Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fifteen Things About Books

Tamar tagged me to do a meme that involves simply putting down 15 things about books. Hey, even post-flu, mid-deadline (upon deadline upon deadline upon deadline), pre-breakdown, I CAN DO THAT!

So here goes:

1. I do, more often than I should, judge a book by its cover.

2. I prefer to own books rather than borrow them from the library. Part of that is because I don't like to feel rushed in finishing a book, and I want the opportunity to pick it back up again and reread bits and pieces if I want. But really, most of it is because I hate book jackets. Especially the crinkly plastic library book jackets that go on top of the regular book jacket.

3. I prefer trade paperback to hardcover. Yep, the book jacket problem. Plus the portability problem. Plus the it's-hard-to-hold-up-while-you're-lying-on-your-back-in-bed-reading problem.

4. I like smooth edged book paper rather than that linen-y rough-cut stuff. Another plus for trade paper.

5. That said, I did get a huge kick out of reading my stepfather's leather-bound, gilt-edged copy of Madame Bovary when I was a young teen. I think it was the built-in bookmark, to be honest.

6. And another plus for new-versus-library: There is nothing like that new-book smell.

7. The physical rush I get from being in a place where I'm surrounded by books--I'm thinking of the Strand in New York, or even this incredible little mostly used-paperback bookstore I know in Burbank--feels a lot like an anxiety attack: a weight on my chest, difficulty breathing, tingling in my fingers and my face. Except in this case, the symptoms are a result of sheer, visceral excitement.

8. It's this feeling that's made me think that I might like to be a librarian, surrounded by books all day. I figure I'd get over the crinkly book covers eventually.

9. I feel about certain book authors the way most people feel about musicians and movie actors. Except I don't want to yell screaming after my favorite authors. In fact, I think I'd do almost anything to avoid having to meet them. Not because I think they'd be bad people--I know they wouldn't--but because I don't think I'd have anything interesting or useful to say to them, and they've already given me everything I need via their written words.

10. Sometimes I forget that *I* am a book author. Mostly because, when I talk about books, I'm talking about fiction. Funny, coming from a non-fiction writer, isn't it?

11. In fact, Baroy and all three of his brothers are book authors--though they all write different kinds of books. One even writes fiction. But, obviously, I don't worry about meeting any of them!

12. Actually, I know a fair number of book authors, but most of them are science writers and such, so they don't fall in the "in awe of" category. I mean, if *I* can do it, how hard can it be? That's why fiction is in an entirely different category. That, I can't do.

13. I am not a fan of experimental fiction. And I haven't been a big fan of genre fiction since I was younger, when I was a HUGE Harlequin Romance fanatic; it was a passion my grandmother and I shared, and we had a wonderful time reading together and trading books. We even once went to a Harlequin convention. God, that had to have been...um...yeah. 29 years ago. Shit.

14. I taught myself to read when I was four, and have been a fanatic ever since. My mother used to take my little sister and I shopping with her, but when we got to a department store, she would find a quiet rack of clothes, sit me behind the nearest mirror/post, and go off and shop with my sister while I read. I would sit there for an hour or two, never looking up or moving, until they came back and got me when they were ready to go home. (We're talking early 1970s here.)

15. I can't imagine my life without books.

I can't think of who to tag. Any volunteers?

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