Friday, July 18, 2008

Morning glories and a reading meme

The morning glories are taking over my yard! Well, they've taken over the fence. Even though I know they're a weed, and invasive, I can't help it, I think they're pretty.

I got this reading meme from Stefanie at So Many Books, and it looked like a fun one, so here goes:

Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
Not exactly. I expect that it had something to do with how much reading was valued in my family. Both my parents were (and are) big readers, and we always had books in the house. My mother used to take me to the library when I was little, and I remember the thrill of checking out a big stack of books. I also remember that losing myself in a book was always a pleasant feeling, and if I was ever anxious or scared or sad I used books to comfort myself. I don't remember a time when I didn't love to read.

What are some books you loved as a child?
I loved the Nancy Drew books, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, The Island of the Blue Dolphins, My Side of the Mountain, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Great Brain, A Wrinkle in Time, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

What is your favorite genre?
Fiction. A mixture of classic and contemporary.

Do you have a favorite novel?
I cannot imagine picking one!

Where do you usually read?
I often read in bed, but really any comfortable spot will do. Even in the carpool line waiting for my kids to get out of school.

When do you usually read?
Usually after the kids go to bed, but any time I can get some reading in, I will.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
Most of the time I do read more than one book at a time. Either I get really excited about something new and have to start it, even if I have something else going...or I have more than one book going so that I can read what I'm in the mood for at any given moment.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
If I'm honest with myself, I have to struggle to pay more attention when I'm reading non-fiction. I tend to sail through fiction. Then, with fiction, if I think I've missed something, or I want to savor it, I'll slow down, or re-read it.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out from the library?
I buy most of the books I read (though not always at full price--I try to be creative). But I also mooch books through BookMooch. I'm working on utilizing the library system better, too.

Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Most of them. Though my shelves are more than overflowing at the moment and I fear I will be forced to cull through them soon. When I get rid of books I either list them on BookMooch, or give them to charity.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?
I have three children. My two boys are big readers, and I introduced my eldest to The Lord of the Rings, My Side of the Mountain, The Great Brain series, A Wrinkle in Time, Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins. I also read books I loved to both of them when they were little: The Wizard of Oz, Winnie the Pooh, pretty much all of Dr. Seuss, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, The Story of Ferdinand, Blueberries for Sal, Madeline, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Babar, Harry the Dirty Dog, Charlotte's Web, a whole bunch of Caldecott Medal winners, and when they were a bit older: Tin Tin, the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia. And when my daughter (who is now 3) is reading, there are many things waiting on her shelf, including all of the books I mentioned as my childhood favorites above, but also Sarah, Plain and Tall, the Redwall series, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Ginger Pye, The Moffats, Tuck Everlasting, Bridge to Terabithia, Ella Enchanted, The Cricket in Times Square, Julie of the Wolves, Stuart Little...

What are you reading now?
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris.

Do you keep a To Be Read List?
I used to only keep a mental list, but now I have a notebook. I'm thinking of upgrading to a spreadsheet :)

What’s next?
Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin. And the rest of the huge stack next to my bed.

What books would you like to re-read?
Middlemarch, Our Mutual Friend, Out of Africa, Anna Karenina, West with the Night.

Who are your favorite authors?
I add to this list all the time, but at the moment, and in no particular order: Jane Austen, George Eliot, A.S. Byatt, J.M. Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, Wallace Stegner, Laurie Colwin, David Mitchell, Raymond Carver.


Carrie K. said...

I did this one on my blog, too - we have a lot of childhood favorites in common!

Gentle Reader said...

carrie--I just checked out your answers--yes, we do have a lot of childhood favorites in common. And I'm looking forward to sharing some of them with my daughter, too! Enjoyed your blog!

Susan's Book Nook said...

I am going to comment on your question. But I am off to the store.
The blogging business just like surfing. Doesn't give me much time to read, and housework. Today I promised I was going to do that. I will get back to you tomorrow.

litlove said...

What lovely answers, as usual. We have a lot of adult favourites in common, and our children have had quite similar reading experiences! And everyone but everyone is reading the new David Sedaris! I love his books so much, I must get hold of a copy.

Iliana said...

That's a weed seriously? I think it's beautiful too!
I started off with a mental list of books I wanted to read and then a notebook and finally a spreadsheet. It got out of control though once I started reading book blogs :)
Now I keep wish lists on bookmooch and an database (bookpedia).

Tara said...

These are so much fun to read! We have some similar childhood favorites - I read A Little Princess over and over...and over. I have my old copy and it's taped together.

Matt said...

This meme resurfaces again! I enjoy reading your answers. My teachers in grade school influenced me the most in becoming an avid reader. They were priests from England and so in between classes I always found myself browsing the library.

*I buy most of my books. I can't help parting with my favorite reads.
*I almost re-read all the Dostoevskys and Tolstoy, and some of Jose Saramago's.
*I keep a TBR list and a shopping list. Now I keep a list of books bloggers mention and recommend.

Bookfool said...

You listed some wonderful books -- lots of old favorites of mine from childhood. A Little Princess was the basis for my girl-name choice, Sarah (although I think the "h" at the end is my preference), but we didn't have a girl and Sarah sounds like a silly name for a cat, so we haven't used it. Like Tara, I read my copy over and over. It's in excellent condition, though, and has a place of honor on the good shelves. :)

Gentle Reader said...

susan--Ugh, two of my least favorite things--the store, and housework. I hear you on having so little time!

litlove--love that we have so much in common! Will let you know what I think of the David Sedaris when I'm finished :)

iliana--sadly, weeds flourish here in my garden. Oh well, I don't have time to do as much gardening as I'd like. I keep my wish list in a tiny notebook in my handbag, but I think it's time to upgrade!

tara--I just adore A Little Princess, and my copy is quite tattered. I will have to invest in a new one some day!

matt--I should have mentioned that my grade school teachers were also encouraging in the reading department. That's been helpful for my kids, too--the librarian at their school is amazing, she always inspires the kids.

bookfool--glad we had some favorites in common! I always wanted to name a child Sarah, too! But then a cousin snagged the name first. It's actually a good thing, since my daughter's best friend is named Sarah, and I don't even want to think about the psychological ramifications of that...I had to laugh at "the good shelves"! I have those, too. My copy of A Little Princess is too beat up for the good shelves, but I still can read it. It sits on a shelf in my bedroom, next to my equally battered copy of Pride and Prejudice :)

stefanie said...

What fun! I loved the Great Brain books and My Side of the Mountain! What lucky kids you have too. And I love your morning glories. I don't think they are weeds at all. They are one of my favorite flowers :)

Jeane said...

If I had your morning glories, I'd leave them be! Mine are white, and practically pulling down my already-flimsy fence. I'm only leaving them up for the season because my daughter likes to pick the flowers, then they're coming up by the roots!

Gentle Reader said...

stefanie--my oldest son just read My Side of the Mountain for the second time, and is on the hunt for the sequel (On the Far Side of the Mountain), which I have never read. And I loved The Great Brain books--it makes me happy my kids appreciate them, too.

And maybe the morning glory isn't technically a weed, but it is, shall we say, tenacious! I love them, too :)

jeane--the blue color of these morning glories is really pretty, but I like the white variety, too--and I can see how they could pull down a fence. They're the hardiest thing in my garden, that's for sure!

verbivore said...

How wonderful that your kids are such big readers - I can't but think this turns into an advantage later at school (reading the boring stuff just seems easier)
And I highly recommend using a spreadsheet :-)

Gentle Reader said...

verbivore--I'm certain that my love of reading really helped me in school, and hoping for the same for my kids. I am getting to that spreadsheet... :)

Catherine said...

I also loved Laura Ingalls Wilder books (and recently rescued all my old copies from Ireland and brought them to England, where they now sit happily with the books I've loved as an adult!). And I love morning glory - weeds aren't always so bad!

Gentle Reader said...

catherine--I've got a few of my old Laura Ingalls Wilder books already on my daughter's bookshelf--just waiting for her to be old enough to read them!

Susan said...

I love your answers! And especially the books you're saving for your daughter, and the books you read as a child - I read many of those, too! It's lovely that both your boys read too, my eldest does occasionally, but he never took to it as a pasttime/for real pleasure. I have a database of books I own, but not of one I want not yet, anyway. It might come to that if the lists in my purse get and bigger!
I loved A Little Princess too....