Piccolo to go espresso bar, Coffs Harbour

Di bella espresso coffee. Level 2 stage area, palms shopping, Coffs Harbour. A few stools and a couple of benches face the espresso bar; a Rancilio machine and a couple of mazza grinders – one for each of the house blends – show that this is a place where serious coffee can be found.

Sadly, there’s no decaf grinder, but even the decaf, complete with latte art in the takeaway cups, provides a taste of quality in a town not renowned for its coffee.

book: Blindness

Book: Blindness

Jose Saramago has in the past won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and this work (translated from the Portugese original) gives the reader a clear idea of how good a writer we’re dealing with.

Though the book – a study in what might happen if the entire population of an unnamed country was stricken with an epidemic of blindness – drifts to some very dark places (this is not a book for kids by any stretch of the imagination), the blurb on the back of the book contains a summary of the plot, and it’s really in the journey that the book’s merits are to be found.

If you didn’t enjoy the film 28 Days Later, then you’ll find this too tough-going, and should find something else to read.

A few new year’s posts on reading

We would all agree that reading on the internet is not the same as reading a book: the actual process of reading is different.

When you’re reading a book, you’re looking at absorbing the information more carefully. There are no ads or animations on the page, you can’t immediately pause and check your email, and unless your purpose is to skim through the book you’re less inclined to skim read.

The always thoughtful Trevor Cairney talks more about this in Literacy, families and learning – he even quotes Jakob Nielsen, and then goes beyond Nielsen’s points.

Brian Clark at Copy blogger has an excellent post entitled How to Read, which suggests that there are a few different approaches you can take in both your selection of titles, and your approach to reading.

Of course, as Rach notes, it wouldn’t be new year’s without making resolutions to read through the bible in a year. There are a number of ways to do this: for a good starting point, try this list of Bible Reading Plans. If you’re aiming to get a little more out of it than just the effort of turning all the pages, or running your eyes over all the words, you could try the techniques listed in the more uncomfortably named Meditating on God’s Word.