High Praise for the Humble Paperback Book! Digital Books Versus the Paperback

In a world that is addicted to the power of technology, and a digital cyber-world that demands our attention, where we are compelled to work and play almost at the speed of light, the book invites us to curl up in our favourite chair, turn off the incessant mobile phone and enjoy a good yarn.I cannot envision my life without books, especially the paperback book. The humble book, whether it be a collection of short stories or a complex novel, have been to me, as Amos Bronson Alcott so aptly described, “books are… the best of companions, accessible at any moment… [and they] reward me with their company” (Concord Days 1872, p. 133).Books provide me with an opportunity to utilize my imagination. They invite and entice me to embark on cost-free journeys to undiscovered realms and have enlarged my vocabulary. Books of all genres have had a profound influence on me and have instilled a great love of the written word and a passion for writing. I have no need for pictures or illustrations, for the words and my imagination alone conjure up the necessary images, to visualize the scenarios contained within the pages.From a young age I delved into my Nana’s bookshelf and began to explore mature age articles in the Reader Digest, starting with the humorous section, “Mere Male”, and then onto the “Real Life” story. I then started working my way through autobiographies such as: Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place.Above all, my favourite books were: The Anne of Green Gables series, The Narnia Chronicles, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Lord of the Rings. My bookshelf still includes some of these titles, and I find myself going back and reading them again and again and still they captivate me.My latest literary rambles have taken me into the world of the likes of Josephine Cox, whose novels are predominately set in Blackburn, England, in the 1800′s. I have spent many hours with the engaging characters of Joy Fielding, the very down to earth and hilariously eventful novels of Sophie Kinsella, and have been riveted by the thrilling, nail-biting suspense of James Patterson – just to name a few.As well as fiction, I have read other works of literature, in order to understand the world of the past. When I attended university, I added books of academia to my literature repertoire, which have enriched my life in ways that a book of fiction cannot. I have enjoyed reading books on art, music and history, but my book of choice has always been a work of fiction.A story is a work of art in itself and the interest in story-telling is universal, whether it is a child discovering the delights of a book for the first time or an adult watching a movie, the time-tested practice of story-telling is intrinsic to how we communicate and are entertained.During my short stint in youth work, I came across young people who had never read a book of any kind. Literature was like a word from a foreign language and if they were ever tempted to read a book, it would have to contain pictures like a graphic novel or comic book. But it seemed that their attention span did not reach beyond the email, or the mobile phone text.As this world seems to shrink from globalization, and conversation is fast becoming limited to Facebook and Twitter – how does the paperback book compete? I also wonder what the future holds for our libraries, but every now and then my faith is renewed when I visit my local library and see people of all ages still reading and borrowing ‘real’ books.I believe that reading literature is essential to our personal development and for our understanding of the world around us, and can ultimately serve as a conduit to understanding ourselves. Literature has the power to influence and affect people’s lives in a myriad of ways and one of the most defining influences is the level of interaction a paperback book invites as opposed to the type of reading that takes places on the Internet.Although those bright and shiny portable electronic devices are threatening to overtake the traditional paperback book format, there are advantages to this rampant digitization. If you are sight-challenged, digital media offers super-sized font and backlit screens. You can download multiple books, which will never be in danger of being written on or damaged, unless you drop your e-reader in water!But ultimately my vote will still be for the humble paperback book. Within its smooth crisp pages, you can immerse yourself in a rip-roaring adventure with your favourite hero or enjoy a romantic tear-jerker without being distracted by an email popping up in the background – demanding an instant answer.Despite the fierce competition between digital books and the humble paperback, the most important thing is that we continue reading books. And by reading, the book will continue to live on as an essential commodity in our culture.Reference:Alcott Bronson Amos 1872, Concord Days, Roberts Brothers. Boston. U.S.A.http://www.archive.org/stream/concorddays00alcorich

Free Art Resources to Download Online

Art is something that all should have the chance to enjoy, in one form or another. In some ways, art can be very expensive. For those who have to travel a long way to see the famous art nearest to them, or for others who simply cannot afford the equipment to try art as a hobby, it can seem an elitist pastime. This article brings some of the best free art available online to help more to enjoy this amazing, creative hobby which can be studied or pursued. Every country is full of amateur artists looking to sell their latest creations or simply find a way to continue their art education. Many resources are also available online to help this happen, for free. The internet is an amazing way of exchanging information, views and ideas on any topic, and art is well catered for here with a huge amount of free art downloads available.The most obvious availability is free photos and articles of famous artists and paintings. Many sites have photos that can be used as wallpapers for your computer desktop and the articles are great for learning and studying about art, which remains popular today. Art education is essential to amateur artists who need to understand how art has developed before they can improve their own painting methods. There are also many sites with free art videos which are great for budding artists to learn visually about new painting techniques. Videos have a great advantage over books when it comes to demonstrating manual techniques.For those wishing to study famous art in person, there are many free art galleries around the world which offer free entrance in order to encourage more young people in art. Currently, the UK has many such places, particularly in its capital, London where entrance to museums and art galleries is partly subsidised by the tax payer. Lists of these free art galleries are also available online.Free art study at universities is available to those who attain scholarships, and information on this, as well as smaller art courses in also available online. Some art foundations exist solely to help more people into art, particularly when they have already demonstrated natural ability.Digital art is a relatively new phenomenon brought about by the rise in desktop computers. As well as the common love of free desktop wallpapers, there is also a great demand for free art software, for various tasks, such as editing photos from cameras, producing advertising for small businesses and amending graphics to personal blogs and websites. Online art is quite different to traditional painting styles, for example, but is another avenue for free art resources. The best professional art software retails at hundreds of dollars, but most tasks for the amateur can be achieved with free software available all over the world wide web.

Beauty Tips for Women of Different Skin Tones

I guess it’s true to say that ever since God created woman, all she has been interested in is looking good. Over time, she has come up with several ways and means all centered on improving her physical appearance. I’m talking potions, lasers, hair straighteners, lotions and many other techniques all in the name of preserving her beauty and enhancing it.It so happens that beauty and confidence complement one another more so in the twenty first century where beauty is viewed more as a weapon for fighting to the top of one’s career or even one’s personal life. You don’t need to be born beautiful in order to look good. The purpose of this article is to provide the average woman with some of the latest tips that will highlight her natural beauty.To start us off let’s consider the effect of colour on the skin. After all, everything concerning cosmetics and its effectiveness relies on how well we can mix and blend different colours on our faces. Most women who have learnt this concept are seldom plagued with smoky eyes or raging lipstick or even the dreaded dark circles under the eyes. Simply put, proper blending of colours eradicates all these defects and this is what this article will focus on.More specifically, let’s look at the lips since these are the most affected. Below are some great pointers that will prove to be priceless when choosing a lipstick colour and learning how to apply it like a professional. The following colours should be considered by women with light skin tones. If you’re looking for an evening lip look and you have a light skin tone then dark brown or pink lipsticks can do the trick. There are also other colours that complement this skin variant very well. For instance pink with a slightly gold shimmer enhances this tone very nicely, also, pink with a blue undertone works pretty well.Women with medium skin tones should consider deep red colours with a yellow undertone. These colours have been known to brighten their medium skin. Also, deep rich pinks have a track record of enhancing flatter medium skins very well. Such women should however keep a keen lookout for pale colours since such colours can make their lip skin look ashy and washed out.Of course we haven’t forgotten about dark skin toned women. The favoured colours for them are soft sheer pinks and deep reds with a blue undertone. However, the colour that best compliments their lips is any shade of brown; a light brown, a coffee brown or even dark brown have been known to suit black skin tones very well. The only hiccup with colours may arise is when orange and pink shades are used so such women should be very careful when applying such colours.With all the tips provided above, women should keep in mind that their lips can talk without saying a word. What this essentially means is that even before they think about applying their lip make up, they should first think about the impression they want to put out. For instance, lighter colours portray an impression of a bright smile while darker shades offer a great contrast to the teeth. Either way, if you can learn the art of blending these colours you should have no problem with your lips.