There’s a meme going around (started here) wherein readers list 15 (or more) things about the relationship they have with books. The numbers of people who have already done this are huge, and I suspect that I’m the last person in the blogging galaxy to be doing this. But here are some anyway.
- According to my mother, I was reading at an extremely early age. I have no memory of what it is like to not be able to read.
- And I think I could speed read as a child, but school taught it out of me.
- I am allergic to a gum used in printing ink, and to a series of molds that grow on paper. Therefore, I am allergic to books…
- …which is too bad because I love “old book” smell.
- My wife gets so into reading that I can talk to her while her nose is in a book and she won’t hear me at all. I wish I could do that.
- Since I write fiction, I tend to be so critical of it that when I read for enjoyment, it’s usually non-fiction…
- …but there are some authors, such as Elmore Leonard, who are so good that it doesn’t feel like I’m reading fiction.
- I once tried to retaliate against a bully by bonking him on the head with the biggest, thickest book I could find – my 7th grade biology textbook. It was a disaster.
- I hardly ever buy books anymore. I try to get everything I want to read from the library.
- I can read several books at once. And I can put a book down and pick it up months later and keep reading with no loss of continuity. This drives my wife crazy.
- I am shamefully underread when it comes to the classics.
- I went on a kick to try and read more classics. I started and loved what I read of Moby Dick but haven’t picked it back up yet. I’ve hated Ernest Hemingway since High School and couldn’t get through one of his books. But I loved F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
- I once tricked a good friend into reading a really bad novel by telling him it was wonderful and Vonnegutesque. He hated it and asked me to take it back. I “forgot” to take it home. He brought it to my house and left it. I took it back to his house and hid it. This set off a years-long war where we would find clever ways to pass the book back and forth. Then one day the book disappeared. My friend says I have it. I think he threw it away and is lying. Or maybe one of our wives got sick of the whole thing and tossed it.
- I read in spurts. I will go for months without reading anything. Then I go on months-long binges where I read and read and read.
- I have this fear that I will lose respect from readers and/or friends if they found out which books and/or how many books I haven’t read.
- BONUS ITEM #1: People think I’m joking when I tell them that I have so many copies of my own novels that I use them to prop up the low corners of the refrigerator and washing machine.
- BONUS ITEM #2: The Bible gets more and more amazing every time I read it.
Coming up next: 15 Things About Writing and Me (the mutant version of the above meme).
Listening: Brian Protheroe, “Take Up Your Beds” (via iPod Shuffle)