Monday, March 19, 2012

Once And Again

Today, I began rereading a perennial favorite: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I've mentioned on the blog before how much I enjoy this book, and I'll continue to endorse it if anyone asks. This is probably the third time I've read it through -- not counting the times I've basically reread it to pillage for quotations. I've enjoyed it ever time.

There are a few books I have that I've read more than once. I listened to the Harry Potter books so often growing up that there are portions I can recite from memories. Sometimes, if I just want something cute, I'll grab a romance I enjoy and flip to a random page.

Sometimes, I think the real test of a book is whether or not it holds up on re-reading. Is the book still interesting, now that the surprise factor is gone? Are the characters still interesting now that the reveals are already revealed? Basically, do you still care the second time around.

Usually, when I read a good book for a second time, I enjoy getting to see how it unfolds the next time around. If the book is well done, it unfolds in a process, and you can watch it play out. Now that you know where you're going, you can be really impressed with how they get you there. In a good book, you can appreciate the subtle clues they laid in in advance so that you can say, "Oh, my gosh, I should have seen that coming."

I think there's something fun and even educational in rereading a really good book. It'll help you see why you thought it was good in the first place.

How about you? Do you enjoy rereading books? What books do you read time and time again?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Visual Stimuli?

This weekend, I attended a lecture given by a director/scenic designer. As someone who spends a fair amount of time working on theater, I found it a very interesting discussion. One thing that really struck me was the extent to which the designer relied on visual stimuli. He poured over thousands of visuals until he found the ones that spoke to him. That's where he drew most of his inspiration from.

This took me somewhat by surprise. In hindsight, I guess it shouldn't have. Theater really is a very visual medium. Except, when I do it, I still don't approach it in that sort of visual way. I make spreadsheets and checklists. Maybe that's just me. I often prefer words to just a picture. Or music. I've mentioned before here how I like that for inspiration. I've just never thought of myself as highly visual.

Which was why I was surprised by how much I like Pinterset. It's a website where you can set up boards, like cork boards, and collect on them images that you like, that interest you, that inspire you. I heard about it ages ago, but I only got one recently after all of my friends proved to me how awesome it is. I must say, they had a point.

Pinterest is a great tool for people who like visual inspiration or even those who just like looking at pretty things. It's a great site, and I'd highly recommend it.

For more on getting the most out of Pinterest, I'd suggest reading Rachel Gardner's thoughts on the subject.

How do you feel about Pinterest? Do you enjoy visual stimuli?