Monday, February 23, 2009

The Bookshelf Meme

Julie from Joyful Days tagged me with this really nice meme. I liked the questions and for a minute there I felt quite important, even if only to myself. Oh, well. It was a lot of fun.

Tell me about the book that’s been on your shelves the longest...That would have to be The Famished Road by Ben Okri. It is the only book I brought with me to the United States from Poland seven years ago. I left tons of books back in my home in Poland but in this country The Famished Road holds an honorary place of the first one in my new home’s library.

Tell me about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (i.e. a person, a place, a time, etc.)...The Romance of Tristan and Iseult by M. Joseph Bedier. I got it from my mom as a Christmas gift when I was I think 10. It is special because to this day it is the only book I have gotten as a gift. It is also special because before I had gotten it, I always thought my spending abnormal amount of time reading was looked down on and not really approved of by my family members. You can imagine my surprise when I got it, it seemed like a truce between my mom and me, a sign that after all it’s okay to read as much as I did.

Tell me about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity, in a used bookstore, prize, etc.)...When I worked in Borders, I noticed an unusual amount of people asking for or praising the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins. I got very excited about it and rushed to the shelves where they would be intent on buying it. My disappointment reached a new level when I realized there were 13 books there. I am a little obsessive about series, I have to have the whole set in order otherwise, I will not even start reading it. Well you can imagine that on a Borders employee budget I could not afford to buy the whole series. I truly felt “left behind” for another three years until one summer I was driving by a library that I did not visit very often and I saw that they had an annual sale going on. I went in with only $5 in my pocket and lo and behold, I left with the first ten books of the Left Behind series (now that I have them, I am no longer in a rush to read them but I am looking forward to the experience).

Tell me about the most recent addition to your shelves...The latest addition, not very recent really but it still counts, is George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. I am ashamed to say that I have not read any of her work and I am glad that I am finally giving myself a chance to experience Ms. Eliot’s writing.

Tell me about a book that has been with you the most places...I do not have such a book. If I travel I take with me books that are new to me to make it a new experience in all aspects of travelling.

Tell me about a bonus book that doesn’t fit any of the above questions...Les Miserables by Hugo is a book that I have read three times and it is a cause of my uncontrollable fits of crying every time I read it. I have already five people on my list: my parents, my daughter and my sister, who were direct witnesses to the crying or the effects of it (you know, swollen eyes, dark circles under my eyes from losing sleep while crying and all that jazz) and were absolutely terrified about my mental state. I have read it in two translations: Polish and English, both equally wonderful and I only wish I spoke French to read the original. Who knows, maybe one day I will.