18.10.10

Notable Quotes

Have you ever wondered what the stretch of time smells like? I can't say I had, not before I set foot inside Milderhurst Castle, but I certainly know now. Mould and ammonia, a pinch of lavender and a fair whack of dust, the mass disintegration of very old sheets of paper. And there's something else, too, something underlying it all, something verging on rotten or stewed but not. It took me a while to work out what that smell was, but I think I know now. It's the past. Thoughts and dreams, hopes and hurts, all brewed together, shifting in the stagnant air, unable ever to dissipate complet ely.
The Distant Hours, Kate Morton

15.10.10

Blog Challenge

This week's prompt is
What is your life as a reader like? Do you read for work, pleasure, instructions or emails? What is your favorite author and/or genre? What is your favorite reading spot? What did you like to read when you were the age of your students?
Wow. What a way to start... and I'm a little stumped. What is my life as a reader like?

Voracious. Necessary. Omnigenre. And faster than your average bear. Just look at the Notes from Bookpile posts.

My parents taught me to read early - very early. My first book was a vanity press book called Bobo the Clown, written, designed and published by Mike Milder. I think my parents still have it. Honestly, I don't remember a time when I didn't (or couldn't) read. When I was younger, books were better friends than most people. And yes, I started 'cataloging' and organizing my books early on.

In 1973 I was introduced to a world of reading beyond that in SmallTown - we lived in Geneva Switzerland that year and I found Enid Blyton and Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. I've collected their works ever since. I also read the old-fashioned books that my parents had read: Louisa May Alcott's books, some of the Pollyanna series, Hans Brinker... Because the Scholastic Book Club was around back then, I also picked up books like Shadow Castle (one of my favorites). And then there was my aunt, who gave books as gifts (although to this day I'm stymied as to why anyone would think that the transcripts of the Commission on the Attica uprising was appropriate for a middle school student). I also remember a contest my fifth grade teacher had where we reported how many pages we'd read each week; she didn't actually believe I read things like The Count of Monte Cristo in three days.  Oh - and Audrey Rose gave me my life-long interest in Jungian archetypes (thank you Robertson Davies for the Deptford Trilogy!)

By the time I got to high school, I was reading just about anything - and lucky for me the books assigned in class were challenging. I also dabbled quite heavily in "bodice rippers" and porn (hey, it was an all-girl's boarding school - sue me). College was a time to branch out, and I remember the look on one friend's face when I read the first of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenent the Unbeliever overnight.

My first job out of college was working in a box office: long hours all alone waiting for someone to buy a ticket. Solution? The secondhand bookstore in town, where I was able to buy just about every Nero Wolfe mystery written. Since then, I've put over 3000 books into The Collection. While I read a great deal of Children's/YA literature, my preference is for dark mysteries... although I love Wendy's comfort reads, interesting vampire books (more Tanith Lee and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, less Stephanie Meyer), non-fiction about personal passions (like the Acadians). See? Omnigenre.

The 321 books on Mt. Bookpile are from all genres, and I'm looking forward to curling up in bed or in front of my fireplace, with The Boys, and reading all of them. Heaven would be an all-expense paid sabbatical to just read read read.

5.10.10

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Yep, here's my quarterly round-up. Reviews are over on Killin' Time Reading...

Biography/Memoir
Children's/Young Adult
Fiction/Literature
Humor
Mystery
Non-Fiction
Science Fiction/Fantasy

Books on Mt. Bookpile: 322
Added: 7
Net gain/loss: 60 loss(!!)