Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Bookshelf meme

I've seen this absolutely everywhere and have been meaning to post it for weeks. Eva at A Striped Armchair came up with this meme awhile back and it was fun looking through some of my old books in the loft.

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:
On the actual bookshelves, I think the oldest books probably came from N. His old annuals from when he was a little boy, some books of his father's that he's kept. I have some books passed on to me from my father as well. The oldest book *I* remember acquiring? The first book I bought myself was Anne's House of Dreams by LM Montgomery. I bought it at a local garage sale for 50 cents. Maybe it was 25. It was the last book I needed to complete the Anne series. Around that same time someone gave me a gift certificate and I bought a hardback copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, A Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy all in one book. I loved the first two and have never read Little Lord Fauntleroy.

a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.):
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck or A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth both remind me of the period just after moving to England from Oregon in August of 2000. I was a little depressed by the move, I didn't know anyone, I wasn't able to work. Grapes of Wrath had been my favourite book when I was in high school so I wanted to read something familiar and comforting. A Suitable Boy was a book that was lent to me by a friend of N's. I was so swept up in the history and the language and the story that for a time I forgot my own troubles. I had to give that copy of A Suitable Boy back, but another newer copy was given to me for my birthday.

the most recent addition to your shelves:
A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro, from ReadItSwapIt, which I've just recently starting using again. I swapped it for my copy of The Great Gatsby, which if I'm honest, I didn't love.

a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.)
I don't think I have any interesting stories to tell here. I buy books from bookstores, online, library sales, used book stores, charity shops. I used to get ARCs when I worked in a bookstore. Before that, at WHSmith, sometimes they'd clear out their shelves and books would be reduced to 1p and I'd pick them up. Oh, I did once recieve The English by Jeremy Paxman as a housewarming gift. It was from a friend of N's who didn't know what to bring. N told him if he HAD to bring something than to give a copy of his favourite book and that I would like it. I liked it better than the plants other people brought which quickly died.

the book whose loss would traumatise you the most
My copy of The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I don't remember who gave me the book or when, but I loved the series. I still do. If I ever lost my copy I would be inconsolable. I love the feel of that book in my hands, I love the simple little story, I love the illustrations. The last one in the book, when the boxcar was transferred to the grandfather's garden is so beautiful to me that I wished that I could live there.

a book that’s been with you to the most places:
Probably my tattered copy of Charlotte's Web by EB White. It was my favourite book for a long time and I used to carry it with me wherever I went. Until one day I had a fight with my brother and he 'accidentally' ripped the front cover. I feel a little weepy everytime I look at it's poor taped cover. I've always been really particular about keeping my books in a certain condition that it breaks my heart to see it like that.

a bonus book that you want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions:
Well, currenly on my bedside table is Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek, which I did won in a giveaway as well as Black Boxes by Caroline Smailes. I've decided that these two books are books I must read as soon as possible.

I can't think who to tag, so if you're reading this and haven't yet participated, do it now! I'd love to read your answers! Let me know.


  1. I'm thinking the plants probably died because you were too busy reading. :)

  2. My novel next to your bed!!!!!!

    (I don't know why that deserved so many exclamations!) x

  3. I'll have to do this meme this weekend!

  4. I wish I remembered what the first book I bought for myself was! And I think a favourite book is a lovely housewarming gift :)

    Also, I've just realized I somehow skipped a question when doing the meme. Ooops!


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