One thing I didn’t anticipate when I started blogging was how I would use reference materials. After all, I only meant to record my reactions to books, and this isn’t being graded, so why do I find myself using “reference materials”? I guess its because my standards are a little higher in a blog that can be accessed by anyone who cares to visit, than they were when I was scribbling in a notebook.
My “partners” are two websites, Amazon.com and Wikipedia. I use Amazon to confirm authors names and find out what else they have written. Often I want to know the date of publication of a book, or which came first in a sequence. I use Wikipedia for further information about authors, and for other “fact checking”, especially on historical events. (I can get American President’s out of order, so imagine how confused I feel when pondering the Wars of the Roses!)
If information had been this readily available when I was a kid (and being forced to write book reports), maybe I would have enjoyed writing more. I know, my two sources are “casual” and serious investigation should go deeper, but it’s so nice to have my quick questions answered. Thanks, partners!
One unexpected outcome of my visits to Amazon is that I’ve started to submit reviews to them. Three, so far. In one case, I was shocked to find out that I book I very much enjoyed (Cities are Good for You by Hollis, blog posts dated August 9 and 26, 2013) had only one posted review! So I combined my blog entries and posted. Amazon has such good manners! They thanked me politely and didn’t rebuke me for being lengthy.
In terms of being read, reviews on Amazon are likely seen by many more people than my blog posts, but I don’t expect to become a “regular” with them.
Now I’m headed to Amazon.com to find out about the books of Oliver Sachs. I think I’ve read three or four, and don’t know how many he wrote.