12.15.2005

Book meme

I was tagged for a book meme, and couldn't figure out which Diane had sent it to me. I am an idiot. So, Diane, at Nobody Knows Anything, please accept my apologies while I work on it....

OK. Here are 15 book thingys off the top of my head...

1. I like to smell very old books. The kind with tatty spines and yellowish-brown pages. Especially in libraries with collections that pre-date 1910.

2. I hate when the pages in old books disintegrate in my hands, though. I feel like a book murderer.

3. Alexander's first book was...? Ducky something? His experience with books has been rather odd. He first read books in French because he attended a private, total immersion French school. The stories in the books were mostly about the Gauls conquering everything. Then, when it was time for 4th Grade, we switched to that public elementary school with the French national curriculum. He had a teacher who told him he was not allowed to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, because Harry Potter was "too advanced." He read Harry Potter anyway.

4. When Alexander arrived here in New York, his 5th Grade teacher thought he had reading comprehension difficulties. Because he was new to New York, Alexander was rather quiet. Very zipper-lipped in class. "Does he speak English?" she asked me once. Oh, yes, I replied. The teacher didn't believe me. She put him in the "dummy" reading group; the books were 3rd grade level. "Can you believe she's making me read kiddish books?" he protested. That same year, when we decided to homeschool, Alexander read the remaining Harry Potter books that had been written to date by J.K. Rowling, and then began reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. He finished all the books within six months, with smatterings of other reads in-between.

5. I read chick lit books. I am sorry. I can't help it. It's a weakness. That, and those Godiva raspberry chocolate bars that you get from Barnes and Noble at the cash register after buying the chick lit book.

6. When my 4th grade teacher asked me to read The Hobbit, I told her I would. Then two weeks later, I told her I read it. I lied.

7. When I attended boarding school, we read and discussed literature at what I believed to be a maddeningly s-l-o-w pace. It was like an Ecole de Cuisine: we had to know what story we were getting, from where it came, and then savor every word and nuance contained therein. I, however, came from the french fries school of the American public school system. On returning to the States, I learned that I was sort of an expert on any given literature that I had studied at that slow-cooking school. I try to approach literature studies in the same fashion with Alexander.

8. I am writing a book now. I can't even hint what it's about, lest I piss off all my friends, family, acquaintances, my hairdresser, and the Dunkin Donuts cashier from Bangladesh.

9. We have books in four languages on the shelf. Of those languages, we can read in three fairly well. The fourth would be Hebrew, a language in which we suck potatoes.

10. Do not disturb the subway book reader unless you know what's good for you. The subway trains of New York are great places to scout new book titles to read. What are people reading? One season, everyone had burgundy-red Dan Brown books (The Da Vinci Code). Movie deal, I thought. On any given car on a subway train, between 20-50% of the passengers are engrossed in a book. Hardcover and softcover. I learned that hardcover books, while bulkier, are better for train reading. The pages don't as flip easily while you standing up and holding on to something else. Today I found a book left behind on a subway platform. It is about cattle herding.

11. I read how-to books as voraciously as I do chick lit books.

12. Once at a Barnes and Noble, I had to place an order for a book title and the staffer thought I was the person who penned an entire shelf of books in the store. "Are those your books? OH MY GOD!!!" She was disappointed to learn I was not the writer.

13. I am jealous of my friends who write books and do book signings regularly at big chain retail bookstores, yet who possess the writing skills of African bushpigs.

14. This book is still a classic. For the love of Zeus Almighty and Richard Scarry, publish the UNABRIDGED version, please.

15. I cannot borrow a library book to save my life. LaMai has a tendency of not returning books. They are that delicious.

I tag Calletta, Heidi, and Becky (if you haven't already been tagged).

7 comments:

Calletta said...

OMG, I do the book smelling thing, too! My husband makes fun of me for always sniffing old books, but they smell so yummy!

Heidi said...

Richard Scarry comparison

la Maitresse said...

Hmmm...link doesn't seem to work...

Heidi said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kokogiak/sets/1425737/

Heidi said...

I have read a couple of books set in my smaller city. How do you react to books set in NYC?

la Maitresse said...

Womba. Someone actually catalogued the difference on flickr! And Heidi, you've been tagged. ; )

Becky said...

My first memey taggy thing, and just before Christmas, when I would so much rather think and write about books rather than clean the house for the impending (tomorrow) Christmas tree...

Thanks, Mai.