The Making of This Reader Meme

July 5, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 5 Comments
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Becca at Bookstack posted this meme yesterday and I asked if I could steal it. She graciously consented. I love how these questions explore who people are as a reader. If you would like to share this on your blog, please do! This is really an excellent follow up to last week Thursday’s Book Through Thursday question.

Do you remember how you developed a love of reading? One of my earliest memories with books was sneaking into the basement storage area where my mom kept a small bookcase filled with her books. I remember this being electrifying because I thought those books were forbidden. What really was forbidden was going into that cluttered storage area. In that book shelf was a biography of Clara Barton. I couldn’t read very well at the time, but I loved gently paging through the book and looking at all of the pictures. Although the book was my mothers, I felt as though it was something that was all mine. Being the oldest of five children, that was a priceless feeling. I have loved and treasured books ever since. I wish I knew what became of that book about Clara Barton, though.

What are some books you loved as a child? My favorite book as a child was Little Women. In fact, the one time I ever got in much trouble in school revolved around that book. In the 5th grade, I was bored by my social studies teacher. My parents got me an entire set of Louisa May Alcott books for Christmas that year. I brought Little Women with me and decided to read it behind my social studies book. At one point I’m reading about Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and the next a ruler slammed down on my desk. I’m surprised that I didn’t pee my pants. This was a Friday and the teacher took my book. All weekend long I worried about my parents asking me where the book was and horrified that I may never see it again. The following Monday, I dressed up in a skirt and apologized to the teacher before asking for my book back. Thankfully he returned it to me and I never tried to pull a stunt like that again.

Other books I enjoyed as a child were The Ghost of Windy Hill, The Wheel on the School, Little House on the Prairie, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nancy Drew, The Bobsey Twins, Trixie Belden, and a comic book about Helen Keller called “The Story of My Life.”

What is your favorite genre? Currently, my favorite genre is historical fiction. I’ve always loved the classics and Gothic fiction.

Do you have a favorite novel? Hands down ~ Gone with the Wind. I’ve read that novel at least five full times since my junior year of high school. I absolutely love it. It’s also one of the only film adaptations I love just as well.

Where do you usually read? I will read just about anywhere. In bed, in the tub, at the table, in a lawn chair, sitting in the stairwell at work (so as not to be disturbed – given my experience in the 5th grade, I’m almost militaristic in insuring that I’m not reading on the company dime), in a library, etc…

When do you usually read? I usually read while getting reading in the morning for a few minutes, during my breaks at work, and after the kids go to bed at night. Books are pretty much constantly around me. Any spare minute I will pick one up.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time? It depends really on what I’m reading. If I’m reading something that takes a great deal of concentration, I’ll usually also start something lighter. There are just sometimes when I want to read purely as an escape.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction? Other than being more prone to pick up a second book (usually a novel) while I’m reading non-fiction, not really.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library? I am quite apt to accrue large library fines. I remember one day coming home from school to find my mother tearing my bedroom apart. I’d gotten an overdue notice in the mail and boy did I catch hell for that. Now that I’m older and have expendable income, I’m more likely to buy a book than to check one out from the library. I love libraries, though. I made a more concerted effort to use the library this year and I did well getting everything returned on time. In fact, I’ve found library book sales a wonderful way to pick up some great books at really good prices.  I’ve also been receiving a fair amount of ARCs since the beginning of the year. There hasn’t been much need for the library since the spring.  Once I’ve dug myself out of my pile of ARCs (no complaint implied), I’m planning on making a dent in the books I already own.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? It really depends on how much I enjoyed reading them.  I found over the course of last year that I ended up selling most of the books I bought and read on  This is what prompted me to think more about the library.  I’m going to be much more picky going forward with what I buy unless there is a super good sale.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? My daughters are preschool age, so I’ve been enjoying Curious George and the Frances books with them.  I’ve tried off and on to read The Little House on the Prairie and James and the Giant Peach, but they are just not there yet.  I’m looking forward to those days, though.  Once they arrive, Little Women will not be far behind.

What are you reading now? Right now I’m reading The i Tetralogy by Mathias B. Freese and Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

Do you keep a To Be Read list? No, but I aspire to. 🙂

What’s next? After Freese’s novel, next up is Silent Thunder by Iris and Roy Johansen.

What books would you like to reread? I can’t say that I’m a frequent re-reader.  Gone with the Wind and Little Women top the list.  I will probably re-read The Other Boleyn Girl at some point.  Right now I’ve got so many wonderful possibilities in my personal library that what I really want to do is meet new characters and explore new worlds.

Who are your favorite authors? Margaret Mitchell, Louisa May Alcott, Philippa Gregory, Lauren Groff, Anya Seton, Edgar Allen Poe, Patrick McGrath, Stewart O’Nan, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, William Faulkner, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and last but not least, William Shakespeare.


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  1. What a story about your misadventure with Little Women! I think your teacher handled it abominably -it’s a wonder you didn’t turn out be afraid of reading at all!

    Gone With the Wind is one of my favorites too 🙂

  2. I participated in this meme, too, if you care to read my answers. 🙂


  3. How wonderful! I really enjoyed these questions and your answers Jennifer! Thanks to you and Becca for making it available! I look forward to answering my own questions.

    I’ve also enjoyed visiting your blog. I’m a relative newbie at this blogging stuff, so I still have a lot to learn.

    Have a great day!

  4. I loved Pattern Recognition. I’m still looking for a Gibson I like as much.

  5. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by alireza1356 on 2008-11-13 The Making of This Reader Meme – bookmarked by […]

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