Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Library Meme

It's the day before Thanksgiving and while I should be busy baking pies to bring to the in-laws tomorrow, I am home from work sitting on my butt cursing my knack for getting sick right before or on major holidays. Last year it was Christmas, this year it's Thanksgiving. ARGH!!!

Barefoot: A Novel
But being home sick from work does let me catch up on my blogging, reading, and watching DVR'd epsiodes of The Barefoot Contessa. So there is a silver lining :) All morning I have been reading Barefoot by Elin Hildebrand. I'm about a 100 pages in and it is exactly what I need today. A good story, one that doesn't require a lot of thought from my congested head. It takes place on Nantucket too - a place that I love. I think I would read more of Hildebrand's stuff - I bet they would make good beach reads.

I saw this meme at A Guy's Moleskine Notebook and thought I'd play. I don't do many meme's, but I really liked this one. I won't tag anyone, but leave me a comment if you decide to post one so I can go read!

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
I don't remember specifically when I learned to read, I just remember being really young. Both of my parents read to me as a child and I certainly had my favorite bedtime books. One of which was I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry. I liked to read this EVERY night. It was about a bunny named Nicholas (and we also actually had a pet rabbit named Nicholas which seemed to make this book even more special to me - although now I can't remember if our rabbit was named after the bunny in the book, or if we bought the book because the bunny's name was Nicholas) and I still remember almost all of the words -"...I chase the butterflies, and the butterflies chase me..."

2. What do you find most challenging to read?
Science Fiction. I had to read a lot of it for a speculative literature class I took in grad school and I really struggled with it. It's always been a genre I've never been able to warm up to and I've tried numerous times. I just don't get it half the time I think.

3. What are your library habits?
I am there all of the time. I live in a pretty decent sized town and the librarians know me. I am always taking out way too many books and have always found the library to be a very comforting place. I was very shy as a kid and the library was an escape for me - I could spend hours there surrounded by all of those books! There was always something there that caught my interest. You know it's funny, when I first moved to this town, I somehow got invited to one of those home shopping parties that I decided to go to in the hopes of meeting some people. And the whole time I was there, not a single person talked to me unless I asked them a question first and then it was only to talk completely about themselves before turning back to the friend they had come with. I remember slipping out of the party, completely unnoticed I am sure, feeling like crap and thinking there was something wrong with me to have been treated as a total outcast (looking back now I realize I had walked into a party of very cliquey women who probably wouldn't have taken the time to welcome ANYONE new). I stopped at the library on the way home from the party and instantly felt better. The quietness and solitude of the stacks was exactly what I needed after standing in a room full of people talking with one another and feeling very lonely. So even as an adult, the library still appears to be my refuge!

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
They really haven't changed much although everything is electronic now so there is no more flipping through the card catalogue. And after completing a graduate program in library and information science I feel like there is nothing I can't find when I am there! I am also more aware of the value and services a good library provides it's community.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life?
I've tried more books I wouldn't normally have picked up and I've found an outlet I had been searching for for quite some time. I've finally found a community that enjoys reading as much as I do and I have gotten more involved in book discussions and connecting with other readers. I also started reviewing books which has given me a chance to get some of my own writing out there.

6. How often do you read a book and not review it on your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about a book?
I read much faster than I blog, so a lot of times by the time I am ready to blog again I have already read a handful of books since the last time I posted. So I try to review the ones that really spoke to me and maybe give a blurb about others here and there.

7. What percentage of your books do you get from new book stores, second hand books stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other?
I would say there is a 45% - 35% - 20% split between books bought from retail stores (whether they be independent booksellers, used bookstores, or the major chains), library books, and books bought online. I really like to browse so I visit bookstores and libraries a lot. If I feel like I've been spending too much money, I'll try to stick to the library, but I have a hard time walking, or even driving past a bookstore without stopping and going in!

8. What are your pet peeves about the way people treat books?
It drives me nuts when I lend someone a book and it gets returned to me completely mangled. It makes me wonder what their own books look like. It also drives me nuts when I lend a book and it doesn't get returned. Unless I specifically say "Keep the book" you can safely bet I want it back when you are done. I also don't understand people who claim they are too busy to read. I'm a pretty busy person also, and I make time to read every night before I go to bed regardless of what time it is or how busy I was that day. But I know I also have to accept that reading is not a hobby for some people and that's ok (even if I don't understand it :)

9. Do you ever read for pleasure or for work?
Almost always for pleasure. I don't like wasting my reading time on things I "have to read" if I can help it.

10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
I like to think I have a pretty good sense of knowing what friends and family members might like to read based on their lives and interests. And of course there are those books I have read myself and loved that I just know another particular person will love. I almost always give books as gifts and I usually try hard to match the book to the person.

And to all of my American readers - Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Carl V. Anderson said...

Hope you're feeling better now, there is nothing worse than getting sick around the holidays.

I am curious as to what science fiction you've tried to read. Certainly there is a great deal of science fiction out there that is very intellectual and can be hard to get into. Is that the kind you've tried to read or have you read any of the sci fi novels that are essentially adventure stories set in a sci fi setting? Just curious.

Kirsten said...

Hi Carl - I've tried The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, among others. These are the three that I remember the most...I can't say that I liked any one of them although I was the most intrigued by Childhood's End. If there are other authors/titles you think might be easier to get into, I am all ears! I keep trying to like sci-fi, but just haven't found the right books yet.

Camille said...

I can totally identify with how you feel about libraries--and I've been in situations like that with the cliquey women-yuck. I haven't been in my hometown library in maybe 10 or 11 years but I still sometimes just think about it, the layout, the smell of it, memories of being there.

True Newspaper said...

5000yrs ago a book called Vigyan Bhairav Tantra was written. This book attempts to describe something indescribable. Something beyond the imagination. Called Nirvana or Enlightenment by other religions. Translated into modern language it could be interpreted as one billion orgasms. In the book there are 112 techniques to reach this thing called Enlightenment. The techniques involve every day things you can do from having sex to walking the dog. See Osho's "Book of Secrets" for explanations of the techniques.