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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Part Two: A Side of Books with Your Alphabet Soup?

Part of my scaled down book collection, the "keep forever and ever" collection, the permanent few. They look organized, but they are tightly (and lovingly) crammed in there. Love that book smell- you know what it is!

As per my last entry, I proclaimed my fondness towards writing. All those letters positioned in such a way to share a story, a secret an idea?Wow! Well, one of the other passive activities that I immensely enjoy involves reading (why make the 'passive' distinction? well, it certainly is not active- I can't peddle a bike and ponder Kipling simultaneously without feeling the need to wretch! But I envy those that can burn calories while burning through books). Among the many food things I like to eat (munch, nom, devour, consume, masticate), I think it is mentioned somewhere that I am a book- eater as well, yes? (nom nom nom). Alright, to clarify here, if you happen to see a book in my face, you can be assured that I am eating it up with my eyes and not with my teeth. However, leave me be if I'm sensually sniffing the binding. Yes, join me now, raise your hand if you love the smell of old books too. (But if I'm licking the binding..) (oh wait. I don't ever do that) (not after the paper cut, anyways. Just kidding. No, I really am.) In short, books have always been part of my life and I am sure many of you can relate to this passion.

As a child, I loved selecting books to take home from the local village library. It was a giant room replete with adventure and new worlds awaiting! (from an adult perspective, it was really a stuffy little room packed with dusty old disorganized books). Although I was often read to as a youngster, it was more often that I was encouraged to do the story reading out loud for all or simply to myself (not so much to develop my skills but that my parents' voices tired out before I was satisfied with enough reading). Perhaps I was naturally precocious in my reading development or perhaps I was so adamant against doing my homework at night that I would do and read anything else other than what was assigned to me, that I began reading whatever was available. Although most kids, including myself, were reading Judy Blume, I had moved on to reading books from my big sisters collection when nothing else was available (I wouldn't dare read a school text!). By the time I was 9-10 years old, I had polished off Christine by Stephen King and then swiftly moved on to (and finished) Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. The former scaring the hell out of me (and leaving me terrified of the giant old Buick and Cadillac sitting in our driveway) while the latter evoked strong emotional reactions that I don't think I was prepared for yet.

After many nights on the old gold velour couch and 800 intense and deeply detailed pages later, I bawled my eyes out over the last chapters. I was always amazed at what a story could do to (and for) ones imagination. I could laugh, cry, get scared, mad, frustrated, feel happy, elation, angst and so on, a full spectrum of emotions just from words on a page. Furthermore, the places I could go, the people I would meet and the experiences I would have. The love of reading was discovered early and still courses through me today. Are you nodding in agreement? (*high five!*)

I say that I am a "book eater" because once I start a book, no matter what it is, it is difficult for me to put it down. The need to read can be disruptive to other responsibilities in my life and so I try to carve out the time needed to allow myself to sit down in a comfy spot (much to the pleasure of my lazy lounging felines) and read as much as I can in that sitting. I stuff myself with words. My imagination feeds off of it.

Sometimes (ok, almost always- like those chips, I can't "eat" just one!) there are a few books being read at once from various genres. Always a nerdy book or two tossed in for my cerebral appetite (quantum physics, philosophy, business books, etc). I'll re-read books too. Some of my faves to regularly reacquaint myself with include anything by David Sedaris, Jennifer Lancaster, "Discipline" by Paco Algren, "Count of Monty Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas, "The Talisman" by Stephen King and Peter Straub, "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeline L'engle and a few others, I am sure. For various reasons, it is nice to go back to these books time and time again. Actually, a pretty cool concept book that I read recently is likely to go on that list as well. This would be, "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. I was looking for something to read and had no idea what I wanted (my mind tends to go severely blank once I step foot into a bookstore) (Barnes and Noble- you suck out my soul. and my money. But I love you very much, please proceed.), so I had vaguely recalled this title on a book group forum. I didn't pay attention to what it was about or by who, but for some reason, I remembered the title (ok, I remembered it because it had the ever cool "time travel" in its title- how could it not be a good reading pick?). So when I went into my local 'Starbooks' (Barnes and Noble + Starbucks) (Me. I'm funny, yes?) and stood there completely stupid as to which direction I should head in, I recalled this title and typed it into a search. Voila! I scored and decided to buy it on the spot. And you know what? It is a pretty damn awesome story, and one that I would like to read again soon (I hear a movie is coming out based on it too?- leary, but curious).

So there. I could prattle on for pages about reading and the books I enjoy and the glee that it brings to my life, but I will end it here. Actually, it isn't so much to spare you my kind reader, but I am now itching for a book fix. I need to grab my book (finishing a small old Tilly Olsen anthology) (ok, also reading 'Naked' by Sedaris, 'Love' by Toni Morrison and Philip Dicks, 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?'- Bladerunner, anybody?!)

Now you know just a teeny tiny more about me. How about I know a little more about you? Leave a comment (let me know you exist!) and I will come check out your blog. Actually, if you dig books too, how about sharing your favorite? I'm really up for reading anything from any point in time, so all of your suggestions will be appreciated.

I have an ever-growing pile of books that I want to read and a list that I write down new titles I learn about. Seriously, some time ago, I got the feeling that I have single handedly raised the stock price at As for Barnes and Noble? I'm putting those workers and the workers kids through college (you know the saying). So now, PreciseDisarray is signing out. Catch ya later!


MB said...

I love eating books too!! Time Traveler's Wife was one of my favorites. My most recent favorite is the Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Check out my bookshelf and favorites on Shelfari here:

Thanks for stopping by and "following" me. I'll be back to catch up and get some good book recommendations. ;)

Patty Mooney said...

Hello there! I love reading, too, and find myself enveloped by all the blogs! Wow! Have you read the Anne Rice vampire novels yet? Fantastic. I have ready most of them aloud to my hubby before falling to sleep. Very romantic!