More bookshelf fun

The Bookshelf Meme — taken from A Striped Armchair:

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.

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest:

wheres_waldoThis honor would probably have to go the hardcover editions of Where’s Waldo? my sister and I received as children, many of them from our grandparents. I know we’ve had them since I was probably around eight years old and have read through them many, many times — especially when my cousin Ciara finally became old enough to read and enjoy them, too! I know I have several other children’s books and Bernstein Bears books that have been hanging around since before I was literate.

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.):

sight_houndWow! This could be a massive list stretching on forever. A few: I read Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones on summer vacation a few years ago, and every time I see the cover peeking out on my bookshelf I think about curling up at our beach house, listening to the rain pounding the roof as we all hunkered down from off the beach. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway takes me right back to my British literature class from my junior year of college, plunking me down in those hard-backed chairs in that cold classroom with an equally cold professor. I adored the book, though. I poured through Pam Houston’s Sight Hound the summer I interned for a daily newspaper in D.C., looking forward to climbing aboard the commuter bus so I could pick up where I left off. When I started crying toward the end of the novel, I was crying for a lot of reasons that summer — and not all of them had to do with the passing of a pet. Some of them did, though. Sight Hound is totally warped now — my sister accidentally dropped it in the Atlantic Ocean! It’s okay, though; I think it has more character this way. And I once dropped one of her books in the ocean, so that’s fair enough.

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Booking Through Thursday: Book gifts

booking_through_thurs It’s Thursday again — and we all know what that means! Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

‘What, if any, memorable or special book have you ever gotten as a present? Birthday or otherwise. What made it so notable? The person who gave it? The book itself? The “gift aura?”’

My parents have always been huge proponents of reading — and, arguably, that’s probably the reason I went on to major in English Literature in college, work as an editor and aspire to be a novelist myself. My mom and dad have been giving my sister and I books from the time we were born, and many of our favorite memories include sitting around with my parents reading The Berenstein Bears collection (the Halloween versions and “junk food” were usually our favorites!) or Little Critters. My mom always writes beautiful inscriptions inside, too.

florida_snowglobe

Not mine, but I have a ton of snowglobes from Florida!

The first book that really comes to mind out of all the books I’ve received over the years, though, is a book on snowglobes my dad got me for Christmas when I was probably around eight. I was obsessed with waterglobes as a child — I picked them up on all of our family vacations, requested them from friends and family and squealed when my grandparents would buy me the super large snowglobes for Christmas or my birthday. My dad found a book, aptly titled Snowglobes, and I still have it on the bottom bookshelf in my room. It’s a picture collection of snowglobes from all over the world — and is highly illustrated, of course! I was reading then but still loves seeing all the pretty pictures. My dad, sister and I used to sit and pour through all the pictures, pointing out our favorites. I remember a two-page spread near the back was full of one woman’s entire collection and I was mesmorized by the sheer number of snowglobes all in one place.

I still love waterglobes — and still get excited when I see them out. I’ve had to pack up my own large collection for space reasons but can’t see myself ever getting rid of them! And I usually bring back one or two from all my trips. As I type this, I have a tiny, pretty one from San Gimignano, Italy just next to my work phone! There’s something sort of magical about them.

It was so special because it was from my dad, I know, and I think that’s a lot of the reason why I still have so many books from when my sister and I were younger. We have many from our grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends . . . and it’s exciting to get books, I think!

And thanks, Dad, for fostering my snowglobe love at such a young age!

Tuesday Thingers: Thinking in duplicate

This week’s Tuesday Thingers question: “Work multiples. Do you own multiple copies of any books? Which ones? Why? Can you share your list?”

I don’t have any duplicates listed on Library Thing, but I do own a few books in duplicate — though not always intentionally!

I intentionally own two copies of are Marisa de los Santos’ Belong To Me. I picked up an ARC at work and then noticed in a company newsletter that the publisher was giving out ARCs signed be the author! Needless to say, I couldn’t pass that up — so I have one copy to read and share with others, and another to keep on my pretty white bookshelf for posterity.

Books that I unintentionally have multiple copies of include Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree (gifts from two grandmothers when I was a child); Meg Cabot’s Big Boned (my sister bought it, not knowing I already had an ARC waiting in the stacks); and Stephenie Meyer’s Eclipse (my boyfriend knew I was heavy into the series and picked it up, planning to be sweet, but I’d already invested in the set).

And why do I still have multiple copies of the same book? I feel bad giving them away, knowing they were presents! Isn’t that always the case?

Booking Through Thursday: Beloved books

booking_through_thurs Yay, it’s Booking Through Thursday! Here’s this week’s meme, complete with my insightful, life-changing responses:

Q: What was the last book you bought?

The last book I bought would be Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. But the last book I received would be Thank You For All Things by Sandra Kring.

Q. Name a book you have read MORE than once:

The Great Gatsby, though that was mostly for school. A book I’ve read more than once by choice is Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever.

Q. Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life?
If yes, what was it?

Several books have taught me a lot about life, but I don’t know that any of them have fundamentally changed the way I see life as a whole. That’s probably bad. But books that really, really inspired me are Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Philip Roth’s American Pastoral; and Marisa de los Santos’ Belong To Me.

Q. How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?

I usually look for recommendations from friends and co-workers first, come up with a list of their favorites and then look at them on LibraryThing or Amazon. If I’m at the bookstore, I definitely look at cover designs! And summary is important, too. But honestly, I probably do most of my book searching on the Internet.

Q. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Definitely fiction, though I branch out every now and then.

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Tuesday Thingers: New changes at LibraryThing

Here’s this week’s Tuesday Thingers question from the Boston Bibliophile:

LibraryThing’s Recently Added feature: do you look at it? Do you use it for ideas? Is there something listed there now that looks interesting to you? What have you added to your LT library recently?

I do use the Recently Added feature on LibraryThing — it’s fun to browse through what other folks are adding, see what they liked and decide if it’s something I’d be interested in reading in the future. There’s always something interesting and new to check out! In my own library, I’ve recently added Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats (my latest cooking help guide), Sara Zarr’s awesome young adult book Sweethearts and Lesley Kagan’s Land of a Hundred Wonders, the Southern novel I’m quickly working my way through now. I’ve started adding books I’m more than halfway finished reading and know I’m going to complete! It helps me stay a little more organized!