Saturday, April 30, 2005

Reader's requests and suggestions

This was the reader that i was referring to in my mail, New library, new ad campaign, who wrote to the press on the various suggestions. At first i poo-poofed his idea.. even saying to cast a spell on the books.. but one friend suggested... give the library money.. with money and budget... nothing is possible.. and what's more.. the reader will be paying for it... YEAH.. all of taxpayers money... so no matter how silly and extreme one may have.. the public libraries will be able to implement it... all to meet the demands of the public.

Friday, April 29, 2005

To dos and not to dos

given that the new library will be opening and lots of people out their who do not know how to use the library properly, Dear Abby published a letter from MARIAN THE LIBRARIAN.

Taken from


DEAR ABBY: I have been thinking about writing this letter for a long time. I'm the director of a small public library. I love my job and serving our patrons. But you would not believe some of the outrageous behavior that occurs in libraries -- so I have written:


  • Please keep your children with you at all times. A librarian is there to help you select materials -- not baby-sit or clean up after your children. An unattended child can create hours of cleanup work in only a few minutes. Teach your children not to run or shout in the library.
  • If your child throws a tantrum, screams or continually whines, please take the child home. He or she probably needs a nap, a snack, or simply your undivided attention. While you can probably tune him out, other patrons cannot.
  • Do not use your cell phone in the library. No one wants to listen to you scream at your spouse or discuss personal finances. You never know who's listening, but you can be sure somebody is.
  • Do not bring food or drink to the library. A spilled drink can ruin books in an instant. Even if the book dries out, it will develop mold, which spreads to other books.
  • Return materials on time. Most libraries have limited budgets and limited staff to serve a large population. Don't waste our resources by failing to return materials when due. Don't claim you have returned a book when it's actually in your bedroom, child's room, gym locker, office or the back seat of your car. Librarians get no pleasure from collecting fines for overdue materials. Calling to remind you that things are overdue wastes limited staff time. It also wastes time and money to replace lost books, order the replacement (if there's money in the budget), and process it to be put back in circulation.
  • We are happy to help with your reference questions. But please remember we're not magicians. If you have a deadline, plan ahead. While we can perform miracles, they take a little time to accomplish, and there are other patrons to be served.
  • If you want to view pornography, buy a home computer. While we support free speech, our facility needs to be child-friendly. No one -- not children, other patrons or staff -- wants to see your "private life."
  • Talk to us in complete sentences. We are not mind readers. When you silently thrust a library card at us, we don't know what you want unless you tell us.
  • Please remember this is a library, not an office service. We are happy to help you find resources, but don't ask us to do your homework, write your paper, edit your letter or do your taxes.
  • And by the way, a simple "Thank you" makes our day.
I know this letter is too long to print, Abby, but thank you for letting me get this off my chest. I feel better. -- MARIAN THE LIBRARIAN IN KANSAS

DEAR MARIAN: You're welcome. I'm printing your letter in full because it has merit, and also because I suspect most of the offenders do not know any better.

New library, new ad campaign?

Read about this article from tiny librarian's blog.

Skyway News reports that the Minneapolis Public Library has launched a series of intriguing question as part of a quirky campaign to preview the Spring 2006 opening of Downtown's New Central Library to battle the foes of . Posters, bookmarks and print ads - in space donated by local media - will debut in May.

The first of three ads will compare the Chairman Mao, founder of modern China to the future New Central Library. What's the connection? China sports the world's third largest economy, while the library claims the nation's third largest collection of books (per capita). The other 2 ads will feature J. Edgar Hoover and Batgirl. All featuring librarians... Batgirl was head librarian at Gotham Public Library prior to her career as a crime fighter. Mao Tse-tung became a convert to Marxism while working as a librarian at Beijing University prior to launching a communist revolution in China. Hoover was never a librarian, but worked as a clerk at the Library of Congress while pursuing a law degree.

Singapore will be opening its downtown public library in July. While there's a lot of buzz going on, i think its more of the library building and its features that the public is most impressed with. After all, it's a new swanky 16-storey building situated in the heart of Singapore’s Arts, Culture, Learning and Entertainment hub (not forgetting shopping and stuff). It covers over 58,000 sqm and has facilities such as gardens, a café, the National Arts Council’s Drama Centre for public shows and performances, and programme zones. Oh.. and not forgetting the very impressive observatory pod that has a great view of the surrounding areas. There's a virtual walkthrough here. So do check it out for yourself. You can find out more on the new library at

However, the public has been flooding and writing into the press for longer hours from 9am-10pm daily (like get robots to put back the books on the shelves?? Or cast a spell to get the books fly back to the shelves after use, or how about this, people work through the night to get the library ready in the morning?????!! and where to get the money to hire and train more staff???), more facilities.. blah blah blah... honestly.. if everyone does their part in putting the books in the book bins for staff to would make things much easier!

Hey, aren't they bothered about the library's functions and services? That the library will become a full fledged research/reference library manned full-time by librarians, and will have collections covering Social Sciences, Humanities, Science and Technology Collections, the Arts and Business Collections, the Chinese, Malay and Tamil Collections, the Asian Children’s Collection, the Donors’ Collections, the Singapore and Southeast Asian Collections and a Rare Materials Collection. There will also be a lending collection at the Central Lending Library in the basement for award-winning literature for adults, young people and children. The library will also have exhibitions and activites to promote and showcase the collection.

Hence, i do feel that there is a need to advertise to showcase the roles and functions of the librarian and library.. to generate the qualitative usage of its collection and materials. It's a really innovative and creative way how Minneapolis Public Library is doing it with community effort. That's the kind of involvement that it sorely lacking here.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Reader finds large sum of money in library book

The sun herald reported how one former employee, Michele Anderson, opened a library book, and discovered more than just a story - she found a wad of cash.

i don't think that it had happened in our library yet... and given that Michele Anderson was reported as a former employee... did it mean that she quit her job after finding the cash??

Don't think that this will happen here as we are encouraged to be cashless... cashcards, easylink cards, credit cards, atm cards and wat have you. people don't bring so much cash anymore. but the things that we are asked to find...sigh..

Couple of months back, Singapore Pools had S$6 million up for toto. A patron called up the library frantically looking for a personal book that she had dropped into library's book bins. She gave staff the title of the book and claimed that she had her toto tickets inside the book.

Guess what? after going around in a wild goose chase, the librarian discovered that it wasn't a personal book, it wasn't the title she claimed that it was, and it wasn't even the correct author!!! but eventually, the "CSI" librarian did track the book down and retrieved the tickets.

We were joking about how the librarian should get a share of the winnings and wat to do with it. Even 1% is a lot of money. But, don't think that the patron did strike the $6 million, else i would think that the librarian might have gotten a reward...we never did hear from her. However, she did give a compliment card and a box of chocolates to the librarian when she came to the library to collect the tickets. :) well.. it was a nice gesture on her part...sometimes it's nice to know that these things that we do count... A potentially S$6 million effort!! She'd better be grateful!!

Thank you thank you so very much...

i owe people coffee and many thank yous for helping me look through the source code to solve the blog problems.. you know who you are. So thank you so very much for helping me with all the breaks.. source codes... and for figuring out what when wrong with the site.

i really appreciate it it very much. .. and wouldn't have stop freting over it at all if it wasn't fixed... and of cos.. i wouldn't have put up that accomplished face at all :D

so what do you all think of the new design and layout. i know that itt's not much.. err.. and as for the content.. i will try to keep it interesting for you all to read.. har har har..

honestly.. i shall write wat i feel like.. :P

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New uses for free bookplates...

was playing around on the computer and found new uses for the book plates downloaded from

See my new desktop wallpaper. from the illustrator/author of kipper and wibbly pig, mick inkpen. ain't that the cutest? there's a whole lot more where that came from :)

hee hee hee

100 little things

Decided to do up a 100 things about me for fun... don't think that any would be earth-shattering knowledge.. especially for friends reading it. hee hee hee! have fun!

  1. came in 2nd in a baby contest (when i was a baby)
  2. fell from a swing when i was 2 and needed 5 stitches for my chin
  3. dislocated my arm when i was playing tug-a-war with my neighbour
  4. fell into a drain once when i was cycling and had the bike fall on top on me
  5. fell backwards and knocked my head once and had a concussion. developed short-term amnesia, yes.. i'm a regular klutz
  6. i can bend my thumb to touch my forearm,
  7. and can bend my fingers backwards to touch my wrist as well... not to mention weirdo too
  8. i'm terrified of birds,
  9. but love dogs.
  10. started pestering my parents for dogs when i was 4 or 5,
  11. i would throw tantrums by pouting and stamping my foot and going, "我要狗! 我要狗!" (translated: "i want dog!"),
  12. till now, decades down the road, my dad's friends still tease and imitate me pouting and stamping my foot when they see me.
  13. got my first dog when i was 9
  14. his name was toffee
  15. i'm thinking of getting a dog now
  16. would like a border collie, or a retriever to go running with me
  17. I'm not afraid of insects,
  18. and will even crush cockroaches with my bare hands.
  19. my friends think that i'm crazy that i'm afraid of birds and not cockroaches
  20. then again, what's so scary about cockroaches?
  21. must be cos my mum used to do that to cockroaches too
  22. i'm not musically inclined
  23. attempted to blow/play/figured out the cornet and french horn,
  24. failed miserably.
  25. tried drums,
  26. but had no hand and foot co-ordination.
  27. i hate reading musical notes,
  28. but can sing lots of songs from musicals, songs, advertisements, cartoons...etc
  29. watched numerous musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber productions to Rent, Chicago and Mama Mia
  30. next item on the menu, The Lion King on Broadway
  31. can probably find a song to sing for any occasion,
  32. in my unique (read: horrenous, off-key) voice.
  33. my best friend is a great singer
  34. she came in first for Asia Bagus one year, and represented Singapore in the Asia wide contest in Japan. Construction Site won. Sheik Haikel was from the group.
  35. made her cry with laughter when i did the Dutch lady dance during school assembly
  36. match made her with her husband,
  37. match made another couple as well.
  38. should stop doing that cos all my luck's given away
  39. i love going to Disneyland
  40. have been to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland (LA)
  41. i want to go Disney World, Hong Kong Disneyland will do too
  42. i collect Mickey Mouse stuff
  43. only the classic Mickey with the white face, wearing red shorts though
  44. i even have ponytail holders with pom-poms in the shape of Mickey
  45. i don't use them often cos i can't find any replacements if they are damaged or lost
  46. of all the continents in the world, i have yet to go Europe, South America and Africa
  47. i haven't been to much countries, honestly
  48. i dream about going to Spain, damn the 1992 Barcelona Olympics!
  49. my friends insist that i'm a incorrigible shopper cos once when i was on a Great Ocean Road tour, i bought tons of stuff and they bought less things while shopping in Melbourne that day
  50. i think that i'm just great at finding bargains
  51. i take pictures all the time when i'm on tour
  52. and irritate my friends by going, "take picture, take picture!" all the time
  53. plus with all the silly and crappy things that i do all the time, a group of us has a friendship motto
  54. "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"
  55. i will want to run a marathon one day,
  56. but only the Marathon du Medoc.
  57. it's also known as a connoisseur's marathon where there are 22 catering stops, 21 wine-tasting stops and offering regional specialties are offered, like oysters, grilled beef, cheese and a Medoc specialty of pork-butchers delicatessen along the route
  58. you get to win your weight in French wines (read: French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew by Peter Mayle)
  59. i used to represent my school for squash
  60. now i don't play squash
  61. i think that i have great eye and hand coordination
  62. am good at ball and racquet games
  63. even driving while smsing, eating and drinking
  64. OOOppss.. it's against the law to do that (forget i wrote that)
  65. my first car was a white Suzuki hatch,
  66. it was only 600cc,
  67. nicknamed OLK (pronounced as O-Lek),
  68. hence my nickname.
  69. one crazy guy ran out of the street one night and wanted commit suicide by having cars run him over, luckily i managed to stop.
  70. was inches from hitting him. i freaked out and had diarrhea or as we know it here, " 拉青屎", when i got home
  71. it was literally green in colour, honest!
  72. i prefer savory than sweet stuff,
  73. but i do like sweet stuff too
  74. i love Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Favorite flavours: macadamia brittle and green tea
  75. Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk as well
  76. i'm a coca-cola addict
  77. i can swear in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, English and local dialects
  78. i taught an English "gentleman" a hokkien swear word once and he went around showing off to everyone. it was hilarious!
  79. i love picnics
  80. enjoy preparing food, drinks, wine for picnics
  81. got a real picnic basket from a dear friend for one of my birthdays
  82. my friends attempted to fulfill my happy list (a listing of things that makes me happy) for one of my birthdays. i was very touched.
  83. i have outgrown my groupie stage
  84. used to get autographs from various singers and pop stars
  85. from New Kids on the Block, Tommy Page, Savage Garden, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok to F4!
  86. love movies, watches all kinds of movies except horror
  87. believe in and am very scared and terrified of the supernatural
  88. am convinced that i had a ghostly encounter at Port Arthur, Tasmania
  89. used to go for movies in the open aired theatre in Joo Chiat
  90. tickets were only 50cents for adults (now it's $8.50-9.50!!) and free for children
  91. dad brought us to the drive-in in Jurong once. the movie was 最佳拍档之大显神通 (Aces Go Places), starring 许冠杰 (Sam Hui) and 麦嘉 (Kar Mak)
  92. all the kids were smuggled in the boot and we only paid for 2 adult tickets
  93. the money saved was used to buy snacks for all of us!
  94. i have excellent memory, too bad i never used it properly for studies, using it selectively for trivial stuff and gossip!
  95. i have never met any of my grandfathers
  96. dad never met his father either, grandfather was stabbed to death by the Japanese during the war and my dad was only 1 month old then
  97. i think that i get my crappy sense of humour from my dad
  98. also my inclination for tools, wires, technology, love for fixing stuff, sea, seafood, cuttle fish and sports
  99. can tinker with cars and know how to change oil and tyres
  100. believe in driving manual cars only, that's the thrill of having wheels

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Why ExLibris Olkgal?

Reasons coming out really soon. Keep your eyes peeled for this space!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

How about this orange??

to be honest.. i figured that i wasn't a pink person.. it was difficult to get words to show up on it... the pink was a little too dark, as Ivan pointed out.

How about the orange now?? i think that it's such a cheery colour. Ain't too difficult to do it.. so anyone wants to employ me for my services.. har har har..

I know that there are still problems.. things with the background picture not stretching and stuff... and it not displaying properly on firefox too.. and i don't even know if it's displaying properly on other browsers or screen size!! i need some lessons!! help!!

Oh yeah.. i got my copy of The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer via Kinokuniya's online ordering and delivery... they did deliver when they said they will and i have finished it. it's really good. The plot is very captivating and at times when i thought all was hopeless for Holly, something dramatic happens. I even gave a shout of cheer... hee hee hee.. luckily i was alone in my house though.

New Look!!

look everyone?? How you do like the new design? well.. it's a little bit pinkish...but i think that i have gotten the hang of modifying and creating the site. Not too bad right for a first attempt? mst admit that at one stage.. i was almost going crazy trying to make sure that the stripes on the background aligned properly...

been wanting to change the look for the blog for the longest time... and thought that i'd need help.

still need to tweak it a little bit more... :D

Thursday, April 21, 2005

New books to be delivered!!

Well.. i don't know how many of you have tried kinokuniya's online shopping and delivery service. So far.. i would say that it's pretty good. Well.. at least from my experience... the books have yet to be delivered.. but am pretty glad that it's on the way.

Discovered that the new Artemis Fowl book is in their warehouse so decided to place an order for it, knowing very well that even if i popped down to the store in town, the books aren't going to be there yet (from my previous experience with Septimus Heap). I was actually hoping that i would get the books by the next working day, but no such luck due to the cut off time of the orders. The staff from the store will also call and confirm the orders if you put a note to request for it. As previously mentioned, they provide free delivery for purchases above $50.. so i took the opportunity to get The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, Book 4) by Eoin Colfer, Sahara : A Dirk Pitt Adventure (Paperback) by Clive Cussler (despite of the reviews, i thoroughly enjoyed the movie... pure action with a bit of treasure hunting like Indiana Jones movies. i felt that it was even better than National Treasure. I supposed that to an extent and hopes that Da Vinci Code would be better) and Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke. Even though magazines aren't offered their online shopping site, i even got them to throw in the latest Instyle magazine too.. how about that?? Ain't that great? I don't even need to go out at all. Oh.. but the bad thing is that i can't browse in the store... and see what is new and exciting!!!

i've been eagerly awaiting for the next Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception... and the plot is like so unbelievable and so thrilling. Ok... i'm a bit ks.. so i did go to and read an excerpt from the book. You can do so too...

For those who aren't familiar with Artemis Fowl... here's a zipped summary. Artemis Fowl is a young human boy with genius mind. He discovers that there are is a whole hidden world of magical folks out there, fairies, pixies and elves. First he tried to kidnap one (Holly Short) for ransom (after all, the gold at the end of the rainbow is true), however, he was foiled. In the second book, his help was needed to curb a goblin uprising in the fairy community and together with Holly Short, he managed to bargain for fairy help to save his father and defeat the uprising. In the third book, Artemis tries to sell fairy technology to other humans, however, he was ambushed, got his trusted bodyguard killed, so he needed Holly Short's help. In return, he had to retrieve the fairy technology and got his mind wiped of all memories of fairy folk at the end of the book.

Which brings us right up to the Opal Deception, Opal Koboi was the leader of the uprising and she had been plotting for the downfall of those who foiled her plans, mainly Artemis Fowl and Holly Short and create havoc in the fairy community. This time, it's Holly who need Artemis' help. However, how will Artemis Fowl (having reverted to the scheming, money-mind person from the first book) help Holly, and having no memories of the fairies at all?

i always wondered how this series can maintain its appeal. Looks like there's more to come. With all the thrills and spills... i can't wait to find out how the latest adventure will turn out.


ok.. just realised that this posting is crap.. but what the heck.... too lazy to re-write...

Monday, April 18, 2005

What's life?

Managed to grab a copy of The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom and read it over the weekend. It's a really easy to read, simple story. However, it's one of those books that raises so much more questions for the reader and of cos, doesn't provide any answers. You have to find them out yourself. Cable was showing the tv adaptation over the weekend too.

Seems to be the trend of books/stories to start with death nowadays. Eddie, a small town amusement ride maintenance worker was crushed by a falling cart from a ride. As the title of the book implies, he went on to Heaven and meets 5 people in his life that had or made an impact in his life. From the love of his life, to those that he doesn't even know existed.

Even though it is a story.. you often wonder, how much of the themes that the story speaks about can be real or is probable in real life. What if there is such a thing as come-uppance? What if really what goes round comes around? What if trivial/spilt second decisions made alters your life completely and sends you down into the depths of Hell or to the Heavens? What if the grudges you hold harms you more then you'd ever know? What if you only discover your purpose in life only in death? What if you find no fulfillment in your purpose in life (even if you know/find out what it is)? What if your questions only get answered in death? And what if they never get answered?

Sometimes i wonder wat my purpose in life is. Don't seem to be able to find an answer. I supposed everyone grapples with it. i often tell myself to live life without regrets... but as time passes... i can't help but wonder if choices and decisions that i have made shaped my thinking and hardened me, and in turn, turned me into a jaded, judgmental cynic for life. Maybe i'd never find the answer till Death.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I'm done with Heap...

guess wat.. i managed to get a copy of Septimus Heap by Angie Sage over the weekend and completed it. Was pretty surprised as i thought that only the hard cover was available.. and i would have to pay over $30 for it. Turns out.. the paperback's available and i paid only $17 for it.

Hrrmmpp.. very interesting book.. it's a definate page turner. review to be coming up soon.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Wedding Date...

Did you know that the movie, The Wedding Date is based on a book, Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young? I didn't know that.. so once i saw the movie.. i went and check our catalogue for the book (hey.. i've got a new chick lit book to check out.. and accordingly .. Elizabeth Young's writing is not too bad). And guess wat? we have only got 3 copies.. and 1 one's on trace and 2's on reservation... looks like i'd be better off getting my own copy from the second book store if i can't wait for the book. it's also interesting to note that the book has been re-printed and re-titled as, "The Wedding Date" to capitalise on the buzz... hrrmmpp.. wonder why.. especially when the characters and story were an adaptation (just the storyline.. girl has no date or boyfriend and hires an escort to bring to her younger sister's wedding)... even the names and settings were different! Wonder what else is different from the book... i supposed that as the author, Elizabeth Young would have the powers and the publisher's backing to do that. .. after all.. why not, right?

Anyway.. am tempted to read the book Sideways : A Novel by Rex Pickett. it won the best screenplay adaptation at the 2005 academy awards. i wouldn't say that i really enjoy the movie..A self-discovery journey for 2 guys whom one is trying to get over his wife and divorce and the other's getting his last fling before getting married. It's a bit too slow moving for me..but yet.. very real life instead of the fluffy happy-ever after in movies... very honest and brutal. More drama than romantic comedy... i honestly think that in this case.. the book might be better. and i just love the lime green cover.. hee hee hee.. it's not a chick lit.. it's a guy lit.. (or is there another term coined besides dick lit?).

Next movie coming right up to Singapore's screen that is based on a book is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams . Don't know if i'd be tempted to read it or not.. not too much of a sci-fi fan.....

Friday, April 01, 2005

My ideal state...

one of my colleagues asked me today.. what i would work as if i wasn't a librarian... the first answer that was out of my mouth was, "tai-tai!".. she rolled her eyes at me and cried, "that's not a job!".. hrrmmppp.. i'm sure that the tai-tais would think otherwise... you need lots of time management skills to schedule your time to go for facials, manicures, pedicures, fund raisers, coffee and tea sessions, not forgetting high-tea... but honestly.. i wouldn't know.. don't think that i will have the fortune to be one.

Since my first choice was rejected.. i told her.. hrrmpp.. maybe in a bookshop.. or with book publishers or something... i think that i would still like to have something to books ultimately.

i always had the idea that being in the book retail can be interesting... but i wouldn't know much given that i don't have much insight into it. i'm sure that there are frustrations... about the type of customers who abused the new books (i would get extremely upset)... the long hours, shifts, idiotic customers and such. But i would enjoy helping customers in picking up a book and recommending titles.

i had fun last christmas at kinokuniya. i was in the shop browsing with one of my friends... and while i was looking at some books... i overheard one gentleman asking the kino staff if the book he choose was any good and if it be suitable as a gift. It was kinda like straight out of the movie, "You've Got Mail." Well.. the staff didn't know anything, giving a "duh" look and just like wat happened in the movie, (as i did read the book).. i went and introduced myself... and told the customer was the book was about... and told him whom i thought whom the book appeal to... turns out that he's got a few presents to buy.. and he didn't know what kind of books to purchase... so ended up.. i made some recommendations and helped him select the books to buy for his recipients (the staff quickly scampered off when she discovered that i was more than capable of helping the gentleman).

i would love having a job like that.. helping people select at buy books as gifts... presents.. or even for themselves. Granted that this wouldn't happen often even in the bookstore.. but if you can have a personal clothes shopper.. why can't you have a personal book shopper?

i think that it is different in libraries... in my years of working there.. i have never had anyone come up to me to ask if the book that they have chosen was any good. maybe cos most of the time.. people do their own selection.. and know what books they want.. and just zoom in and rush to get the book... other times, people just want you to point them in the right direction.. often.. even before i finish telling them the call numbers.. they are off and running... most of the time.. they are simply not interested to hear more. If not... there's a whole long queue and you can't spend more time.. cos you are constantly being interrupted by people asking for the toilet, photocopiers.. or just directions.

sometimes i'm really really tempted to walk up to someone who's holding a book that i have enjoyed reading and just say, "hey.. that's a good book that you have there... have you read it? or "What do you think of the book"..... have a bit of sharing...etc. And i'm really tempted to recommend other books (when i'm able to)... to build on a particular theme or something. things that i do with my friends, colleagues and peers.

to a certain extend... i'm only successful in generating interest in books on a one-to-one basis. i feel that reading is very personal... and each one relates to different books differently... you kinda have to know what each reader likes to read before choosing a book for him/her... kinda like a customisation... or pitch the book in such a way that it makes the person want to read the book. If it is on a group basis... sometimes it can be difficult. Just like in book talks.. when speaking to a class full of pupils. Often i wonder.. after i give a book talk... how many people in the audience would truly be motivated in picking up the book and borrowing it... more than often... it's like a shot gun approach.. pitch the book that will appeal to the broadest of interests... and hope that some points will hit a few targets. Sometimes i really wonder how effective i am in such settings. we don't get any follow-ups or feedback to see if the students did read any of the books that we recommended. at least you still run into your friends or colleagues to see if they did read the book.. and if not.. you could bug them.. har har har.

Recently... i discovered that one of my friends was reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. i read that book last year and was able to share with her some of my thoughts on the book. (spoilers ahead)

it was a pretty easy book to read... and the author was pretty successful in getting the readers into the head of Christopher, letting the reader understand why Christopher was behaving the way he did as much as he knows that his father doesn't like him to do it. he just can't control himself. At the same time.. the reader slowly uncovers the frustrations of Christopher's father.. and what he has to put up/accept cos of his son's condition and being a single parent and all. But how i related to the book was the loss that Christopher felt for the dog and why he felt that he had to solve the mystery as i lost my dog a couple of years back too. In solving the mystery.. Christopher finds that there's lots of things he is capable of doing and is good at despite of his condition.

After my friend read the book.. and knowing that she's a poetry and dog lover as well... i then pass her my copy of Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. A very original poignant and touching novel of short verses and poems written by Jack who lost his dog in a hit and run accident.... even though she enjoyed the book.. i have no doubts that she actually related to the book differently from me.. given that she hasn't face the loss of a beloved pet before. .. kinda related to the post i previously wrote on must reads A to Z.. .. the type of insights one would get if they ever get hold of my reading lists... hee hee hee

hrrmmpp.. so where do i go from here now?? How about Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul by Jack Canfield or even Dog Dogs by Elliott Erwitt... or should i go the other way.. and link it to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos.

Decisions.. decisions.. maybe should start on something new... hee hee hee... just give me more hours in a day for me to indulge in my reading.