Reading is great. I like reading. Cats are great. I like cats. Combining the two can be a pain in the neck. My cat loves attention. If I’m paying attention to anything other than him, he gets jealous. He even gets jealous of the books that I read.
1. Petting Himself with Books.
Whenever my cat sees a free hand he rubs his face against it. I like to think that he’s stealing some petting. Usually, I think it’s cute and scratch his head. It’s not so cute when I’m on the couch with a book in my hands trying to read. He rubs his head against the book and I lose my place.
2. Biting the Books
When rubbing books doesn’t get the results he wants, the cat moves to more drastic measures. He bites the books, mostly around the spines or the book edges. Maybe he thinks it’s a new pet vying for my affections. I imagine this creates much anxiety in him and he must kill the new pet.
3. Sitting in Front of the Books.
If he can’t kill the new pet, the cat will climb on my lap and sit in front of the book. He does this when I sit at my computer, too. He sits nobly and stares at me. Almost as if he’s reminding me that cats were worshiped in ancient Egypt.
4. Running Like Mad
After I explain to the cat that I’m not going to worship him, I pick him up and put him on the ground. He’ll wander around aimlessly for a bit, and then suddenly remember that he’s supposed to annoy me. He starts running around; darting back and forth. Leaping on and off me like I’m part of an obstacle course.
Eventually, he’ll run down the hall. And get lost. I don’t know how he gets lost; he’s less than ten feet away from me. But he can’t find me, so he starts meowing and meowing. Then, he paws at the bedroom door, because he thinks I’m in there. But I’m still on the couch. So I take pity on him and call him over. He sprints over and jumps on the couch and settles down for a nap. And then I finally get to read my book.
Do you remember the scene in “Grease” where John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s characters broke out into song about what they did during their summer vacation? I think it went a little something like this…
OK, so that didn’t really happen in the movie.
Wouldn’t it be cool though if people sang the praises of summer reading? Fortunately, there have been recent studies doing just that- albeit without the musical numbers. The reports indicate that kids who read over the summer have better retention on what they’ve just learned and an advantage for the following school year.
I know reading is the last thing on young people’s minds during this time of year. But there are more and more incentives out there for them to pick up a book.
Libraries nationwide are inviting kids and teens to “make a splash” and participate in the many summer reading programs they are offering. In turn, there are prizes to be won based on how many books or pages they read.
Some bookstores are giving out free books after kids read a certain amount on their own. Barnes & Noble has partnered with Scholastic and multi-media series “The 39 Clues” to launch their program. Borders, with “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author Jeff Kinney, has put out a “double-dog dare” challenge for kids to read 10 books this summer.
Grown-ups shouldn’t feel too left out. Some libraries have summer reading programs aimed specifically for adults. At McKenzie Books, we are extending our Facebook and Twitter Book Giveaways to you- our Green Frugal readers. Comment on any post for your chance to win a $5 gift certificate to use on our site. There’ll be one lucky winner per week all summer long!
Showing by example is a great way to get kids to read. So what are you waiting for? What’s on your summer reading list?
If you haven’t heard by now, Stephenie Meyer has a new Twilight story out. It’s called The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella. As the title suggests it’s about Bree Tanner, a vampire in Eclipse. The novella can be read online for free until July 5th. I’ve never read any of the Twilight Saga, so the news of a new story doesn’t excite me very much. But, books that are free to read do catch my eye. Unfortunately, the tale has to be read on the website. It can’t be downloaded or printed. However, other authors offer free stories that can be saved to a computer and read anytime.
Neil Gaiman has a few stories available at his website. I suggest reading “A Study in Emerald,” a fun little story that combines Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft’s Old Gods. There’s also author‘s like Cory Doctorow, who offers all of their novels for free under the Creative Commons license (just click on the book covers on the right side to get to the download links). But, I only mention those because I like reading Science Fiction. If your interests vary, you might want to look in other places.
Project Gutenberg is a digital library. Its creator, Michael Hart, created the first electronic text in 1971 when he realized that computers could be used to store information. The website has over 30,000 ebooks available for free download. Many of them are classics, but those are fun to read, too (or maybe not if you professor is making you do it).
All of this just goes to show that there are places to get free (legal) ebooks. I’m sure there are many other authors that have free stories on their websites. Just search around a bit until you find something you like.