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Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Morning Meme

I got this from Melody:

A Reading Meme

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you? Yes. It's my earliest memory. I wasn't quite 3 years old. Sitting with my mom in the swing in the hallway, reading A Pet for Peter for the umpteenth time, she'd point at the words, and I'd repeat them: "'No,' said the farmer, 'that isn't the pet for you.'" And I remember being about 3 and standing up in front of church singing "Jesus Loves Me," holding the hymnal. Somebody thought they'd be cute and took the book and turned the pages--I told them the name of the song on that page, then turned to the correct page, and proceeded to sing all the verses--reading the words.

2. What do you find most challenging to read? A choppy prose style--short sentences that don't flow well, don't have a rhythm. Description-dense books, unless the descriptions are lyrical, full of emotion. Legalese or other jargon or overly-precise language. Nonfiction that's written to document facts rather than to entertain or inform (that's the only way I can think to explain the difference between dust-dry nonfiction and fascinating, can't-put-it-down nonfiction).

3. What are your library habits? When I was a kid, I'd go every week before my piano lesson, and get the maximum number of books I was allowed: 6. I quit going in college--well, except for going to the library to study--as far as I knew, the university libraries didn't have fiction, and I was reading enough nonfiction for classes. I don't know why I didn't resume going to the library before I joined the army--I was always broke, and frequently reduced to re-reading books. I tried the library when Carl was in grad school, but forgot to return books so often that with the fines I racked up, I might as well have bought books. I tried the library again when we first moved to Heidelberg, but was told I couldn't use the library because I didn't live on post. Which was odd, because we do use the library at Camp Darby when we're in Italy.

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
Whoops. Answered this one above.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life? I love having somewhere to share my opinions. Writing them down, or knowing I'm going to write them down makes me read more critically and has made me more aware of what I like in a book, and the reasons for my reactions to a book. I've also discovered a lot of fabulous writers, both through their blogs and through reading other bloggers' recommendations and reviews.

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? Well, since I'm an American living in Germany, it's pretty skewed. The book section in the BX is pretty limited (moment of silence for the old Stars and Stripes book stores), and unless it's Harry Potter, doesn't get new books for months after their release, if at all. German book stores... well, their selection of English books is small, and while they'll happily order books for you, between the ordering time, the import costs, the generally higher price of books in Germany in general, and the dismal exchange rate, why bother? We do have a very well-stocked used book store on Ramstein, but it's a 15-minute drive, a hassle with the gates, and has limited hours. The libraries are hassles with gates, and apparently low budgets--almost no new books. I haven't been organized enough to really give any of the book exchange sites a fair try--the first one I tried, I ended up losing my log-in info and it would neither give me the info nor allow me to sign up again, and the second one didn't like APO addresses. So 90% of my books I buy new online, about 75-25 between Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I used to buy almost all of them from Buy.com, until Buy.com quit shipping to APOs. grrrr. The other 10% I get used, from Half.com.

7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? Never. At least, not since I got the blog. It may take a while, but I will review it eventually.

8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dogearing pages? Reading in the bath? I don't have any. It's the words inside the book that count, not the physical paper and binding. The only thing is, I think if you borrow someone's book, you need to return it in the same condition in which you borrowed it--which is only common courtesy, and applies to borrowing anything.

9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work? Don't have a job as such. When I did have a job, no, I never did. Only during breaks or lunch.

10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
I give them something I think they'd like. Duh. I don't generally decide I want to get someone a book and then go out and look for one--it's usually that I'm browsing, and find one that makes me think of them, and then I get it. I occasionally get people something they say they want, but mostly it's what I think they'd like--probably because I know if there's a book I want, I'll get it, and I guess I assume other people will, too, and if it's something that maybe they don't know about, chances are they won't have it already.

I'm tagging Candy, since she said she liked being tagged, but everyone else, please consider yourself tagged if you want to play.




Hey Darla! Thanks for playing. I enjoyed reading your answers. :) Wow, I'm impressed that you started reading at such a young age!
Heh. My mom said she taught me so young so she wouldn't have to read to me anymore. *rolling my eyes*
*chuckle* that is a mean mean mom hehehe.
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