Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ten Things about Reading

I stole this from Bibliolatrist. See
1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
I was probably around 6 or 7. I vividly remember my mother reading stories to me, and there was one book in particular of scary stories. I only wish I could remember more than the orange cover. I remember being called on to read in second grade. One time, the nun (Sr. Rosaline) pointed to a word in a really funny story, and asked me to pronounce it. The word was “zephyr”; she asked me what it meant, and I told her, “A warm wind.” She was old, and she stared at me a few seconds, then asked me to read the story to the class. This was a pivotal experience in my life, and my first clear vision of reading.
2. What do you find most challenging to read?
Business books. I have read three in my life, including two in the past year for my book club – The World is Flat and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The third was 20 years ago, The One-Minute Manager. As a fearsome hater of meetings, I actually liked that one, but this is my fill for quite a while.
3. What are your library habits?
I frequently use the library to search for books I want to buy. My wife is a librarian, and sometimes she will bring home books to examine so we can purchase the correct one. A good example of this is a book of the paintings of Remedios Varo. The one I want is out of print, and we could not find it for sale anywhere. She found one at her library that had most of the paintings I wanted, so we ordered that one.
4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
Oh, yes. When I was in grade school, high school, and college, I lived at the library. I almost always took out the maximum number of books they would allow. When I was in academic hiatus (1975 to 1992), my library visits were sparse – I was much more likely to buy my books. When I returned to school in 1992 through to 2003, I was a pretty regular visitor to the library for research and reading periodicals for research purposes. On many occasions, I would borrow a book, read it, then search for a copy on line. Now, I only visit the library to have lunch with my wife. I do frequently search several library catalogues over the web.
5. How has blogging changed your reading life?
It has stimulated me to be a more constant reader. Teaching five or six classes left me with little spare time during the 30 weeks a year I was in class, but blogging has invigorated me to find time to read even then. Now, I do not go anywhere without a book.
6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other?
This is tough. I would have to guess, and a rough guess at that, but I would say new book stores, 50%, second hand stores 10% (mainly because there are no good ones in Central Texas, and I have to find some when I travel), and the balance 38% from On-line retailers. I keep 2% aside, because occasionally I will buy books from friends.
7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about books?
Since I started RabbitReader, I have reviewed every book I have read.
8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dog-earing pages? Reading in the bath?
This is a hilarious story. One night we were having dinner at a local restaurant, and we saw a woman sitting alone at a nearby table, and she was reading a paperback. Her friend arrived, and she bent the page down and closed her book. There were cards on the table to sign up for e-mail, and I wrote on the back, “Please don’t bend down the page. It hurts the book. Use this for a book mark, and smile every time you see it.” She laughed, and I went home and made some bookmarks with this saying and a clip art picture of a book and a reader. Yesterday, we were at the airport, and a woman sat down next to us, and opened her book to a dog-eared page. I finally had a chance to use my new book marks. No, she did not slap me, she laughed, and as we boarded the plane, my bookmark was sticking out of her book. Well, I guess it was hilarious to me!
I don’t even want to think about reading in a bathtub.
9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work?
My work makes me a professional reader, and almost everything I read at work is for pleasure. However, reading essays for “millennials” makes me want to tear my hair out and run screaming into the night.
10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
I always spend a lot of time thinking about the person I want to give a book to. The match must be perfect!
--Chiron, 11/21/07

1 comment:

Bibliolatrist said...

I'm going to need one of those bookmarks, please :)