Friday Face-Off – 20th October 2017

Friday Face-Off – 20th October 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring an umbrella: “The umbrella won’t stop the rain, but it will help you to get out during rainfall.”

I’ve gone for another book from one of my favourite authors that I have yet to read: Mr Mercedes by Stephen King.

Cover A:

umbrella1

Cover B:

umbrella2

Cover C:

umbrella3

Cover D:

umbrella4

Cover E:

umbrella5

And the winner is… COVER A!

Simple and effective in my opinion. The cold blue of the umbrella combined with the vivid red of the bloody rain is ominous and dark. Covers B and D get honourable mentions this time round, running cover A pretty close to the line!

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

I have managed to run out of themes right now, so unless I come up with something new, I will look at some of last years’ themes to reuse – with all-new covers of course!

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Friday Face-Off – 29th September 2017

Friday Face-Off – 29th September 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a train: “Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station.”

For this theme I have returned to one of my very favourite book series – The Dark Tower. More to the point, book three in the series, The Waste Lands.

Cover A:

train1

Cover B:

train2

Cover C:

train3

Cover D:

train4

Cover E:

train5

Cover F:

train6

Cover G:

train7

And the winner is… COVER A!

I absolutely love this book, especially Blaine the Mono – a sentient and suicidal monorail. That is the irony – that none of the covers featuring a train actually depict a monorail, but I love the menacing appearance in cover A, which makes it my winner this week.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week I will be looking for a cover featuring a whale: “Stop telling such outlandish tales. Stop turning minnows into whales.”

Friday Face-Off – 12th May 2017

Friday Face-Off – 12th May 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a phone: “Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it”.

I have gone with Stephen King’s Cell.

Cover A:

phone1

Cover B:

phone2

Cover C:

phone3

Cover D:

phone4

Cover E:

phone5

Cover F:

phone6

Cover G:

phone7

Cover H:

phone8

Cover I:

phone9

And the winner is… IT’S A DRAW!

For me covers D and I win it for me. The copy of this book that I own is cover D and I always loved the look of this one-the metaphorical burning of the world and the phone that caused it. Cover I is simple, but at the same time very ominous, a fantastic cover.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week I will be looking for a cover featuring a plane: “When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it ….”

Friday Face-Off – 17th March 2017

Friday Face-Off – 17th March 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring playing cards: “Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs are too sweet and wild”.

I had a book in mind this week from one of my favourite authors, Stephen King – The Dark Half.

Cover A:

bird1

Cover B:

bird2

Cover C:

bird3

Cover D:

bird4

Cover E:

bird5

Cover F:

bird6

Cover G:

bird7

Cover H:

bird8

Cover I:

bird9

Cover J:

bird10

Cover K:

bird11

Cover L:

bird12

Cover M:

bird13

And the winner is… cover H!

Covers D and E are joint second place this week with D being the cover I own, and E being a style of Stephen King book cover that I really like. Normally these two would be my winners, but this week H shades them both. It has atmosphere, a really dark feeling to it whilst still being simple.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week I will be looking for a cover featuring a street lamp: “He stood under the street lamp, sleet settling in his hair, hands fisted at his side”.

Discussion: Enjoying books in all their forms

Discussion: Enjoying books in all their forms

This post is something a little different, something I hope will become a bit more of a feature in the future here on L-Space books. Rather than a rundown on the books I have read and my thoughts on them, this post is aimed at generating discussion between you, the readers, and myself. And I really do hope you will all join in and engage.

20150702_061011In the beginning, some bright spark – a German goldsmith by the name Johannes Guttenberg – invented the printing press. This allowed mass production of pamphlets, literary material and books. Okay, so maybe a large portion of the global population was mostly illiterate at the time, it still sparked the birth of the printed word. This was around 1440. And things continued in printed form for quite some years to follow.
Nearly 500 years in all. In the 1930s, full-length novels started to get record onto long play records. This was done for people with visual disabilities – primarily war-blinded soldiers from the First World War, and those blind who could not read braille. Spoken word recordings of literature were made during the 1950s for mass release. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that audiobooks as many think of them came to be. It was at this point, the first cassette audiobooks came onto the market.

And then, of course, technology evolved even further in the decades that followed. Now e-books enter the fray. A form of written word book that is produced in an electronic format. These can be read on computers, and in more recent years, e-readers, tablet devices and smartphones. These allow a book hundreds, or even thousands of pages long to be contained and carried in dedicated devices only a few millimeters thick, and a fraction of the weight of the physical book. They also mean vast libraries of books can be stored, transported and accessed at a moment’s notice.

So that’s the background, thanks for bearing with me. And here’s where the discussion starts. I am a member on a number of book and author-related forums and social media groups. I see a large number of comments and memes relating to e-books and e-readers. Or more to the point, how you aren’t a real bookworm if you use such devices. Many are posted in jest, maybe to get a rise out of others, but a few posts are genuine. There are similar numbers of posts regarding audiobooks and how they are wonderful for people who cannot read or have conditions restricting their ability to hold a full-length book.

That’s a fair point, but surely e-readers also hold similar benefits. Fair point, they are no good to those who cannot read, but they can still be helpful to those who can’t hold a full book but can hold these devices briefly. And here’s the added bonus, compared to film adaptations or audiobooks, you are still reading the written word.

I treasure my Kindle higher than many of my other possessions. It means I have entire book series’ on hand. 40 or so books of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series? The whole of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series? All in one compact device that I can carry with me and access almost anywhere. and thanks to smartphone and tablet apps, I can read in even more situations, where I may not have my Kindle. If someone tried to take it from me, I may just commit a capital crime. And do you know what? I’d welcome the solace to read, I’d ask the prison warden to put me in solitary as long as I could keep my Kindle with me.

BUT – I. Still. Own. Books. That’s right, you really can have your cake and eat it. Sometimes my Kindle isn’t appropriate – comic books, graphic novels and so on. I have a shelf in my front room, lined with special edition books. I will hold my hand up, I don’t read these, that’s where I have my Kindle versions. But they certainly aren’t museum pieces never to be touched. I take them down from time to time, to look at the beautiful covers, open them, feel the pages, smell that smell that only books have, enjoy them. Some are signed copies of favourite books and authors. But these weren’t bought to sell on in years to come for profit. They weren’t bought to pass on and be kept in darkness. They take pride of place in my home, for me to enjoy. To take down and look at, and smile.
20150702_065830In this modern world, why can’t I read books on a Kindle and still be a bookworm? I still love the words, the stories, the worlds created as much as I would in a real book. I enjoy the people, the locations, the vivid images the words produce. At the end of the day, isn’t that what reading and being a book worm is really all about?

Do you use a Kindle or similar device? Do you listen to audiobooks – whether because of health conditions, or in the car or gym? Lets have a discussion, use the comments section below to let me know your thoughts. I want to hear from as many of you as possible and get a conversation going! 🙂