I find myself agreeing with thebeasley at Just Another Blog (from a woman who’s just entered her 40’s) an awful lot. I once joked that to save time I was going to follow her around WordPress and leave a “yeah, what she said” reply on all her comments. When you set aside the stalkerish aspects, you have to admit that’s a brilliant plan, a real time saver.
When she tagged me in her Book Lover post I wasn’t surprised that I was in agreement with her on most points. I also wasn’t surprised that she was the kind of woman that loves books, all the great ladies do. I genuinely could have copied and pasted some of her responses, our answers were so similar, but I decided to actually put in the work that was asked of me.
The thing is, answering questions about my reading habits was too pleasurable to be thought of as work. I am a lover of evocative words that paint a picture that can stir my soul. My heart aches for the connection that great stories create. The words of Kristin Martz are the most apt description I can find. I am a lover of books because, “We lose ourselves in things we love. We find ourselves, too.”
Do you have a specific place for reading?
We have a really, really comfy couch. Once your ass hits the cushion it swallows you whole. I’m speaking in the proverbial sense, of course. I wouldn’t own a couch that literally ate people. Although, when you think about it, that would be a great idea. You could invite your enemies over and ask them to sit down while you made them a cup of coffee. Bam, your enemy is gone, never to be seen again. Anyhoo, my people eating couch is my preferred place to read. If I’m particularly enthralled with a book I’ll take it to bed with me.
Bookmarks or random pieces of paper?
One time I bought a book at Goodwill and found a Harvard Book Store bookmark inside it. I loved that bookmark and used it exclusively to hold my spot in whatever book I was reading at the time. Then, one fateful day, it was gone. It just up and vanished. I have no damn idea where it went. Perhaps it grew tired of me and my book choices and moved on to the next best thing. I’ll probably never know. My heart aches for that bookmark and I haven’t found any other bookmark that can take its place, so these days I just use any random scrap of paper I can find.
Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?
There are times when I have to just stop anywhere because I tend to fall asleep when I read. I also fall asleep when I watch a movie or, oddly enough, sometimes right after having a cup of coffee. You know when I don’t fall asleep? Usually between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. because middle age is a dirty, rotten son of a bitch. I’d like to always make it to the end of the chapter, but sometimes I finish earlier than I’d prefer. It happens to the best of us.
Do you eat or drink while reading?
I don’t like to eat when I’m reading. It tends to get messy and the sound of my chewing interferes the magic. I do like to caffeinate when I read. There’s nothing better than a hot cup of tea or coffee when I’m hunkered down with a great book. One winter many years ago, huddled up under a blanket, I spent a weekend with Angela’s Ashes. The only way I was able to keep up with my voracious literary needs was by downing cup after cup of Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea, each with two sugars and a generous splash of milk.
Music or TV while reading?
TV, never. The book and I are the only stars of the show. Music, sometimes, only if it heightens the mood. I prefer the volume low, something soft and sultry and smooth.
One book at a time or several?
What kind of lady do you take me for? One at a time, please.
Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?
When I was younger I might have had my book in a park, a library, the backseat of a car, or even in a tree. These days, I keep things simple. I keep it at home.
Read out loud or silently?
The passages of some books deserve to be read aloud. I’ve been known to whisper over and over the sentences that pique my interest. Sometimes, though, silence is best. Let the book speak for itself.
Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I’ve been known, on occasion, in a blaze of excitement, to read over some of the words. I’m a tad on the impatient side. I do try my best to never skip pages. Reading is always worth it, even when it’s boring.
Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
In haste and innocent curiosity I may sometimes get a little rough with my books. In general, though, I like to be tender with them. I don’t like to wear them out before our time is over and usually like to share them with others. No one wants a book that’s been knocked around and misused, do they?
Do you write in your book?
Trace a finger over a particularly juicy passage, yes. Permanently mark, no.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently in between books, in a bit of a dry spell. I think I have a bit of a book hangover from The Hobbit. When they’re especially good like that I tend to hang onto them in my mind for a long while before moving on. Some books you can never shake, but a good reader must always forge ahead.
Favorite childhood book?
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by, Roald Dahl. I must have read that book a dozen times or more, sneaking in my reading whenever I could. By the time I had moved onto other books its cover was torn and tattered, pages dogeared. I never tire of that book. You always have a special place in your heart for your first love.
All time favorite book?
How can you choose? They’re all special in their own way. I have favorites, plural. Off the top of my head, in no particular order, I can tell you Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman, Love in the Time of Cholera by, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha all hold a very special place in my heart. I haven’t loved every book I’ve read, though. Let’s face it, some of them are just duds.
This is the space where I should be tagging other bloggers to join in. I’m of the ilk that believes a reader shares their love best without pressure, letting it happen organically. I will extend an open invitation to anyone who reads this and feels so inclined to bare their literary soul to make their own book lover post. I’m very curious as to how many of you both lose and find yourselves, but respect your right to keeping that private.