The Bookshelf Meme
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: Considering I keep almost all of my books, there are a lot of books that have been around for quite a long time. I’m wishing I was at home right now looking at my shelf for help with this one. However, to be honest, it must be Harriet the Spy. I have my mother’s copy from when she was little, so it has been on my bookshelf for as long as I can remember, and hers for many years longer. It’s a hardcover copy with pen and ink drawings on the sleeve, curling slightly at the edges with a few tiny tears. It has that old book smell, without being musty, and it’s in surprisingly good shape for having survived my subsequent Harriet the Spy phase, which included the need to carry the book with me everywhere I went, as part of my spy kit. (Note: unauthorized surveillance in suburban New Jersey is not nearly as exciting as Harriet makes it seem to be, even once the entire neighborhood gang has been recruited to help/keep company…)
A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.): Doesn’t every book? Sorry for the cop out answer. I’ll come back to it later.
A book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.): I found The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon while helping to set up the book room for our church holiday fair. The fair is a huge fundraiser based on reselling donated items and for many years I would come the night before and help the elderly couple that ran the book room. As a gift, they would let me take a few books home that night and hide a few more to come back for the next day. It was during on of those evenings that I was looking at some really old books that I doubted anyone would buy when I found this book. I had already read it for a school project when I was ten or eleven, so it caught my eye and I decided to take it. It wasn’t until I got home that night and showed my mother the publication year that I realized it was a first edition. I had just bought a first edition of the first winner of the Newbery Medal for ten cents. This book probably goes under the traumatized-to-lose category as well. At some point I’ll have to post a picture of it.
The most recent addition to your shelves: Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robison. I had been looking for this book for ages but never found it (yes, I could have just ordered it, but I never remembered). So when I finally found it, even though I was under strict orders “not to ruin Christmas” by buying any books, I bought it (and reviewed it).
The book whose loss would traumatize you the most: You don’t know how much you love something until you lose it…certainly the case for my books.
A book that’s been with you to the most places: I was doing an intensive report in high school on Ayn Rand, so while I was skiing in Switzerland with my family, I trucked around Atlas Shrugged. While the rest of my family had extra gloves or hats or other logical things, I had a thousand page novel about the philosophy of capitalism. Thank God I loved it, or I would have been miserable. Because during that trip we visited four countries (Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy, although briefly), it has been to nearly as many countries as I have. I still feel a bit cold when I flip through the pages…
A bonus book that you want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions: …not yet but I’ll think of something