Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shame of the Village

LibraryThing outed me as the slacker I am. Long a member of LibraryThing's terrific Early Reviewer program, I have been lucky enough to nab several review copies of interesting books. For a while there, I was the model Early Reviewer. I would have earned an Early Reviewer gold star if they handed them out. Whenever I got a book, I read it immediately and I always wrote a review. But last fall, I started slacking off. Books would come, and I put them in their own priority TBR stack, and then ignored them. At first, I blamed my new job and house moving, but then, like a kid playing hooky, I just enjoyed seeing how long I could get away with not reading the books. More came in (although not as many as when I was the model participant), and I did not even bother reading the back covers -- I just bunged them into the no-longer-a-priority stack. Not any more. I got caught! LibraryThing has a new system where Early Reviewers can access a page listing their personal Early Reviewer books and information on the status of the book -- as in, whether you received the book yet and when you posted your review, with a gentle reminder to review the book if you have not done so. It is not an overtly threatening system, but the Power of the List is enough to shame me into fulfilling my duties. So, coming soon will be a new Rose City Reader List of the Day -- all my Early Reviewer books. And maybe a personal challenge is in the works. Anything to get back that gold star.

Opening Sentence of the Day: After Dinner Speaking

"Some of the sweetest sounds that a speaker can hear are the surprised ripple of laughter from the audience, the murmurs of approval at praise well deserved, and the firm hand of applause at the end of a speech, a sound of clapping that goes beyond the polite." -- After Dinner Speaking by Fawcett Boom This little book was published in 1991. I think I picked it up some time in the 1990s, when I was putting in my time with various Bar organizations and had to do my share of speaker introductions and opening remarks. Too bad I never read the book back then. I usually ended up winging it and my attempts at public speaking were always too glib, too rushed, and generally botched. Never too late to learn, though, so I am finally going to read this book. For one thing, that will get it off my nightstand where it has lived for the last 15 years.

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