Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc.)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience? How do you engage in talking about books outside of your blog?  

I

was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in #TwitterFictionFestival last spring. I chose to write extemporaneously, though I had a basic outline. It is available here. The week before, I went and took photographs around Savannah to accompany the story and I tweeted from three different accounts. It was nerve-wracking but really fun.

We are lucky to have a Little Free Library in our neighborhood. And I am lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where people wave, stop in on each other’s porch, trade gardening tips and so on. I try to make sure I help keep the Little Free Library stocked.

I try to stay in the loop, surround myself with readers and writers. I participate in writing contests, go to literary events and I volunteer with Deep Kids, a local nonprofit that runs after-school writing programs for middle-schoolers. If you want to tear up, watch one of our kids speak at the White House and get a hug from Michelle Obama (skip to 13:50).

I was quite intrigued by Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia that launched in April. The author wrote a novel about mid-1800s England to be released serially as a Dickens book would have been in the time. Belgravia is read via an app. A traditional book format will be published this summer.

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The app has interactive aspects like images of the fashion of the day and descriptions of typical meals. Each week, a new episode is pushed to the app. (I only read the first installment and wasn’t completely engrossed, but I love the idea of the type storytelling).

I would enjoy seeing more efforts like this one. Giving readers the option to widen their scope and become even more immersed in the setting seems like a good way to go.

I can also get a bit excited when an author has a fun website, with related items. though perhaps dated in the platform, the creativity used for Boris Akunin’s site is still fresh. You can even take a sleuth test and unlock custom wallpapers.

Lastly, when the stress of keeping up with reviews begins to creep in, I remind myself why it is I love reading. I often get sucked into the world of fan art around the world of books and reading. There are some amazingly talented folks out there.

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8 thoughts on “ARMCHAIR BEA 16: Beyond the books and the blog”

  1. I am jealous of your Little Free Library. My neighbor is a builder and we’ve talked about working together, but it’s not gone beyond talking at this point.

    How fantastic is it that your child was hugged by Michelle Obama! My heart would have soared.

  2. I love that you volunteer with young writers; that’s awesome! Especially in a time where the Arts are being cut and discouraged everywhere. Kids need to be creative, and imagine, and express themselves more than ever.

    Have you heard of Serial Box? They have books released as serials. 🙂

  3. I think Free Little Libraries are super charming. I’d love to have one in my city, but I don’t know the regulations regarding it. You’d think people would support something like that. I agree, fan art can be truly amazing!

  4. Ah, Deep Kids sounds so amazing and that kid is so awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

    That fan art is pretty sweet. I love the internet, truly.

  5. I love that you have a little free library in your neighbourhood. The local council are removing our library services here (!!!) so perhaps this is something we could look into doing as a community.
    I really like the Belgravia concept too! I’m actually listening to it rather than reading it and definitely enjoying it that way.
    Have a great weekend!

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