would be the “buy right now” deck; I can likely afford that.
  2. Pay a bill– a book you would get rid of right now. This is not as hard. I am currently in the process of aggressively weeding my personal library mainly due to space issues (we live in an apartment), so there will be more than a few books that will go out of the house, likely sold to some second hand store to get a few bucks but mainly to get them out of the house. One that I can think of that is on its way out is Campus Confidential because to be honest last thing I needed to read was a safely tenured professor pretending he is somehow “taking a risk” or “breaking ranks” by “spilling the beans” about higher education. His so-called revelations are things I long knew already, and to be honest, I think more people are aware now than we give them credit for (especially after the college cheating scandal). They may be aware but whether they wish to see the evidence is a separate question.
  3. Doctor Appointment — a book that makes you feel better when you are down. There are a few of those. My old Mafalda comic collections for example.
  4. Meeting — a book or series you felt obligated to read; because of the hype. I do not really read based on hype, so for me this is a bad question to ask. In fact, these days I rarely read a series unless I know it is complete. In fiction, I tend to prefer standalone works. Even in graphic novels and comics, I tend to favor trades of series that are completed than ongoing things. Too much cost in time.
  5. Lunch date– a book or series that you fell in love with; because a friend recommended it to you. As of this post, that would be A Pound of Paper.
  6. Work/School Week– A book that was hard to get through. Holy shit, to this day, probably Ensayo Sobre La Ceguera (On Blindness) by Jose Saramago. Holy shit again. To this day, I hate that book, and I have no idea how I got through it. In fact, after dragging myself through that I swore I would never, ever read anything that guy wrote ever again.
  7. Gym Day– a book that gets your heart pumping because it was such an exciting page turner. Kieron Guillen’s run of Star Wars: Darth Vader for Marvel Comics. (Link to my review of the first trade volume)
  8. Date night– a book with your favorite romantic couple. (This would be non-applicable at this point in time)
  9. Vacation– a book or series you would want to binge on if you had all the time in the world. This would be more for some old TV shows. Recently, I got to see the first season of Emergency!, so I would love to binge watch the remaining seasons. I would not mind binging on Homicide: Life in the Street, some others.
  10. To do list– a book you keep meaning to get to, but don’t have time for. Ha ha! So many books and so little time. I usually read based on mood, what may catch my eye at the time, or stuff that may look interesting. As a result, though I have a big TBR list, it varies on how much attention I pay to it.

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.


These are the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for July 2019. If you missed this, or it is new to you, feel free to check them out.

I also reviewed the following cartomancy decks:


Finally, I also watched and commented on some media items in June 2019. See my Media Notes: Roundup for July 2019.



Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

These are the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for June 2019. If you missed this, or it is new to you, feel free to check them out.

I reviewed the following books last month:

Finally, I also watched and commented on some media items in June 2019. See my Media Notes: Roundup for June 2019.



Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

I almost forgot to get this post rolling at the start of June, so here we go. These are the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for May 2019. If you missed this, or it is new to you, feel free to check them out.

I reviewed the following books last month:

I also reviewed two Tarot decks in the month of May 2019:

Finally, I also watched and commented on some media items in May 2019. See my Media Notes: Roundup for May 2019.



I keep adding books to my ever growing TBR book lists.

Items about books I want to read:

  • A new book is out on the history of cigarettes and corporate imperialism. The book is Cigarettes, Inc., and it is highlighted at TruthOut.
  • Via Vox, this book “not exactly a guide to doing nothing; more like a suggestion that you could refuse to do some of the things that fracture your attention — reading every push notification that crosses your phone screen, watching 500 Instagram stories between every basic task — and protect your mind from becoming slippery and splintered.” This is certainly a concern in our time, and yes, we really need to work on refusing to do certain things just because they are expected or something beeps at you. The book is How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.
  • A look at American cook books, you know, those books companies make with recipes using their products. The book is American Advertising Cookbooks, and I heard about it via Boing Boing.
  • Apparently not all suburbs were not all nice and quiet and conformist. A few apparently had a share of anarchists and other radicals. You can learn more about this in the book Radical Suburbs. Via CityLab Daily.
  • The New Republic discusses the history of cults in the United States and highlights the book American Messiahs, a book “tracing a series of cults and communes through history from the founding of the American Republic to the fall of Jonestown.”
  • In what I would consider odds and ends, the US Army has a book length report on how to do regime change and interventions. Story via Telesur. You can find the PDF document here.
  • This is one of those books that if I really want to read I may have to buy. Sure, WorldCat has a record but only a British library has it. I am doubtful my library is willing to ILL that for me here in the middle of nowhere Kentucky. The book is Marquis de Sade– 100 Erotic Illustrations, and it was featured in VICE. Amazon may have it though challenge may be finding the English edition (originally in German it seems). Hmm, buying from the publisher, even from abroad, may be an option.
  • My Reader’s Block finds a Poirot book she has not read, the short story collection Poirot Investigates. I have not read the book either as of this post, so adding it to my TBR list.
  • Stupid Fish Productions announces that The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Volume 3 (link to publisher site) is coming (should be out by the time this post is published).
  • This Latino Rebels article about recent history of Puerto Rico, worth a look, highlights a new to me book of photography: The Puerto Rican Diaspora (also additional link to author website).
  • VICE has an excerpt of the memoir Modern Whore. (Also, author’s website. If you want to buy, you likely need to go to the site and order from a store that has it. Amazon not only does not list it, but in their hypocritical search they change a search of “modern whore” to some “clean phrase”).
  • Given the issues of trade wars the United States is flaring up around the world in places like Mexico, this book may be of interest. The book is Eating NAFTA, and it was highlighted at the Food Politics blog. This book may also be good to read along side Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (link to my review).
  • Speaking of food and food policy, Food Politics blog also highlights the book Grand Food Bargain. The blogger describes the book as “A former USDA insider’s account of what our Grand Food Bargain—a system focused on ever-increasing production of cheap food—actually costs Americans in poor health, environmental degradation, and loss of agrarian values and community.”


“Quarantined” books (books that fall under my self-imposed moratorium on politics, activism, etc.). A new category in this series. I am currently under a moratorium on reading anything political, activist, social justice, and such, and I am hoping that moratorium will end some day. . .maybe. . . once the Hard Times end. In the meantime, these are books I would usually read, but I am not in order to keep the sanity, but I am still listing them because I hope a day will come I will feel I can read them again.


Lists and bibliographies:





November 2019
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