Friday, November 9, 2018

When NOT to Read and The Christy Awards Gala: One Reader's Experience


by Beth Erin


As my love of stories has grown, my role in the book world has obviously evolved (from avid reader to reviewer/book blogger/influencer to bookish magazine editor). I’m not sure this makes me an expert on anything, but it certainly has given me a generous dose of reading experience. Yet, there are also subtle ways the story footprint has quietly seeped deeper and gently spread wider in my little world.

Until an experience brings my attention to its increasing size and strength, I'm left unaware. Before I share about the most recent situation that triggered this wave of emotion and introspection, I’ve compiled the following etiquette guidelines with help from my book sisters for a bit of fun and perhaps to challenge our more rebellious villagers. Shockingly, there are times when reading is generally frowned upon.

Do NOT read when… 

driving, mowing, biking, skateboarding,
cooking a new recipe,
your children are asking for permission to do something crazy and/or dangerous,
your husband is 'in the mood',
engaged in an important phone call,
you are in church (except DO read your Bible and any applicable song/hymn lyrics),
attending weddings and funerals,
using power tools, heavy tools, and sharp objects!
swimming (unless you have a waterproof ereader tethered to your person... in which case I am jelly and want one)
operating heavy machinery or unfamiliar exercise equipment
at the dinner table (unless you are eating alone then go for it, the characters will keep you company!)
attending parties, social gatherings, and organizational meetings (unless you are super stealth)
attending a baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer game or golfing, (ya might miss the "fore" while engrossed in your book unless you select your seating carefully, travel with a lookout… pop flies happen, y'all… or is that a foul ball? idk)

Do NOT read if you…

don't want to improve yourself (reading makes you more empathetic and smarter),
don't want to learn new things,
want to make conversation with strangers,
don't want to stretch your imagination,
are wearing your birthday suit (this is especially important for readers who read on a device with apps: beware of accidentally bumping Facebook live or some such travesty, there are things which cannot be unseen)
would rather rot your brains out with a television,
would prefer to watch the grass grow, or paint dry, or other equally exciting happenings,
feel empowered to fight crime, slay dragons, or engage in other high-risk behaviors which you are completely unprepared for because of your extensive collection of action/suspense/fantasy books.

Use extreme caution when reading and…

walking, running,
changing diapers,
doing dishes, cooking,
showering (curtain) or bathing (proceed at your own risk),
recognize unrealistic expectations (I’m totally series about this one. For example, don't read romance if it has a negative impact on your thought life, read Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn)

The Christy Awards Gala

If y’all haven’t watched The Christy Awards Gala yet, allow me to highly recommend it and remind you of the Facebook live playback link. As Ruthy mentioned in the Weekend Edition, she is one of this year's finalists so I'm sure she will share more within the next week or two. I also had the honor of attending this year's event in person and the evening completely blessed my reader heart. 


From a shallow first love for their stories, beyond the early new love of common faith and friendship, to a deep, abiding love for my people who happen to be authors, an individual, familiar, bosom friends, spirit deep and God gifted love. Love filled that theater and I felt like more than "just a reader" in a crowd of professionals. There was a sense of belonging, of a second home, an extended family... their sorrows are my sorrows, their joys, my joy.

The fact that this profound gift was given on the same day our dear friend Bonnie Roof stood face to face with our Lord did not escape my notice so whether God was simply generous with a fresh touch of His grace or Bonnie put in a good word for me (she always had a kind and encouraging praise to share), I'm grateful for God's perfect timing, His patience, and His presence. 

Giveaway

Comment below for a virtual hug and a chance to win a signed copy of Ruthy's Refuge of the Heart or The First Gift (with their traditionally published cover design). One winner for each title will be announced in the Weekend Edition.

Do you read in any of our NOT situations above? Who here attended the Christy's? who watched live? who watched the playback?



I feel obligated to leave this here, just in case...
Beth Erin is an Associate Editor of Hope by the Book magazine and a Christian Fiction Readers Retreat associate. She is a Christian fiction enthusiast, book reviewer, and blogger. Beth strives to edify and connect with readers and authors at Faithfully Bookish and on social media. She also contributes to the Hoarding Books & Diversity Between the Pages blogs. She is passionate about promoting authors and their entertaining, encouraging, and redemptive stories.

49 comments:

  1. Beth, I love this! And wasn't this time in Nashville amazing? That room was so filled with joy and the Spirit and love... and we're talking a competitive event that could have been riddled with disappointment and angst... And yet, I think that was the last thing on anyone's mind or simply totally nonexistent. And I bought a cute outfit for next year's Christy Awards and conference gala because final or not, I want to come back.

    It was that wonderful!

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    1. Ruthy, that's how I felt in this year's ACFW, also in Nashville. Almost in another realm. People really DIDN'T care if they won or not, they were there to support each other.

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    2. I was hoping for a chance to see you and Beth.

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    3. You're absolutely right, Ruthy! Every finalist is already a winner (especially you, my friend, but that is my biased opinion since I don't have your finalist book), each book is worthy of the recognition and the award winners simply wrote the story that most widely appealed to those genre specific judges. I agree, going back is a top priority for me as well! Hugs!

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    4. Yes! So true, Ruthy. Let's make it an annual tradition <3

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  2. I'll take that cyber hug, Beth. So thrilled you attended the prestigious Christy Awards. Like you, I grieve Bonnie's passing. Heaven is rejoicing, for sure.

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    1. Debby, you are a great hugger, I'll hug you every chance I get! It was an honor to know Bonnie and her heart for Christian fiction lives on through every life she touched because her passion is contagious and the spark of the CFRR legacy has spread to other events across the country. What a gift God gave us in Boonie!

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    2. So true! Prayers for her family and friends who mourn her passing!

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  3. I'd love a cyber hug.

    I do read in the tub. Print books only. Never had a mishap.

    I watched the Christy's

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    1. Wilani, you live on the wild side! Yay, I'm glad you were virtually there with us! HUGS!

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  4. Love the post, Beth! Brought a smile as I head into my last workday of a crazy-hectic week. :) And I can hardly wait to see your new magazine!!

    I never had the privilege of meeting Bonnie, but have heard so many wonderful things about her through the years. I know she'll be greatly missed by those of you who've known and loved her.

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    1. Oh, it's not just me being pummeled by the week's craziness?! That is reassuring!
      Thank you for sharing our excitement over the magazine! I'm beside myself with anticipation, truly!
      If I had another opportunity to sit and visit with her, to get to know her better, and just spend time with her, I definitely would.

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  5. Beth, the worst reading mishap I ever had, and it was a doozy, was when I dropped my two-week-old firstborn in a trash can while trying to hold her and read at the same time. Fortunately, the trash can was filled with newspapers and they broke her fall. And fortunately she was and is all right. A glimmer of recognition that I should not multi-task.

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    1. Well, I think God builds firstborns just a tad sturdier to survive all those first time parent blunders. We all have stories like this unless we've blocked them out of our minds by selection or sleep deprivation ;)

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    2. HAHA! I'm sorry - that is just delightful. Probably not at the time but i love it now lol

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  6. Fun post, Beth. I do read in the tub, but usually magazines. I always read when I eat alone. Found I have to be careful if eating something with spaghetti sauce or other messy food and I'm reading a library book!

    I was working and did not get to see the Christy Awards live and there wasn't time to watch the playback. I'm sure it was a wonderful event.

    No need to put me in the drawing as I already have those books of Ruthy's. In fact, my book group read both of them. Someone else can be blessed to receive them as they are great books.

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    1. Magazines seem like a safe compromise. Thank you for taking extra care with library books! I wish more patrons were half as careful as you.
      At least you have the option of watching later if you have time. I've heard it was inspiring to watch as well, it was so much more than an award announcement.
      Wonderful, I'm glad you've had the opportunity to enjoy these stories with friends! You still win a virtual HUG! ❤

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  7. Beth, thank you for the fun post! I did watch the Christy Award live. Thank you for ALL you do to promote inspiration fiction authors! ((((HUGS))))

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    1. Yay, Caryl! I could thank you for the same thing, my friend! Authors (and book bloggers) are blessed to have you in their corner. HUGS! ❤

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  8. Fun post! I tried reading at a volleyball game once (it was when my daughter's team was on break/reffing). Once and never again since I was pegged by a ball I never saw coming.

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    1. Yes! Personally, I think the element of surprise makes it hurt worse too. Extra hugs for your pain and suffering, Danielle!

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  9. oh my Bethy! I love this post so much! All the heart eyes for you and your hilarious and poignant observations. You speak my heart too <3

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  10. Hi Beth:

    When I can't read I often listen to books on tape. How about doing a sequel about when not to listen to books on tape? It would also be helpful to know when it is okay to listen to books on tape when it is not okay to read.

    It's a lot easier to listen to a good reader because the voice lets you know who is speaking and the emotional inflections tell you the mood environment and your hands are free and you can let the story wash over you rather than supplying all these needs yourself. A good tape of the story can be like a delightful bubble bath! (Not knowing how to pronounce some words while reading is like the phone ringing when you are trying to read the most interesting parts of the story.)


    Also I have found that a great professional reader can provide a better job of reading you the book than you can provide reading it yourself.

    I've experienced that Ruth's books are even better when listened to on tape…and that's really saying something. It's like the difference in listening to a wonderful live full orchestra and having to conduct that performance yourself. A good reader is a luxury!

    I'd love to hear your take on audio books in a future post. In fact, how about posting a few passages from one of Ruth's books and then posting the audio file for those passages. You will hear the difference. It's like turning a black and white TV into HD color!

    Reading, even to yourself, is a performance art.

    Give audio books a try!

    Vince

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    1. You know this is a good idea. I could do all the DO NOTs if I just had audio books. Great idea, Vince. Except maybe not in church...or weddings...or funerals.

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    2. Hi Vince! I agree a great narrator is an artist. I don't have as much experience with audiobooks since I'm a visual learner. Reading for myself is more enjoyable and I retain more of the story. We'll see about lining someone up for an audiobook post in the future!

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    3. Hi Beth:

      I am also a visual learner. Learning from tapes for me is mostly a way to test what I've learned from my reading. I'm with you on that.

      But…

      When it comes to fiction (that I'm not reading for a class and which I will be tested on) a book on tape allows me to close my eyes (and with all my mind bandwidth) visualize the story characters and events. Before TV radio call that the 'theater of the mind'.

      I think highly visual people can get the most enjoyment from well performed audio books. I've listened to over 1000 books on tapes and some of them I've both read and listened to because that was a way to enjoy both even more. (I've read three Sandra Leesmith books that I also listened to on tape because each way provides unique moments of enjoyment.)

      BTW: The best books on tape I've ever read and also heard are by Tony Hillerman -- especially the ones he read himself. He was the best reader for his books ever. Mary's books would be perfect for a good reader.

      I hope you can do a post on audio tapes in the future. I also think it is a good idea to listen to your favorite keepers rather than read them a second time. Just a hint.

      Vince

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  11. Beth, what beautiful thoughts on the gala and on Bonnie. Your words blessed me! And your "Do Not's" made me laugh out loud!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Missy! I'm always surprised when the right words come out and we laugh because it's true... ;)

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  12. Praying for Bonnie Roof's family and friends, so sorry to hear of her passing.

    I once saw a man reading a newspaper while driving. Crazy. Had it propped up on the steering wheel. On the other hand, I've been guilty of the reading while "using unfamiliar exercise equipment" myself. Let's just say it did not end well, LOL.

    Thanks for such a fun post, and for including the Christy Awards link. So excited for Ruthy! Not a bit surprised she finaled.

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    1. Oh no, Laura! I hope you and your book weren't injured! It's all fun and games until the treadmill gives you road rash, am I right?!
      Ruthy is a gem, there's no doubt about that!

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  13. I love this post, Beth!

    And like Vince, I'm going to put in a plug for audio books. I'm addicted to cross stitch, and there's no better way to spend a quiet evening listening to an audio book while I stitch. :-)

    But I've also learned not to try to read while I'm cooking...I get too involved in the story.

    Finally, I'm so glad you got to go to Nashville! What an exciting time!

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    1. Thank you, Jan!
      I'm an audiobook listener when I have a lot of housework to do or need to work with my hands. I always try to have an audiobook ready for long roadtrips and for washing dishes by hand during our camping trips. I'll have to ask Bookworm Mama Rachel about her audio NOTs but we might just have to make it an audio DO post!
      Nashville was an enormous blessing! I'm so thankful that I was with my people to share in the sorrow and joys of the day.
      HUGS for you, Jan!

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  14. Bethy, I LOVE this post. I love your sweet heart! I'll sign up for a virtual hug! :)

    Like Jan, I've been reading a lot of audio books, and I've been stitching, too! :)

    Loved your list of when not to read, and your reasons not to as well.

    Blessings to you today!

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    1. Erica, you are so biased and I'll hug you anytime, any place! Oh, laundry folding is prime audiobook time but I can also read my Kindle during that chore. I'm so blessed, I have to wear shoes just to keep my socks on ;) HUGS!!!

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  15. Okay FINE. No more reading in corners at parties. I suppose that makes me appear stand-offish. Which I am, but I don't want to APPEAR to be.

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    1. Mary, I understand COMPLETELY!!! Of course, if no one notices... I won't tell ;) HUGS!

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  16. Such a great list. I have totally burned dinner trying to read "one more page" and cook at the same time. :-)

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    1. Mmmmhmmm, oh you are not alone in that, reader friend! Timers are our friends ;) HUGS! Thanks for sharing, Amy!

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  17. BETH!!!!! It was such an incredible blessing to see you in Nashville! What an experience. The conference. The gala. The amazing people. I loved it! And I am in total agreement in making this an annual thing. :)

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    1. BETH!!! I didn't think it was possible to love you more, my friend but oh goodness, our little visit touched my heart and it's true, I love you even more than before! We MUST make this annual, maybe even rent a party house and talk all night (or let's be honest... until we can't stay awake any more)

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  18. Oh, wow, this post was so hilariously clever! I read most of them to my sons, and we all cracked up. :D I have been known to sneak a book into a sporting event, while "swimming" (since I don't really like getting wet, this equates to "laying out on the beach or the side of the pool"), and in the bath tub. I have ruined a couple books from accidentally dropping them in my bath water, but I still do it. :)

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    1. Lila!!! You just made my day!!! Laughter is a wonderful gift to give, I'm delighted that y'all were entertained by my ponderings. Extra HUGS for giving me warm fuzzies! You are a fearless reader, friend! I salute you in your relentless pursuit of storytime! HUGS, HUGS, HUGS!

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  19. Cute post. I like to read my ebook while eating alone. Usually breakfast and lunch. And on the exercise bike. It’s safer. But I need to look into a book holder. I’m getting a cramp in my hand and it jiggles too much.

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    1. Thank you, Paula! Oh yes, a book holder would be helpful! I need to get some kind of reading/exercise routine for the colder months. I sometimes walk up and down our driveway with a book in warm weather.

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  20. Wonderful post and such special thoughts. Thanks for sharing! I loved watching the Christy Awards on Wednesday night. That's so fun to hear you were there to enjoy the evening! Blessings to you. I look forward to seeing you at CFRR!

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    1. Carrie! Thank you, my friend! I'm so glad you were virtually there with us. If I could bottle up all the wonderful feelings from that evening and send them to all my dear ones, I would! I'm so happy that we'll see each other soon! HUGS until I can give you the real thing :)

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  21. I admit to reading and cooking. Hey, sometimes the downtime is best occupied with a good book. :)

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  22. Thanks for the giveaway. I love Christian fiction, including historical, contemporary and Amish. Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com

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