- Bat-Definitions

[I foresee that I'll be adding to this, bit by bit. I should note that these are words and phrases I sometimes use. When I remember to use them.]


Autodidactic Rabbit Trails

Title of blog posts that are mostly blobs of links: Where I meander around the web, bring back links of things that are oddly interconnected in some way, and in theory we all learn interesting things. Sometimes I stick to a coherent theme, sometimes not. Problem is I often forget to actually label these posts with A.R.T. in the header. Am working on that.



Susan Glaspell, Random Online Reading Recommendations, and the Pardon of a "Boy Murderer"


Why I Will Eventually Have A Stuffed Crocodile Hanging From My Ceiling


I was Entirely Clueless about Modern Smelling Salts


Random Linkage: Not really a Theme here...


Research or Procrastination?: London Monuments, Louis MacNeice, Nancy Spender, and Person from Porlock


Not Your Grandmother's Porcelain Figurine - Tiger Mauling and Art Weirdness



Book Mood

I have to be in the right kind of mood to read certain genres. If I'm feeling low that's not a moment I'm going to enjoy a tear jerking story of death and sorrow. Nonfiction is usually a better choice for me then. Sometimes after a lot of serious reads (and a really long, stressful day) I need something completely fluffy and easy on the brain cells - the equivalent of eating cotton candy. No matter what I'm already reading, if it doesn't fit my mood, I'm not reading that book today.



Book Reality

Thanks to a quote, I decided to define books that aren't "real" books. (Original post here.)

Unreal books are barely visible, and hover over your bed while you sleep, hinting that they're much better than anything you currently own and are reading.


Surreal books try to convince you that all the couch pillows are marshmallows and the refrigerator is actually a doorway to a parallel universe. Also something about bananas, because it's always something about bananas.


Hyper-real books make you certain that they describe real life better than reality, and thus make you question whether you are actually living in reality or inside someone else's book. (These are books best avoided, for obvious reasons.)



Han Solo In Carbonite Problem/Rule:
In May 21, 1980 the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back ended with Han Solo encased in carbonite and in the hands of the enemy. It would be three years until we found out what happened to Han - and finally on May 25, 1983, Return of the Jedi gave us the answer. But it felt like a LOT longer than three years. (Once when I was telling this story in the most over the top fashion I claimed it was 7 years.) Not to mention that without the internet or Star Wars books with the plotline (were there any such books in the 80s, about the movie plot before the film was released at the box office? I don't think so.), etc. - there was no way to find out what was going to happen to Han. You just had to wait and wonder. I hated that. And more importantly I remembered hating it a long time.

Due to this (and yes, other media examples, because it happens a lot in television and books) I really, really dislike cliffhangers in books where the authors then take years to produce the next part. I tend to avoid series, but those I do pick up I tend to wait until the author has produced the entire series, with an ending. (Or at least without huge cliffhanger endings - the books have to stand alone without needing the series.) And I refer to this as my Han Solo in Carbonite problem. Or my Rule if I'm using it as an excuse to avoid getting into a series that I think won't end any time soon.



Indie Uploaders:

I heard this phrase thanks to Debbie's comment on Bookstooge's post:


"Those who "just spew enough words together, say it's a book, and sell it to unsuspecting readers to use them as alpha/beta readers and fully expect them to either love it because their loved ones did or to review only in a fashion useful to the book revisions then remove that review because a revised edition has been put out..."

So it's in particular someone whose writing isn't even near the first draft phrase. Or has no knowledge that there is this thing called a first draft and you're not supposed to let anyone purchase that. This also may be someone who thinks an editor is someone who only corrects punctuation and grammar.



Necessary Productivity Treat

When you need a hit of caffeine/sugar/snack because otherwise you're going to fall asleep at your desk. Sounds very professional. Often it is actually vital.


Self Spoilering:
Looking at the end of the book before you've finished reading it to find out what happens. This can actually be a necessary and even healthy thing! For instance, here are some examples:

1) You MUST finish the book to find out what happens or you will not be able to sleep at all tonight. Giving in and looking at the end means you'll actually be able to get up tomorrow morning at a reasonable hour and be civil to those around you.
2) You're going to throw the book across the room (or at least stop reading the damn thing) unless Character X, whom you detest, exits the narrative. If you were reading nonfiction/history you could always just check the page numbers in the index to see how long you'll have to put up with Character X - but in the case of fiction peeking at the end will allow you to finish the book with much less angst. Or just give up finishing the book and thus escape all that annoyance anyway.
3) Peeking ahead will allow you to slow down and actually appreciate the writing/story rather than skimming everything just to hurryhurryhurry on to the end.

I might be guilty of self spoilering. But usually it's only if the book is very long and/or the suspense gets too much for me.

Shadow Read:
A phrase I found via Rose Summers that nicely describes something I do all the time (and was delighted to find that I'm not the only one that does this!):


"I mean reading books other than the ones I have listed on my CR shelf on GR. I'm reading three books of the six on my Current shelf, but I have three other books I'm shadowreading."

-quote from a Rose Summers status update here.


I think one of the reasons I like the term so much is because it reminds me of when I learned that the UK has a Shadow Cabinet and Shadow Minister, though the term doesn't always get used in the media. It sounds somewhat menacing, and perhaps just a bit Dark Sideish (Star Wars reference!) or Shadow Councilish (Marvel comics!).