16 December 2009

Word Choice

Hey, Friends! Thanks for all of your reponses on Monday! I really enjoyed your perspectives. I'll definitely let y'all know what I decide. Right now I need to wait for other things to fall into place before I can sign a lease. This whole process is so circular and to tell you the truth, I'm kind of tired of it! Hopefully I'll know something soon.

Today we're going to talk literary choices. First topic--word choice.

Words build a novel. They are the soul of a story, what makes it come alive on the pages or over soundwaves. Word choice can make or break a novel. It's such a great feeling to find just the right phrase, that image that is so real you can't believe you created it. Sometimes the search for it can be difficult but when it fits, it just feels perfect.

I started thinking about that this week when one representative at the complexes told me certain patios had community views. I thought that meant I'd have to share a deck with someone. It turns out that a "community view" is a fancy way of saying, "parking lot". Big difference, huh?

What other interesting terms (or words) have you discovered recently? I still get a kick out of "previously owned". When I worked at the dealership I had to bite my tongue a lot. "Pre-published" is one I've claimed for current state of being. It's kind of funny too!

Second, while staring at my bookshelves and thinking about all the hassle it's going to be moving said books (and shelves) to my new apartment, I started thinking about arranging the shelves. I file books by feeling. I'm not really sure how someone as organized as I am doesn't care if her books are in alphabetical order, but mine aren't. I have a "favorites" shelf. Other books just find their own placement. I can't explain it. Women's fiction is next to suspense which is next to historical fiction... the only shelf "alone" is fantasy. Every book on the shelves has been read (I never file an unread book) and I keep multiple books by the same authors together. But there's no system for organization other than feeling. So, I really wanted to ask y'all: Am I the only weird one in this? How do you "file" your books? Are your shelves alphabetical, by genre, in the order you bought the books, what? I'd love to find out the secret of your shelves!

Finally, last week on ABC's Castle,

I heard an amazing question that inspired me. I knew I had to ask y'all. On the show, Castle (the author) and Beckett (the detective) worked with a man with amnesia. As they looked through his apartment, the amnesiac remarked that he'd have to re-read all of the books all over again because he didn't remember them. To which Castle replied, "What I wouldn't give to be able to read "The Cask of Amontillado" for the first time again".

First of all--great reference! And I love that he dressed up as Poe for Halloween. But I digress...

What a great statement! I had to ask y'all--what book would you love to read for the first time--again?

Hmm... For me, I don't know. So many to choose! But on my short list: Charles Martin's When Crickets Cry, Narnia, books 4-7 of the Harry Potter series (reading them straight through), and The Lord of the Rings.

Have a great day! See y'all Friday!


  1. My book are stock piled in my closet in random disarray! If I had a shelf it probably wouldn't change anything. Yikes! I am such a disorganized mess!

  2. I need more bookshelves! We've outgrown all our shelving. At some point, I'm probably going to embrace the Kindle and revisit my favorites electronically. It makes me a little sad, though.

    I'd read "And Then There Were None."

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. What gives me a chuckle is "gently used" which is a nice way of saying tattered, I imagine. I wish I could say I have this really clever way of organizing my books, but I arrange them by size--big to little. I do have three books, by authors I adore, on my writing desk. Which would I read again? Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

  4. I too organize my books by feeling. I love how you said that. I have a separate bookshelf for the books I totally love. Most are true stories of people who overcame some incredible things. Books I would like to read again - so many but "Night" by Eli Wiesel..."Tuesdays With Morrie" and so many....Have a great week. Can't wait to hear which apt. you decide to take. Sarah

  5. Love how you organize your book shelves! Very interesting! And I definitely like "pre-published author." That is definitely the way we should all look at ourselves!

  6. Charles Martin is such an excellent writer! My shelves are NOT organized. If there is any order, it's that I try to keep book sizes together. Small books, bigger books, etc. LOL

    What book? Hmmm, there's SO many good ones! I always loved Secret Garden. :-)

  7. Peace Like a River, Catcher in the Rye, The Poisonwood Bible...to name a few.

    I love that question!
    ~ Wendy

  8. Mine are by feeling, too. Sometimes by theme, but I'm not picky about what goes where. I just like the books. :)

    You had me at Castle. Truly. ;) I'd love to reread The Art of Racing in the Rain for the first time. I know it's no great literary classic, but it really did a lot for me.

  9. I organize by feeling too. Best loved books go on top and books by the same author of course go together. I'd love to experience The Hunger Games, Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice and The Secret Garden again. 'Terms of Endearment' why do we have to put terms on our endearments?

  10. My books are organized by genre and I would love to read Norma Johnston's Keeping Day Series again, and the Chronicles of Narnia.

  11. My bookshelves are complete chaos. In fact, I was looking for a book the other day and it took me forever to find what I was looking for!

  12. Most of my books are still out in Jersey. I had to leave 'em there when I moved here(Ohio). The good thing is we're taking a trip in a week or two. I'm going to rescue my books from my friend's basement. Just the thought of having my wonderful friends (stacked in bins) on a cold cement floor, gives me the chills. :( Soon, my babies, very soon! :)
    Kristen! Why'd ya have to remind me? Thanks a lot!

  13. My books are arranged in much the same way as yours. I'm surprised also that I don't do it alphabetically. It just doesn't feel right though. Community View. Ha!

  14. Oooh, fun questions. Castle is a great show, right?

    There's really no rhyme or reason to how I file my books, though I usually try to keep the hardbacks together and the paperbacks together. I definitely file books I haven't read with the others. I like to look up and let my eye wander along all the titles and colors and think about what I am going to read for the first time or reread if I have time.

  15. GREAT post
    My CBA books are in my study, filed in alphabetical order. Ditto with writing books.

    The family room's built-in shelves are codified by multicultural fiction, American writers on the east shelves, nonfiction, grouped by subject matter on the west shelves.

    The small shelf in same room has best-selling literary fiction.

    Downstairs are the children's books.

    On my nightstand, my ottoman, and on the study floor are a mishmash of research books, current reads, Bible studies, soulmate books...

    Books I would read again? DOZENS. They are my friends!!! They must have occasional soulmate times!!!

    I just reread Poisonwood Bible and would reread any of Charles Martin's books, just like you, Kristen. Loved When Crickets Cry the best, especially the miraculous ending and the "heart" metaphors.

    Blessings to you.


  16. I'm blessed to have a lot of shelves. I keep writing craft books on a separate shelf. Non-fiction titles hang out together. To-be-read books sit on a shelf where they glare at me while I'm on the computer.

    Books I'm reading hang out on my nightstand and alongside my purse. My fiction favs are in one bookcase. Like platters or dishes I don't use very much, some books are stashed on upper shelves that require a ladder to reach.

    Whew! Never really gave it much thought, but I guess I do have a system.

    Susan :)

  17. You hooked me with the Castle picture! I actually try not to file my books too much. Usually they're mildly organized by size and by similarity. Like my shiny new YA hardbacks are together. And my meager pile of "adult" books are together. Though i generally don't mix hardback and paperback because the sizes are so different. Great, now I feel prejudiced against paperbacks... sorry paperbacks, I love you!

  18. Ha, Tamika! I know that feeling!

    I do too, Elizabeth! Mine are maxed out again. I'm going to leave some books at my parents house when I move. That will help soon. Oh, to have the Beast's library! I've never read that book... I'll definitely have to check it out!

    Ooh, Rebecca, one of my friends told me that book is awesome! Now that's another raving review... it's going on my list. I like to arrange my books by size too, but the problem comes when an author has both big and little books. That's kind of a pet peeve of mine.

    I'll have to check those out too, Sarah! Thank you! You take care as well!

    I agree, Jody! It's very life giving!

    Oohh--I've never read those, Janna, Jessica and Wendy! Now I have to!

  19. Hey, there's another for Secret Garden. Thanks, Mary!

    I evny your organization, Patti N!

    Ha! I know that feeling, Jennifer!

    Oh, sorry, Ellie! That is sad. But you will see them soon!

    That one still has me laughing, Susan! I really thought it meant I had to share a deck!

    I do too, Cindy. Yes, it is! I love all the writer jokes!

    Me too, Patti Lacy! That's my favorite of his. So beautiful! I envy your organization skills. Also, that's the second mention of "Poisonwood Bible". I have to check that out!

    That's a great system, Susan R. I'm kind of envious of it. :0) I do try to keep nonfiction separate from fiction and writing books separate from all the rest. But that's as far as it goes.

  20. I'm very organized, but my bookshelves would probably only make sense to me. Some of my sections: classics, picture books, autographed, military (for hubby), series, etc. Some sections are by the order that I read them, and some are filed according to who owns them - family members have shelves.

    If I could reread any books...the whole Harry Potter series would be one of my top choices!

    Good luck with the move and all your decisions!

  21. Wow. I was going to say every single on of them, but only if someone had the list so I didn't miss any. There were some I only read because I overheard a conversation while in the checkout line. But then I'd half to read all the not so good ones. But yes, definitely HP.

  22. I've heard about When Crickets Cry... I really ought to get that book. I love literary fiction and I hear Charles MArtin is the king. :)

    What book would I love to read for the first time again? Oh man, I can only choose one? How about a series? Like the Harry Potter series. Loved that! Or Mark of the Lion series! Either of those. Both were SO much fun!

  23. Ooh this is such a tough question. I think I'd read Beach Music again for the first time. Or maybe The Lovely Bones. Or maybe the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

  24. Kristen, I grew up reading the Bible. Although I would never trade that for anything, I would like to read the Bible as though it were the first time.

  25. I love the term, "Gently used." Puts a new spin on "recycled," doesn't it?

    I'd love to read Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott for the first time, although I wish they had a revised version for those of us who hate profanity...

    Praying for you!
    Audience of ONE

  26. Pride and Prejudice, definitely.

    I'm praying for your decision making and I'm still stunned that a community view is a parking lot, I was thinking nice atrium, or park. What a difference.

  27. Happy Thursday, Kristen! I have a little something for you at my blog today. ;-)

  28. I'd love to be able to read "The power of one" by Bryce Courtenay again for the first time :)

  29. Hey--so my life got really busy all of the sudden and I've only been able to check in today (and probably tomorrow). But I wanted to say that I am LOVING seeing all of y'all's choices for the "first re-read" and shelving method. Thank you so much for your kindness and comments. I appreciate y'all so much!

    Thank you, Shannon! I'll go over and check it out!

  30. Kristen,
    Hope everything's okay!

    Miss not "seeing" you and am about to go off the air!

    You sure can e-mail anytime, though. And of course there's Facebook!!!

    Blessings and a peaceful Christmas.