Sunday, February 5, 2012

Go to a library, bookstore, or your own book collection and look through the books. Please do not read any. Just pay attention to what catches your eye.

What is it that stands out to you?
- Colors and fonts that were chosen are what stands out to me.

- I think I'm a very visual person so vivid colors in the midst of boring colors stand out. But just as much a very plain book would stand out among visually stimulating books.

Choose a red book and open it to page 6. Close your eyes and put your finger on the page somewhere.

What did you find?
- I found a paragraph of text.

If your finger landed on a paragraph, how many times does the letter P show up in that paragraph?
- 7 times

If it landed on a picture, how many straight lines are in the picture?

If it landed on white space, what is the white space surrounding?

Can you imagine the white space as a sea and the other parts (words, pictures, etc.) as islands floating in white water or space?

Using your other senses, explain what the paper feels like.

Is it slick or rough?
- Fairly slick but there is definitely a texture to it.

What does the cover feel like?
- The cover is very slick. It has the words slightly raised as well as a picture on the front that is embossed. It is a very appealing cover.

Can you feel the ink of the words if you close your eyes?
- I don't think that I can. It seems like the whole page feels the same.

Do different colors feel different with your eyes closed?
- Different colors don't feel different to me on this book. Though maybe my fingers aren't sensitive enough to tell them apart.

What else can you discover about the paper?
- The paper is a darker shade of white, which makes it easier on the eyes to read.

What about the cover?
- The cover has a picture of what appears to be a phoenix bird on it. The book is entitled "Catching Fire" so I think that it is an appropriate cover.

Without destroying the book, unless you own it and want to, see if you can figure out how the book was constructed.

Is it stitched?
- No

Is it glued?
- Yes

Is there any cloth on this book or is it all paper?
This book is all paper. I don't see any cloth.

Is it a hardback or paperback?
This is a hardback book

Does it have signatures? (Hint: you may need to look up what signatures are in the context of making books…)
- I think it does but it is extremely hard to tell.

If it has signatures, how many pages are in each and how many signatures are there in the whole book?
- I have to estimate that there are about 20 signatures.

If it does not, look at the glue on the ends of the spine and describe what you see.

Flip through the pages and look at the end papers.

Is there any writing in the book, other than the printing?
- There is no other writing in this book. It is fairly new and only been read once.

If so, what does it say?

Why is it there?

Who wrote it?

If you do not know, then imagine who might have written it.

If there is no writing in the book then how does it make you feel to know you are the first person (possibly) to think about it?
- It feels like I could put a permanent mark on this book. I could then put it back into circulation. Then someone could see my own mark that I put on this book, and then they could put their own and put it back out there. It could be awesome.

Examine the book more.

Are there any stains on the book?
- There are no stains on this book.

Are there any fingerprints?
- There are no fingerprints that I can see on this book.
What do they look like?

How might they have happened?

Look at the pages of the book.

What is the color of the pages? I bet they are not really white.
- The pages are an off white color. I think this helps ease your eyes as you read this book.

How would you describe the color? Is it warm or cold? Bright or dull, etc.
- I would consider this a warm and dull color. It is inviting and helps your eyes keep from fatigue.

What other visual things can you explore with the book?
- The only thing different than the text on every page in this book are the chapter numbers which are in a different font and much larger. They are also surrounded by a circle which sets them apart from the rest of this book.
Think about the history of this book.

Can you see any other evidence that someone else has handled this book?
- I don't see any evidence of someone else handling this book. It does make me wonder who has touched it though and how such great care was taken to make it look new.

What are the edges of the pages like? Describe them.
- The edges of the pages are very clean and straight, but they are textured like they were cut by a machine.

Can you imagine what someone else might have been thinking as they read this book?
- I'm sure they were as excited to read it as anyone would be. Quite an interesting book.

Do you think anyone else has used this book like you are right now instead of reading it?
- No. It's new.
Flip through the pages quickly.

Can you hear the sound? If so, describe it.
- Surprisingly to me the only sound I hear are the pages flipping by my finger. It seems like the pages going together are silent. This paper looks to be really well constructed.

If not, what is your experience like?

Can you feel the breeze?
- I do feel the breeze and I also smell the new paper.
Can you move something with the wind generated from the book?
- Yes, if there were very light things in its way, it would be able to move them with no doubt.
Could you use this book to win a game you created using the book's wind power?
- I think I could. I'm great at games.
Drop the book on the floor.

What did you experience?
- I felt a bit of fear that it would mess up my new book. I was worried that it might get a dent or a tear.

Did you sense the vibrations the book made?
- Yes. I dropped it close to my feet so I would be able to feel this.

Did you feel it in your feet?
- Yes.

Take your shoes off. Now drop the book. Was there any difference?
- I did feel a bigger vibration when I dropped the book by my feet with my shoes off.

Hold the book between your hands with one hand on each cover and the book closed. Close your eyes.

Is the book cold? Hold it like that for at least one minute.
- The book was cold. It reminded my of the cold side of the pillow, when your head is super hot and you flip the pillow over and it is one of the most delightful feelings in the world
Now feel the cover. Can you feel the temperature change from where your hands were to where they were not?
- There was a definite change in temperature. The book became warmer very quickly.
Have you ever been aware of this before when you were holding a book to read it?
- Yes, I have noticed it before, but I guess I have never paid so close of attention to it.

If your heat transfers in this situation and you noticed it because I asked you to, why do you think you have never noticed it before?
- I guess I have never thought about it. It has always just happened before and I noticed it but didn't give it a second thought.
If you have noticed the temperature of a book you were holding before, describe why you noticed it.

Smell the book.

What does the smell make you think of?
- The smell makes me think of a library. I haven't been in a library for a long time, but the smell takes me back there instantly.
If you can't think of anything, describe the smells you can sense. (Interesting fact: Did you know that I have friends [many librarians, actually] who choose their books partly based on how they smell? Honestly.)

I do not recommend tasting the book for health and safety issues… :-)

Now, finally, read the first page. If it is just pictures, read the story of the pictures.

What is the title of this book?
- Catching Fire

Based on the first page, explain why you think the book was titled that.
- I think the first page doesn't do a good job of explaining the title, but probably rarely does one. But the first page DOES bring you into an interesting story straight away, which helps grab your attention and helps you keep reading.

Reflect back on this entire exercise.

What is your experience like with the book now that you have experienced it differently?
- I think I will look at this book differently and I will also try to look at future books I read differently. I will try to experience the entirety of the book, not just the story.
Do you still find books to be boring, assuming you did in the first place?
- It takes a really good book for me not to be bored with it. I really enjoy some books, and then other books don't keep my attention and I don't finish them.

What, if anything has changed for you in regards to books?
- I just think I'll be looking at them differently. I'll try to experience the whole book and not just the story or the words.
Now think about this class.

How did I "fishbowl" this assignment?
- I think you fishbowled it by making it all about just a book, or maybe just about the same book.
What do you think the point is of this exercise?
- To show us that we can look at things differently in almost any aspect of our lives. That we need to enjoy things in a different way and out of the ordinary. Keep life something other than mundane.
What can you take from this exercise that might help you with future projects?
- I will look at things differently and try to REALLY understand what I am supposed to be getting out of the future projects.

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