15 things about me and books

A revival of an internet meme.

1. I dog-ear books like crazy. Not library books (anymore), but my own books.

2. Whenever I come across a word I don’t know, I write it down so I can look it up later. I don’t have a dictionary anymore because I usually just use look stuff up online, but I may have to get one just for these occasions.

3. I started reading John Steinbeck books in grammar school. We lived in central California and my dad wanted to impress upon me the importance of his works. The first book of his I read was The Pearl. I read Travels With Charley in middle school and Grapes of Wrath in high school (but not because I had to).

4. One of the longest books I ever had to read was Moby Dick in high school. I usually love to read, but that book dampened my enthusiasm for some weeks. The Scarlet Letter was also required reading, and just as bad.1

5. On the other hand, I read Catcher In The Rye for an English class, and loved it.

6. I hate it when people write in library books. Especially in pen. Especially if they correct the author. Especially if their “corrections” are incorrect.

7. Sometimes, though, people leave emendations that are hilarious, and those are kind of cool.

8. I like it when I find an old letter, or photo, or bookmark in a library book. I always try to imagine what this person must have been like.

9. I don’t like to think about where a library book I’m holding may have been.

10. I love the smell of old books. Not very original, I know, but I do.

11. I love browsing in used bookstores. Especially when those bookstores have comfortable chairs.

12. I finally read War and Peace three years ago. I hated it.

13. I first read Gone with the Wind when I was thirteen. It took eleven days, and I was sorry to finish it. It was my favorite book for some years, except for several very racist passages.

14. I re-read Jane Austen‘s collected works every other year or so.

15. I’m much stingier about buying books than I used to be. I have maybe thirty five books, where I used to have hundreds. Most of them are instructional books or books on web design.

1Although, of course, nowhere near as bad as the 1995 movie starring Gary Oldman and Demi Moore.

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