15.10.10

Blog Challenge... Week One

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.

3 comments:

Jandy said...

The Count of Monte Cristo in 3 days???? Whew! That one is still on Mt. Bookpile with good intentions. You are an inspiration to book-a-holics everywhere.

And thanks for the Will Unwound post. I'm not anticipating lots of participation on the solo librarian topic.

Aravis said...

So much in this post, where to begin?

We're so similar- reading for as long as we can remember, same sort of books (minus the Attica one), Scholastic Books (what do you mean it isn't around anymore?!), teacher's reading challenge at which I excelled, etc.

You mentioned loving Jungian archetypes. I mentioned Women Who Run with the Wolves the other day. I really think you'd like it. It uses old fairy tales (and not the cleaned up versions,either) and folk lore to explore Jungian archetypes from a female perspective.

Great post!

Melanie Holtsman said...

You and I have the same imaginary heaven! I love your candid view into your life as a reader. Why is it that voracious readers all know about used book stores and other people act like they've never heard of them? LOL Thanks for joining the challenge!