With so many ways to read a good story these days how can anyone not give reading some of their time? I started reading Stephen King’s book The Outsider with the paperback book. I then downloaded the ebook version of the book onto my Kindle which also transfers to my iPad and my old Kindle Reader as well as my phone not in the picture. Why is this important to today’s readers?
Without me having to carry the paperback book around with me everywhere I go and finding somewhere to put the book in my pocket which it will not fit. I am able to grab my Kindle and slip it into my pocket and take a ton of books with me. What is nice with the Kindle is that the book will sync to whatever page I am on and keep each device updated. And when I switch back over to the paperback I just move to the location I am on the Ereader.
The main part of today’s posting is to say even if you don’t want to carry around a paperback or hardback book with you just also pick up the E-Reader edition and take you E-Reader with you. Or install the Kindle App on your Smart Phone and you will always have a book with you. Keep Reading!
As I was sitting in my office at lunch the other day a thought crossed my mind. Reading is the most affordable entertainment that you can give to yourself. It also opens your mind and allows you to sink into the world of the writer. I read across many genres and enjoy being lifted into new worlds that our mind imagens. It is the job of the writer to not only tell a story that you can sink into but to paint the scenes in our minds and to pull us into the story. As you can find on this site I have written a few short stories as well as one novel and I enjoyed the way I had to create the scenes so that the reader is pulled into the world I saw when I wrote the book.
Here is an example of scene building. In the first act, I will show you what a book would be like with no scene building then I will follow it up with a scene that your mind will see.
Act 1: The little boy was carrying a ball and thinking about finding some friends to play with. (No Scene building)
Act 1: Sammy was carrying a ball down a street and noticed a basketball hoop hanging from the side of an old run-down building. He thought to himself that he needed to run three houses down the block to the house with the chain-link fence and get two of his friends Billy and Jimmy to come down and play a little basketball. (With Scene building)
Sometimes people say writers build to much fluff into their stories. That is why some books have 600 pages and some others have 300. But it is the fluff that will pull you into the story and allow you to understand a character better. This is the reason, Stephen King’s books are so long. He has a remarkable way of pulling you into the story and keeps you there throughout the entire book no matter how long it is.
And these days if you have an e-reader you can find so many great FREE books which makes the reading endless. I would recommend signing up for a free account on Book Blurp. I get FREE book offers every day. I would also suggest that you read works from authors you have never heard about you will be surprised how it will open your world.
I have a lot of people who because I read a lot ask me what is my choice when it comes to Ebook or Paper? Well, my answer normally is whatever I can get my hands on. To be honest ever since I got my first Kindle about five years ago I have mostly read using the device. One pro I have with the Kindle or any Ebook reader is that I can always have my next read right in my hands. I keep a folder on the Kindle called Current. I use this folder to keep my next five or six books lined up and ready to go. There are times I grab another title and read it before going back to my folder. One downside with the Kindle or EReader is that at times you might want to read and if it is dead you have to wait for it to charge. This is why I have two, ever serious reader should have two or more devices to read on. And with Amazon, the devices will sync to the last page read on any device.
So why in the picture above is there a paper book? Glad you asked. Revert back and you will see I said whatever you can get your hands on. I started reading The Mortality Doctrine and finished the last book. I checked Amazon and found the price to be higher than what I wanted to pay. So I did as many readers will do and turned to the library. I was told they have the hardcover and asked if I wanted to borrow it? I said, of course, it saves me money and I get to read the next book. What I enjoy about paper books is first it never needs to be charged. And second I enjoy placing the bookmark into the book and seeing how far you have left. I know the Kindle tells you where you are at but its just something I have always enjoyed.
I have many people tell me they don’t like a Kindle because it has no smell. What? Yes, books have that certain smell to them and the feel of the pages. But have you ever picked up a paper book and thought it was too large for you to ever finish? Well with a Kindle every book is the same size. Not total page counts but just the feel of the Kindle never gets bigger. It’s really all in the mind folks. Reading is something you do mostly for yourself. When we buy a larger story for the same price of a smaller one we are just getting more for our money. Don’t ever allow size to be a factor for not reading something. I would have never read many of Steven King’s books because they can get awful wordy.
In the end, read whatever you can get your hands on. Reading has given me many hours of alone time spent in so many places and allows me to escape from many places I may never visit. I also feel that reading will keep your mind firing on all neurons. And my best thought is there is never any commercials that I have to fast forward over.
Collaborative learning is a great way to teach for the 21st century. Today’s largest companies create and move their businesses by using collaborative meetings. Companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have teams that meet often to come up with the next big thing. Even programming companies work on large code projects with many programmers coming up with ideas and each writing a piece of the code.
Today’s education, for the most part, is leading this new way of educating children from elementary to high school and even in the college setting. With the help of great tools such as interactive whiteboards, Google Suite and Office 365 and much more. Smartphones can also be a great collaborative learning tool. The focus is getting students to learn together much like the businesses of today.
I enjoy walking into a classroom and seeing a teacher walking around the room and assisting the students in learning in group settings. The day’s of the teacher standing in front of the classroom and lecturing have been put back into the dark ages of education.
If you do teach or even lead teams in a business find ways to have each person or student contribute to the overall lesson. You will find great rewards when you see how much your students or staff know.
Teaching students to be prepared for the modern world is a hard task. Teaching using technology can be default because it is ever changing. Adapting to those changes can be a challenge. But as you can see from the picture above many great tools have been created for us to use in our lessons. I try to adopt at least one new tool a year to help with education. You also have to have a good clear vision when adopting new tech tools. You never want to have your students feel that they are on tech overload.
I like to see a blend of online learning with a mixture of book and classroom instruction. This way we can reach all types of learners. Some students will learn better at a self-pace while others strive to keep pace in the classroom. Using a good mixture of both will keep all of the students engaged on the subject matter.
I do believe in digital notes. How many times have you wanted to refer to a note to find you left it in the office or classroom? With digital notes and using a tool such as Evernote or Google Keep, I can always have my notes on every device I carry. Besides, it is easier to carry my phone in my pocket then carry around my paper notebook.
When you set a Good Reads Challenge it gives you a goal to get some reading done throughout the year. So how do you reach your goal? First set a little time aside each day to put your feet up and grab your book and relax and read. I have found that you can give yourself an hour after work each day to steal a little time for yourself. Another tip I can give you is to always carry your book with you. I have found that by reading on my Kindle and by using the Kindle app on my smart phone I always have my book with me. Better yet the book will use whisper sync and keep all your devices up to date on whatever page you are on. Stephen King once said, “You can read in chunks or you can read as a marathon.” All Mr. King is saying is read. I talked with one older women once who I found reading and I asked her, “What is the best time to read?” Her response, “All of the time. The only time you should never read is when you lay down for bed.” She went on to tell me that your body knows it’s time to sleep, so don’t waste your time. The main tip I can give you is to read. If we just watch TV and movies you will miss out on so many great works or writing.
I am once again deep into my college courses. As I talked about in my last post that colleges now offer online course work you can go back to school even if you are working full time. Pictured above is my class room in my kitchen. I don’t have to go out and get in my car and fight traffic to get to a classroom. I can open an iPad and read my course work where ever I may be. I then use a laptop and EverNote to take my notes and write my papers and projects to submit to the professor. I find myself at times doing course work early in the morning or late into the evening. Attending online classes allow me to work on my free time without fighting to make a class on time. I must say this type of learning does take dedication and devotion to learning. You are still giving up your time to attend but it’s on your time. I spoke with a high school teacher the other day and she feels that in another 20 years there will be no more brink and mortar schools? I disagree. I told her when you are young you need the structure that the classroom provides. I have heard of many young people trying online learning and felling because they can’t give up their free time on their own. Not to say that this is everyone. We did go to a graduation party where the young girl completed her high school requirements using a Cyber School. Online learning works for me, but if you are not sure look at your life style and that will dictate which type of learning you should choose.
College today is created not for just the young men or women coming out of high school. They are now creating online courses that allow you to attend college courses even if you have a full time job. There are a lot of colleges out there online so the choice is really up to you. I am taking courses online and really had to do some research on which school to choose. I started with price per credit, then went to looking up reviews from current and past students. I knew I didn’t want a college that is all online because I don’t feel they hold the weight once you get your degree. I wanted a college that has a campus. I also knew I wanted a college that I could study on and off campus. So if you are older and working a full time job don’t think you can’t further your education. And as I found the best time is now to increase your knowledge.
If you have a Kindle E-Reader or even if you just have the Amazon Kindle app then you might want to read this post?
I have been reading for years. Sometimes when you are at one of your local discount stores you might be walking by a book rack a cover might catch you eye and the next thing you know it is in the cart. In today’s Internet world we find ourselves browsing online book stores. I choose Amazon mainly because I have a Paper White Kindle Reader and it just makes it easy to download the books from their site. I have also bought a lot of ebooks just from browsing. But what if, just what if you don’t want to keep tossing money at books? You still want to read but you find it a good idea to watch your spending. So how can you read and not spend a dime?
It is really easy to find something to read for FREE. Log onto Amazon and in the drop down menu choose Kindle Store. Next in the search box type FREE. Now you will find a large selection of books that are FREE, that’s right no charge at all. Why is this you might ask? Well you will find self published works from people you never heard of, Steven King was once unknown until someone gave him a shot. And besides once you start a book if you are not getting into the story or if it is poorly written stop reading it. I on the other hand can’t do that, once I start I finish the book. Another reason this is done is to get you into a new series. The author will put up the first book for FREE and if you want to continue with the story you might have to pay $3.99 for the other volumes.
At the end of the day FREE is good. It gives you a chance to find new authors that you never heard of and it just might put you into their court. I have found many new authors that I really love reading all of their work. Do I still buy books? Of course I told you at the beginning that I am a long time reading. I really enjoy getting lost in a good book. And I do have my list of well published authors that I read.
My proofs are in from the publisher. I have found a few issues that I have to correct. It is a great feeling having this in my hands after working on it for a year. It proves to me that writing does take time. You start with free writing, where you get your thoughts onto the page. Then there is the clean up. Then you have to have a few reads to dig into the details.
Once I get my final touches on the book and have a few test readers read the book I will be able to have a release date. But for now I am enjoying sharing the pics of my first run copies of the book.
Little about the story. This is a look into what can happen when a really good family meets evil. I started this story just like anyone else does with an idea. I was walking in the mall one day watching as people walked by. I turned to my wife and asked her what she thought of an idea for a book? She turned to me and said that it sounded like a really good idea for the book. So I went home that evening and began writing Random Numbers.
I am not sure yet how to dig up test readers? Keep watching this blog also please drop me a comment if you would like to be considered.