the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

15 Things about Me and Books

1. I've been reading since just about the time I started school in England (Osborne House School, Ryde, Isle of Wight), which was when I was four. This caused problems for me when I came to Canada because by that time I was already far beyond the level of the grade I entered here and I got into trouble with the teacher because I never took books out of the school library. Well, would you read Dick and Jane when you were already reading Noel Streatfield?

2. I've probably read every possible genre of fiction, yes, including Westerns (Lonesome Dove), but my favourite has always been fantasy. It's getting more difficult to read fantasy these days, because although there's more of it written, there's no more of it that's really good than there was when I was younger, and I've read everything...

3. At the time I was in China it was incredibly difficult to get anything to read in English so we used to read anything that was going. This meant whatever was on sale at the Friendship Hotel shop in Beijing. For this reason, I worked my way through the complete works of Robert Ludlum, which I probably would never have read under normal circumstances. It's amazing what desparation will do. Which leads me to the fact that

4. I can't live without something to read. I think this is common of many people on LJ, or at least those I read. I would read cereal packets and instruction manuals if I had nothing else, but will if absolutely desperate read the likes of Barbara Cartland.

5. I read more fiction than non-fiction, I confess.

6. The non-fiction on my shelves includes critical theory, biography, mythology, gardening books, dog books, photography books, philosophy, physics, film criticism...

7. My "to be read" non-fiction include Paris 1919, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nora(a biography of James Joyce's wife), and something called A Sideways Look at Time

8. I'm currently re-reading Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman books, up to A Solitary Blue. I'm not sure why these should "hit the spot" at this particular time, but they do.

9. I have owned no less that five different editions of The Lord of The Rings. The first was the one volume paperback edition with the cover by Pauline Baynes; I lent it to someone who didn't give it back... may she be cursed forever... then my parents gave me a boxed set of paperbacks that fell to pieces after about five years, then my mother gave me the beautiful onionskin hardcover boxed one volume edition, and then I bought myself the Unwin paperbacks because I couldn't bear to use that one, and recently I also bought myself a set of hardcovers illustrated by Alun Lee (who did the art direction on the films...)

10. The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book in the whole world, and I've re-read it so many times I've lost count. I taught it once, which was wonderful - it was the first time I've ever taught a novel I quite literally knew backwards and forwards. Quite extraordinary.

11. I've been taught to respect books physically, too. I try never to place a book down face down and have a repugnance towards writing in books as well.

12. I have a large collection of bookmarks, commemorating various royal figures, other public personages, "Snoopy for president," and no end of bookstores from all over the world, not to mention all those leather embossed ones from historic sites all around Britain and more recent ones with pictures from Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings on them.

13. Although the death of Beth in Little Women never made me cry, dog deaths invariably did and still do. "I'm a poor mis'able dog; I do not understand" from Kipling's Thy Servant a Dog still has the power to make my eyes sting with tears. They are now.

14. Every Christmas Eve I read Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas, a wordless comic book featuring a cross but cuddly Santa Claus who likes his brandy.

15. I have given books to charity and then bought them back again; I can't imagine -not- wanting to reread things.
Tags: books, reading, reflection

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