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Book meme - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Book meme
From alphabet26


1)Total number of books I've owned?
I have absolutely no idea. Honestly. I got a lot of series, but not all the entrants in them. I've had paperbacks that I read to death. I have books in storage at Mom's that I don't have room for at home, and I've ended up buying books and overfilling the home space, too. I gave the entire Jedi Apprentice collection to the library, and I've filled all the space it was in since then. This is definitely in the hundreds.

2) The last book I bought?
Revenge of the Sith. Had to read it and prepare myself. I'm about as impressed with it as I am with the other pro-published SW books.

3) The last book I read?
Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms by Diane Ravitch. If you're interested in American education and how it got that way, check it out. It's definitely an axe-grinder, but Ravitch helpfully tells you which axe she's grinding and what angle she's coming at it from, so the bias is transparent and easy to read through.

4) Five books that mean a lot to me: (in no particular order)
Only five? Sigh. I'll try to choose wisely.

The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. Not because I'm still wild about it or ever went any further into the series, but I was wild about this book when I was a toddler, and got the adults in the house to read it to me over and over. My great-grandmother always ran her finger under the text so she wouldn't skip lines, and I'm reasonably certain that's how I initially learned to read. My mom sent me the battered old thing last year, and I was so happy I actually hugged the book.

Carrie, by Stephen King. This was the first book I really read as a writer. I'd always written, but never paid much attention to it. With Carrie, when I read it in seventh grade, I noticed the semi-episolary style and thought, "I want to try doing that." Through the book, I paid attention to things like voice and point of view and symbols. And I did it on my own; we certainly never read it in class. It made reading a whole different experience.

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I love Lord of the Rings more as a book, but The Hobbit really got me into fantasy. It was fourth grade, and my teacher, Dr. Margaret, had our classroom set up with Hobbit images, from the Rankin-Bass version, which was new at the time. My seat was directly under Smaug's belly, and we could retreat to a hobbit hole to read if we were very good and got a reward. Oh, forget it, I can't separate. Lord of the Rings came as a later read, but it's very much continuous in my mind. I'd been having a bad year at college and I got very sick. I'd taken the books out of the library thinking I could have a go at them when I had time, and I read them while my fever was raging, and I just... every second was real, in an almost hallucinatory way. It had been awhile since any book felt so vital and real in my mind, and it was good to get that feeling back. Plus, Frodo... very crushable lead. ;)

Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. I love books I can share with friends. Just love them. And this is one that gets passed hand to hand, pressed from friend to friend. It's still that way, and it's a book I love giving to patrons at the library (I tend especially to give it to kids who say, "I've read everything on my list... what's a good thing to read next?"). Card's mastery of dialogue is iffy here, but Ender is a powerful character, and pretty much any gifted kid (in any discipline) will recognize himself or herself in Ender's mind.

The Unblessed, by Paul Richards. Okay, so it's not a great book and I couldn't tell you the lead character's name at the moment, but I remember this book with great fondness--it was the first grown-up book I absolutely had to read, sneaking peeks at it while it was sitting on the coffee table while Mom was reading it, and just generally pestering until she let me take it away. (She now thinks she had to be crazy to let a ten-year-old read it, but of course, reading was never forbidden, and I doubt she'd forbid it even now, despite her belief that it's crazy.) It was an incredibly gory horror novel about a psychic spider-demon who mentally controlled hordes of followers, who brought it new victims. It killed its victims by reaching out with tentacles and burning through their eyes to eat their brains. I enjoyed it immensely. I can't for the life of me figure out why it took me until my early twenties to admit I was a horror fan, since this sort of thing was the only genre I never left, from the time I started reading Poe onward. Oh, well. Anyway, first grown-up book read for fun, so high on the "means something to me" scale, if low on the "you-gotta-read-this" one.

Five people whose answers to this meme I would like to see:

jiminyc
ladyaeryn
a_p_
anna_fredricka
chienar
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Comments
austenrowling From: austenrowling Date: May 16th, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, I think I'm gonna do this one! Left Back looks interesting. I am going to be a teacher, and it sounds like something me and my friends should read.
butterflysteve From: butterflysteve Date: May 16th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are the Jedi Apprentice books any good then? I did start to read them at my local library but they didn't stock them all so I gave up.

(And I have over 200 books on my shelves which of course doesn't include cookery books, books I've inherited, course books or books in storage. Bookshops should stop selling me books, I can't walk past without buying something.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 16th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
They started out okay, then got a little flakey as Jude Watson started to write St. Obi-Wan the Blameless. When she branched over to Jedi Quest and wrote him as a master of Anakin, who she vocally dislikes, the whole series became pointless.
butterflysteve From: butterflysteve Date: May 16th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Obi-Wan but he couldn't (and since I sort of only put my feet in the whole Star Wars series) and probably wasn't the best master Anakin could of had.

So I'm glad I didn't buy them then, I hate having an incomplete collection as at the moment I need all the bookspace I need. Or I could buy more bookcases... I seem to always be buying bookcases.
butterflysteve From: butterflysteve Date: May 16th, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
This made sense when I typed it but alas... my brain does not function without another cup of coffee.

Meant to say but he couldn't be blameless and probably wasn't the best master Anakin could of had.

That's better.
awaywithpixie From: awaywithpixie Date: May 16th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
My great-grandmother always ran her finger under the text so she wouldn't skip lines, and I'm reasonably certain that's how I initially learned to read.

Ditto here. My Great Grandfather had alzheimer's and would read Snow White to me in the same fashion. I asked him why he always turned the page after saying the same words, and he explained reading.

I unfortunately exploited his condition and we would re-read the book up to 25 times a day every day. He would slam the book shut, tell me to go away as we had read enough, then I would circle his chair and ask him again. 9 times out of 10 he had forgotten.

A sad tale, but some benefit came from his condition. Mother got a free baby sitter, and I learned to read.
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