The Bookshelf Meme
I originally came up with this meme awhile ago, and had it saved for a ‘time is right’ moment. Going through my drafts today, I found it and decided it’d be a fun way to help re-connect after such a long absence! :D Inspired in part by Dewey’s review of The Book that Changed My Live, in part by Verbivore’s clever twist on the seven random things meme, and in part by the fun I had the last time I created a meme, I present you with…
The Bookshelf Meme
It quickly becomes apparent from reading book blogs that books are not only a collection of words on paper, but also physical objects that we treasure. With that in mind, here’s a brief glimpse onto my bookshelves!
1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!
2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.
3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.
4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…
5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.
And now, tell me about…
the book that’s been on your shelves the longest: well, most of my childhood books aren’t actually on my bookshelves right now (instead they’re safely packed up, awaiting the day when I have built-in bookcases!), but one of them is there. That would be the Scholastic/Apple Classics paperback version of Little Women by Lousia May Alcott. I got it from the Scholastics Book flier they used to give us in second or third grade (does anyone else remember those? You’d bring home a little mini-catalog, pore over all the offerings, and harass your parents into writing a check, and then a few weeks later, the teacher would distribute the books you got kept together with a rubber band). I loved that book (it’s been awhile since I’ve read it, but I still love it in my mind at least) and reread it often. I was reading it in the bath once and dropped it in, so it has some definite water damage. I also remember exactly where I was when Beth died; lying on a bed in the loft of a cabin in the Colorado Rockies. I’d brought it with me on our family vacation, and when my mom and I got to that part (we read aloud to each other before bedtime), it was so traumatic.
a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.): my trade paperback of Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid reminds me of who I was when I first began college, and all of the friends and experiences I had my freshman year. I lugged it around (it’s a serious door-stopper of a book, even in paperback) and read it in all my favourite college hangouts, and talked about it with my favourite college people. It even still has a random bookmark in it that my roommate made me: she had to photocopy a picture of the David statue for an art class, and had an extra one. So she cut it out and ‘laminated’ it (with clear packing tape) and gave it to me as eye candy. lol
a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.): I have a collection of Longfellow poetry that my mom found in a used bookstore when she helped me move to college. It’s an older hardcover, with a light green cover, and the first lines of “The Village Blacksmith” embossed in gold on the cover. The best part? “The Village Blacksmith” happens to be the first Longfellow poem I ever read, as well as the first poem I memorised. :)
the most recent addition to your shelves: that requires a little bit of thought! But I’m almost positive it’s the trade paperback versions of The Year of Living Biblically and The Nine. I was wandering around Borders, and saw them both on the new paperback table and just couldn’t resist! Unusually for me, I’ve already read them both and loved them.
: well, this is kind of cheating, since it’s more than one, but the hardcover Nancy Drew collection my mom had as a child that she passed on to me when I was in 5th grade (I’ve talked about them before). It’s a mix now of the original books she gave to me in the 1950s/60s editions and the ones I received as presents in the 1990s editions. I really want to give them to my daughter, if I have one, or to my niece (who already shows signs of being a bookworm!). They have a sense of family, of personal history, that would be very sad to lose. (When I was looking for images of the older covers, I came across a bookshelf post at Once Upon a Farmhouse: the author obviously shares my love of Nancy Drew, and you should go see the pictures of her pretty bookshelves and ND collection!)
the book whose loss would traumatise you the most
a book that’s been with you to the most places: easily, my Penguin one quid paperback of Pride and Prejudice. I bought it when I lived in England, when I was 11. It’s been with me on our family trips across Europe and to Egypt, on my trip to see my future college (where it received an unfortunate dunking in a hotel jacuzzi), to Russia, and now to California. I think of it as ‘broken in’, like leather boots or something. Normally, I take really good care of my books, but this one has had to be hardy and I think it looks all the better for it.
a bonus book that you want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions: since I’m not in front of my books right now (still no laptop, so I’m stuck at the library for internet access), I’m going to beg off this one. I more included it for future participants, who might have an awesome answer to a question I didn’t ask. ;)
Oh, and I almost forgot, but Chris is holding an awesome giveaway right now!