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The Bookshelf Meme

November 29, 2008

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!

The Rules
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…
Little Womenthe 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

I couldn't find a picture online of the book, but here's the Manuscript of "The Village Blacksmith".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!)

I love the feel of the older edition; the covers are matte instead of glossy.

I love the feel of the older edition; the covers are matte instead of glossy.

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. ;)

I hope that other people will enjoy this one! To start things off, I’m tagging Chartroose, Raych, Debi, C.B., and Muriel.

Oh, and I almost forgot, but Chris is holding an awesome giveaway right now!

115 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2008 7:16 pm

    I loved all of your answers Eva! What a fun meme :) You always come up with great memes. And I’m in love with Once Upon a Farmhouse’s library!! I actually bookmarked the page because I want one :p Yeah right, like that will ever happen. Oh, and thanks for pimping the giveaway!

  2. November 30, 2008 7:08 am

    What a great meme and what great answers too. I am right there with you on the Nancy Drews, a great example of the point you make about book as object to which we attach so much emotion.

  3. November 30, 2008 10:37 am

    Fantabulous meme!!!! I’ll have to do this one even if no one ever gets around to tagging me. lol

  4. November 30, 2008 4:57 pm

    super meme, and now I have to figure out when I can do it! I love the Nancy Drew covers, those are the ones I started out with too. And Little Women…I remember when Beth died, at first I thought she was all better, because Alcott uses the euphemism ‘was at peace now.’ when I did figure it out in the next chapter, I burst into tears and kept flipping back and forth, until I understood that was the phrase then. I hated it! I hated that she died! and I love the book. that old poem too that you memorized…’re right, half the fun is all the images, so I am working on putting more into my posts now. Lovely meme, Eva, and I will do it sometime this coming week. Now to go see Chris’s giveaway…

  5. November 30, 2008 6:42 pm

    I considered myself tagged as soon as I read the post. What fun! Thanks for hosting this meme.

    Here is my answer. :)

  6. kbsmith34 permalink
    November 30, 2008 6:56 pm

    Hi there! Fabulous meme. I just added you to my blogroll. Please feel free to do the same and check out my blog! =)

  7. December 1, 2008 1:02 am

    I agree with you about the older Nancy Drew books — for me, that’s the ‘real’ edition — although I’m fascinated by the covers of the earliest edition, which are really hard to find now.

  8. December 1, 2008 7:50 am

    You have Godel, Escher, Bach? My husband has a copy of that book. He loves it, but I don’t think he’s ever finished it. He used to read passages to me and give me puzzles to solve and all I got was headaches.

  9. December 1, 2008 12:36 pm

    This was fun! Here are my answers:

  10. December 1, 2008 12:38 pm

    In case my last comment was flagged as spam, the link to my answers for this are above.

  11. December 1, 2008 1:00 pm

    How fun! Thanks for posting this. I took it upon myself to fill it out, too!

  12. December 1, 2008 1:51 pm

    What a cute meme…. Like Andi, I’ll probably get to this one too even if I don’t get tagged :)

  13. December 1, 2008 3:59 pm

    Yay! I’ll do this soon.

  14. December 2, 2008 5:39 pm

    Yeah, I’m stealing this even if I don’t get tagged? K? Thanks!

  15. December 2, 2008 6:24 pm

    I had so much fun doing this meme!

    Here are my answers:

    (ps. I own the glossy Nancy Drews, but I’m still in love with the vintage covers)

  16. alirambles permalink
    December 3, 2008 2:06 am

    This is a fabulous meme. I tagged myself and did it in memory of Dewey (she would have so loved it!) here: Worducopia/Bookshelf meme

  17. December 5, 2008 12:10 pm

    That was actually kind of fun. I did it as well, but I’m posting my response tomorrow since I have the post about the Weekly Geeks Top 10 Books of 2008 announcement up today.

  18. December 7, 2008 2:56 pm

    ok Eva, it’s done! Here’s my post:
    thanks for a fun meme :)

  19. December 7, 2008 7:34 pm

    Hey I participated to! Here’s mine

  20. December 8, 2008 9:23 am

    I played too!
    Thanks for the really fun meme!

  21. rantsandreads permalink
    December 8, 2008 12:37 pm

    Hi! I also participated in the Bookshelf meme here.

  22. December 12, 2008 10:10 am

    I was just tagged and mine is up here.

  23. claire permalink
    December 16, 2008 11:57 am

    Hi Eva, thank you for the lovely meme. I found it on Tuesday’s blog and tagged myself. My post is here:

  24. December 17, 2008 6:10 am

    Hi Eva! Thanks for tagging me, I finally posted it. Fun meme!

  25. January 2, 2009 6:21 pm

    hello! i just answered your meme here!

  26. January 3, 2009 5:34 am

    Hi, I did it too! Fun meme.

    Here are my answers:

  27. January 4, 2009 9:27 am

    Hi there! This was one interesting meme! It made me think back of the books I loved and what memories they hold. :) Here’s what I said.

  28. Kaylee. permalink
    January 4, 2009 11:34 am

    Here’s my meme responses.


  29. January 4, 2009 1:58 pm

    I did it but I’ll be posting it in a few days on my blog. :) It was super fun!

  30. January 5, 2009 11:52 am

    I was tagged and played along too. Very fun meme. Here’s the link to my post:

  31. January 6, 2009 5:30 am

    Very fun meme, I wish I had had the time to do it justice. But I did post answers! Click here.

  32. January 6, 2009 6:45 pm

    I wasn’t tagged but I just had to do it!

  33. January 7, 2009 12:01 pm

    Just posted you meme, here’s the link!

    Happy reading!

  34. January 7, 2009 4:33 pm

    Mine’s up on my blog:

  35. January 7, 2009 10:09 pm

    Here are my answers!

  36. January 10, 2009 12:15 pm

    I was tagged and here are my answers.

    Thanks — Robin

  37. January 10, 2009 8:29 pm

    Kewl answers. I was tagged by Mrs Bumbles. Here’s my answers

  38. January 11, 2009 9:05 am

    I was tagged by Beth F. Here are my answers:

    Thanks for the fun meme.

  39. January 11, 2009 9:48 am

    I was tagged by Margot – here’s my post:

  40. January 11, 2009 2:40 pm

    I was tagged by Molly. Here’s my post.

  41. January 11, 2009 11:11 pm

    I was tagged by The Bumbles Blog. Here’s my post:

  42. January 12, 2009 8:37 am

    And here is mine! I was tagged by Alyce (above)!

  43. January 12, 2009 1:04 pm

    I was tagged by Alyce at At Home with Books (comment #46)

    Here is my meme

  44. January 12, 2009 2:33 pm

    That was a lot of fun _ thanks Eva :)
    Mine’s here:

  45. January 12, 2009 8:48 pm

    I was tagged by Sherry at NiteSwimming. My post is here:

    I have really been enjoying reading the responses to this particular meme! Thanks for it! I’m going to look at the ones that I’ve missed in the comments section when I have more time!

  46. January 13, 2009 7:50 am

    I was tagged by Karen over at Planet Books, and here are my answers:

    Thanks for letting me participate!

  47. January 13, 2009 10:08 am

    Hi Eva-
    Carrie at Reading to Know tagged me. My answers are here ( Thanks for a great meme!

  48. January 13, 2009 4:29 pm

    I was tagged from Jo-Jo Reads.
    Here are my answers:

  49. January 14, 2009 12:42 pm

    I’ve finally done it! Here. You always come up with such great memes.

  50. January 15, 2009 6:15 am

    I’ve finally done this after seeing it EVERYWHERE.

  51. mizb17 permalink
    January 15, 2009 7:42 am

    Veronika tagged me… here are my answers:

  52. MyTwoBlessings permalink
    January 15, 2009 8:03 am

    I’ve done the meme – it can be found at this link.

    I was tagged by two people – BethF of Beth Fish Reads and MizB at ShouldBeReading.

    Have a good day.


  53. hopeistheword permalink
    January 15, 2009 6:11 pm

    I did it! It was fun! Thanks to Carrie at Reading to Know for tagging me!

  54. hopeistheword permalink
    January 15, 2009 6:11 pm

    Oh, I forgot to leave my link. Here it is–>

  55. January 15, 2009 8:43 pm

    Just finished the meme, assigned to me by Jenners. Had a blast!!! Great idea!

  56. fleurfisher permalink
    January 16, 2009 2:56 pm

    I was tagged by Margot at Joyfully Retired. Here are my answers to a great set of questions!

  57. fleurfisher permalink
    January 16, 2009 2:58 pm

    try again!

  58. January 17, 2009 12:26 am

    I got tagged by Carrie at Reading to Know, and here’s my post:

  59. January 17, 2009 5:26 am

    Hi there,

    I participated in this meme here: Fun! Thanks for starting it.

  60. January 18, 2009 12:15 pm

    I was tagged, and here’s my answer!

  61. January 18, 2009 2:08 pm

    I posted my responses to your bookshelf meme on my blog. It was fun!

  62. January 18, 2009 7:11 pm

    It’s still going strong:

    great questions Eva

  63. January 19, 2009 6:43 pm

    I loved this meme! Here’s my blog:

  64. January 20, 2009 6:58 am

    This was a lovely meme. Here is my blog

  65. January 20, 2009 9:00 am

    Hey there, Eva! I did your neat Book Meme yesterday at my place. Little Women has always been one of my favorite books…it’s been on my shelves almost as long as Charlotte’s Web and Winnie the Pooh!

  66. January 22, 2009 7:02 pm

    I was tagged. Here is my meme:

  67. January 23, 2009 5:35 am

    I was tagged with your meme, and I just posted my response today.

  68. January 23, 2009 6:30 am

    This is a really cool meme, Eva! I’m so glad you thought it up. I came a little late to it, but I enjoyed answering the questions:

  69. January 24, 2009 8:16 pm

    This was a fun little meme! I found it over at Tiffany’s, even though I wasn’t tagged. The questions were fun, and required a lot of thought for some of the answers!

    Here are my responses:

  70. January 25, 2009 3:06 am

    Hey I just posted mine! I am so glad Genevieve tagged me on this one! Here’s my link:

  71. January 25, 2009 12:21 pm

    That was a lot of fun! What a great meme!

    Here is my answer:

  72. January 26, 2009 8:34 am

    This is a fun meme! Here are my answers:

  73. January 28, 2009 8:31 am

    I was tagged by Jo-Jo Loves To Read. Here is my post:

  74. January 28, 2009 4:37 pm

    I was also tagged by Jo-Jo Loves to Read! My post is here.

  75. January 31, 2009 6:28 am

    I was tagged by Avisannchild. This meme is one of the best! Here’s the link to my answers

  76. February 1, 2009 9:37 pm

    I just participated in the meme. It should show up tomorrow morning. This was a really fun experience! Thanks!

  77. February 2, 2009 1:11 pm

    I just did this one — and I see my pingback above! One of the earliest books I read was Little Women, though I don’t own the copy I read then. I do see here a question that wasn’t on the list I answered! I’ll have to think about that one.

    Thanks for this! I always enjoy book memes.

  78. February 2, 2009 10:59 pm

    Still rolling. Here’s my link.

  79. February 6, 2009 10:46 pm

    It was fun to hunt up some old books – here’s mine!

  80. February 9, 2009 12:01 am

    Hello, I tried this meme too, which is difficult, since I don’t know how to read. :-)

  81. February 13, 2009 1:28 am

    This was a fun meme to do! Here’s my post:

  82. February 16, 2009 6:29 am

    Hi Eva,

    I just did your meme through AliceTeh’s blog and linked back to you. :)

  83. March 15, 2009 6:06 am

    Just finished your Meme. It was fun. Thanks!

  84. March 24, 2009 6:08 pm

    Hey! I’m filling one out!

    Great idea!!

  85. March 25, 2009 3:58 pm

    Oh, this was really cool, i just finished.

    These are always really fun!

    My Bookshelf Meme:

  86. April 8, 2009 8:35 am

    Just do it: ,

  87. June 11, 2009 12:01 pm

    I’ve tagged myself! :-)

  88. Danielle permalink
    November 29, 2009 4:51 am

    I did it over at my livejournal. :D

  89. May 27, 2010 7:20 am

    I’m really REALLY late to the party. But I did this. Thanks!



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