Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘reading for pleasure

We hope you enjoyed the World Book Night Celebrations in the LRC today. We all learnt some new Scottish vocabulary and places while¬†sipping some IRN BRU and nibbling on oatcakes and shortbread. In this to get us in the mood to read Jenny Colgan’s ‘A Very Distant Shore’ set in Scotland.

If you missed out we can still give out some of the activities and a few copies of the book ‘A Very Distant Shore’ next week. Have a lovely long weekend. Tell us what you think of the book. There are plenty more Quick Reads to borrow if you finish that one too quickly ūüėČ

World Book Night 2017 logoThis year we’re celebrating World Book Night on Friday 28 April from 200-330 in the Learning Resources Centre for our students.

World Book Night rules have changed so our LRC is sponsoring a set of books to give away to our students. As usual we are keeping the title of the book secret. Why? Because our celebration event activities reflect the theme of the book! And not only that it feeds into our refreshments too.

We’ve already installed the surprise book onto our set of Kindles so any one wanting to try out the electronic reading experience can do so at the event.

Our activities will lead to prizes and there will be a chance for our attendees to get creative and talk about books they’ve enjoyed. We’ll be adding these recommendations onto the World Book Night Good Reads List. This year we have Wendy Morris from Kingston University Library joining us to celebrate. Wendy works with us and our reading group¬†The Real Book Club¬†whose next book is set to be Harry Bingham’s Quick Read¬†Dead Simple.

Find out about the impact of World Book Night 2016 on the World Book Night report. And take a look at what we did at last year’s event on our Sway.

The Learning Resources team are all busy reading our chosen book in advance and making the activities…We look forward to the event on Friday.

Books can be heavy, notes¬†get lost¬†and eyes get tired. On all these issues, ebooks can help. Reading a book on a screen may not have the same satisfaction as holding a physical copy.¬†¬†Yet there are benefits¬†to having access to books¬†stored in the “cloud“.

Differences between ebooks and reading apps

What makes a reading app an app rather than an ebook? There aren’t many differences between reading apps and ebooks.¬†For those who are curious about such things, one distinction is that¬†ebooks tend to be downloadable and have copies exist¬†in physical form, whereas¬†reading apps are more likely to be ‘born digital’, that is, having no physical manifestation (at least to begin with). Reading apps¬†and ebooks these days might mix¬†text with interaction and features of other media¬†such as video, audio¬†and¬†games.

Benefits of ebooks and reading apps

  • not needing to carry a book around,
  • having a choice of things to read between,
  • being able to read without hands with the help of a screenreader such as the freebie Natural Reader or VoiceOver on Macs,
  • have your device record¬†how much you’ve read.

We have two ebook platforms available through the catalogue for subjects including maths, social sciences and English.

If you are after fiction you may want other apps on your smartphone for easy access.

3 Free Reading apps

There are a number of reading apps to add to your phone for free, much of the content is free too. It depends on how you like your reading experience but it’s always good to have a book available on your smartphone if you’ve got one.

Perhaps try The Pigeonhole which releases ebooks in installments so it’s more¬†digestible for on-the-go reading.

There is also the Kindle reading app so you can get all the out-of-copyright ebooks downloaded on your phone or tablet or desktop.

I’ve also heard of the app Hooked which present stories as a chat conversation.

Like, you know, super spooky.

Don’t forget your public library will have ebooks available to borrow.

Let us know what reading apps you’ve heard of¬†or would like to try out. What combo of apps vs print works for you?

 

 

We’ve got many keen women¬†who are students of literature and budding creative writers. One piece of advice given¬†to writers looking to improve their wordcraft is to read as widely as possible. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, which is why magazines like Mslexia are so vital to bring together women with creative energy to learn from each other.

So how do writers achieve the effect of creating imaginative scenes, characters and worlds? This TEDEd video by Nalo Hopkinson suggests that good writers play with language to evoke our senses. From Shakespeare to Angela Carter, there are certain literary devices such as alliteration, imagery and tone which combine to build a multi-layered story full of movement, sound, taste, sight and smell. You could probably give me some examples.

If you are new to creative writing a good book to read is ‘Experiencing Poetry‘ series.¬†In these short books, they¬†describe famous poets’ use of¬†language¬†simply and get you thinking about how to put into words what seems impossible to say.

book-clip-artThere’s been a campaign running across BBC television and radio to highlight the joys of reading for children and adults.

The dedicated #LovetoRead website is an inspirational goldmine! For example, here’s an article on the life of Sue Townsend, an author who kept her writing secret for years. An obvious parallel is JK Rowling. The author of the Harry Potter books struggled through temporary jobs and unemployment before her books took off.

Writing and reading fiction like these two women’s books is at least¬†an escape from reality for thousands and millions of people. Yet the stories behind their stories speak of the power of positive change, dedication¬†and creativity. Who doesn’t love¬†rags to riches stories? Often ‘riches’ doesn’t just mean money but self-development, success or enlightenment. We have many uplifting life stories in the LRC on the biography shelves. We’ll be back in the main LRC in a week so please come and find out about reading a feel-good book.

If you are a social media keen bee you can use the hashtag #LovetoRead to easily find and connect with other readers around the UK and the world! If you are interested in hashtags, children are using them in stories now!

Student taking a book from a shelfWe’re so excited as we’ve received a Library Literacy Grant from Better World Books to create reading groups at our college this academic year.

Our grant will help us get new books to reflect women’s issues and experiences. We will also buy more¬†ereaders so we can get our students reading on digital devices. During the summer we established links with our local Surbiton library so we can encourage our students to join and borrow from the local library and use their ebooks too. Through one of our team’s connection to Kingston University Library we have been able to set up two groups; a Hillcroft College and Kingston University Group and a Hillcroft College Group. The group with Kingston is targeting more confident readers and runs monthly. Whereas the Hillcroft one is running weekly for the less confident readers.

We’re already in week 2 of our programme. To measure the success of our project we’ve taken and adapted questions from the Reading Agency’s Reading Outcomes Framwork Toolkit. Throughout the project we’ll be asking our participants to give us feedback on the groups and their reading. This will include a UX (User Experience) reading journey as well as video diaries.

The Kingston group started off last week reading Jackie Kay’s Red Cherry Red.

Watch out this year as we chart the groups activities. We’ll be using our grant along with ¬†the National Lottery grant ¬†to create a relaxing reading area conducive to reading for pleasure!

Karen's group are reading from Jackie Kay's collection of poetry 'Red Cherry Red'.

Karen’s group are reading from Jackie Kay’s collection of poetry ‘Red Cherry Red’.

Good news!¬†Two reading groups for Hillcroft students¬†are starting¬†this week. There’s¬†a monthly group led by¬†Karen from Kingston University that met on Wednesday. The¬†weekly reading group is meeting for the first time today led by Kim.

The idea is to increase reading confidence, enjoyment of reading and start new conversations among women with an common interest in reading.

Each reading group’s identity will grow over time shaped by the interests and ambitions of the group. Both groups are yet to be named by their members. In my mind they will be the¬†‘No. 1 Ladies Reading Groups’ after Alexander McCall Smith’s series.

The “Wednesday/Monthly” group will have childcare options in the future and we’ll let you know about that in further updates.

If you are inspired by the reading groups please join the Reading Ahead Challenge as well. The LRC will give you a diary to think about your reading journey over six reads.

There’s a survey to help us see how the reading groups go. If you haven’t filled one in and you’d like to sign up for the next reading group meeting or the Reading Ahead challenge, send the LRC an email and we’ll try to¬†find space: lrc@hillcroft.ac.uk.

Hope you all enjoyed the reading groups so far if you have been involved. Big thanks to Karen and Kim for their energy and expertise in leading the meetings.