Bookkeeping Down Memory Lane

Yes, it is a meme. Yes, I'm breaking my own rules about doing memes. But a guy's got to take time off to relax you know? What better way to do it than to kick back with a nice cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night. So in memory of a lost art that people today just don't seem to do any more, here is the book meme, tagged over from Tine who so kindly repayed the favour of me tagging her with a previous meme. Bookkeeping

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
Not in the very least. I was a very lonely kid because my parents were working all the time and I was either taken care off by relatives or my neighbor. So to pass the time, I remember reading any book I could get my hands on. It didn't matter what they were or whether I could understand them at that point. Philosophy, medical books, Harlequin Romance novels, anything I could find around the house.

I do remember going through the Encyclopedia Britannica, Childcraft as well as the old Time/Life Science book series over and over again before I started primary school. And because I was young too, I didn't really understand them, so I went kept going at it to understand it. I wasn't satisfied until I understood what they were going about. If there was any love for reading there, it would have to be found in those books I held so dear as well as never really understood until many years later.

What are some books you read as a child?
To be honest with you, I never really read childrens books as a kid. My parents never really bought any for me. So no Enid Blyton, no Doctor Seuss, no…hell…I don't even know what other childrens books are there out there. Because I grew up on whatever I found around the house, most of the books I grew up with were all the stuff my parents read including medical, engineering, philosophy, general science books.

In fact, throughout my primary school life of 7-12, I spent my time trying to digest the works of people like Plato, Kant and Nietzsche. I love the way it would make me imagine how these people lived their lives and I would escape into those worlds of construct far beyond what my peers could ever grasp. There is something about innocent rationalization of philosophy that puts it to another perspective. It helped me a lot in passing those hard lonely moments in school.

While I did read the occasional novels like Pride and Prejudice, Dune or Foundation. I never really got into reading fiction until I was well into my teens. I think the most memorable of that time was Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire and Final Friends, in comparison with what I read as a kid, they were pretty softcore. But it felt as though I was trying to catch up with what I've been missing out. I never had any favourite authors back then. I just read whatever came by.

What is your favourite genre?
This is pretty obvious. Because I grew up on all things science, Science Fiction would be my number one genre. Fantasy does come in a close second. I like books that make me think, make me use my brain and immerse me in a rich world that could be real. It's hard for me to just read a book that's meant for "leisure reading". For some reason, it just makes me lose concentration and I'll start to get restless.

Do you have a favourite novel?
Now that's hard to say. So I'll go with the only novels I've gone to great lengths to obtain over the years. Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series and her Merry Gentry series. Ironically, neither of them are science fiction because one refers to Vampires and Werewolves and the other refers to the world of Faeries.

Where do you usually read?
In front of my computer, on my veranda or lying in bed. As long as I have a music source nearby as well.

When do you usually read?
Early mornings or late nights. Usually when I need to unwind, unless it's a book I really want to read, then I'll just blow off the whole day and read it anyway (you know what I mean Harry Potter).

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
Nope. If I do that, it'll usually mess up the train of thought that I get from reading those books at the same time. Because I immerse myself so deeply into whatever I'm reading, I can only afford to pay attention to one imagination or thought at a time. I never pick up another book until I finish reading one.

Do you read non-fiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Because I grew up on non-fiction instead, the way I read fiction is basically the same way I read non-fiction – meticulously and slowly. First off, it gives me all the time in the world to be absorbed into the the writing. Two, it makes it easier for me to read things without missing a step due to my dyslexia.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
Being poor, I don't usually have the option of buying the books that I want. So I usually borrow them from someone else or check them out from the library. These days though, thanks to the genius that is the internet, I find myself reading more and more books in electronic format instead. I may love the smell of musty pages on a cold day, but that's nowhere near my thirst for reading and finding out new things I never knew.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?
Why wouldn't I keep them? I bought them didn't I? Since I'm more transient these days though, I keep the books I won't be reading in a while in a box that can be easily transported. The plan is that when I have a place of my own. I'm going to make myself a big library and put all the books I've collected over the years in it. I really can't bear to part with a lot of my books, even my university textbooks. It's good to go back to them every now and again.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?
If ever I have kids, I'm going to start them off the same way I did, with science and philosophy books. Although I am going to throw in a couple of things that I've loved of late which i think I should have read as a kid. Brian Jacques Redwall series and Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series are perfect. I definitely wouldn't mind reading it to them every night as well.

What are you reading now?
Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series – Blood Noir

Do you keep a "To Be Read" list?
Save for what I read for work, I don't think a list like that actually exists in my casual reading vocabulary.

What’s next to be read?
Short of piles of journal articles for my project. Nothing else.

What books would you like to reread?
Every book I have ever read that I liked which means a lot of books. I generally reread all my books again and again. Not only it's to pass the time. Sometimes I might see it in a different light or find things I missed before or just satisfy the mood to immerse myself in that world.

Who are your favourite authors?
During my late teens, I never really had any favourite authors because I was trying to catch up with all the reading. Though now, I'd have to say, Isaac Asimov, Brian Jacques, Philip K. Dick and Terry Pratchett. There is something about them that catches my eye and their stories and the way they writing have always been engrossing. Whether it be dystopia or a morbid sense of humour. It's a world I've always love in their words.

And that's it. A long meme which hopefully brings my literary sense of taste to light. While I don't usually tag anyone, I do happen to remember some of you who haven't forgotten the world of books and everything in it. So I'll tag you and hopefully you'll have time to enlighten us down your memory lane. People on the death wish list are:

Gnorb
Cas
Josh
Estarla
Eli James

Your responses should be very interesting indeed.

11 Comments

  • August 21, 2008 - 19:50 | Permalink

    What have I done to deserve this?! I know I said that I am a sucker for memes, but that doesn’t mean you can abuse the privillege :P

    OK, since you asked so nicely, one answer coming up shortly…

  • August 21, 2008 - 20:21 | Permalink

    Haha Cas, it’s more of what you haven’t done. I checked out your blog and realised that you haven’t done a meme like this before and you’re an avid reader no less. So of course I have every right to use your meme-suckery to my advantage. Behold the deviousness of my master plan. :P

  • August 22, 2008 - 10:37 | Permalink

    =(

    I don’t do memes on Novelr (or I try not to) but this one is just crying out to be answered. I’ll do it on my personal blog as soon as I can.

  • August 22, 2008 - 11:23 | Permalink

    It’s been a while since I’ve had time to read a good book. The free time that I have I can only stuff my mind with scientific articles to stay on top of things. I need a break!

    I love reading books before the actual movie. Like Pride and Prejudice. I watched it, then read it, then watched it again. I heart Pride and Prejudice. I don’t know why.

  • August 22, 2008 - 13:27 | Permalink

    Eli James: Awww…well I thought this would be right up your alley. :) You write about books, this is about books. So really, it’s all on the same side here.

    Almost Loved: I know how you feel. I’ve been reading so many journals this last year that I only have time to read a couple of novels. I dread watching a movie that’s made after a novel. Chances are, I’ll be disappointed with it in massive expectations (save for say Lord Of The Rings). I haven’t watched Pride and Prejudice though I hear the BBC version was good, but I know Phillip Pullman’s adaptation of the Northern Lights ala Golden Compass was the worst movie adaptation of a book in my life. Horrible beyond imagination.

  • August 25, 2008 - 20:30 | Permalink

    Cool meme; I’ll have my answers up in a day or two.

  • August 26, 2008 - 20:11 | Permalink

    I think the advent of internet has brought down the time I spend reading books. I do a lot more reading online now.

    This is a nice meme, made me think about my reading habits (or rather the lack of it)!

  • September 5, 2008 - 17:56 | Permalink

    Wow, those were very grown-up books you read as a child. Haha, you mentioned Harlequin Romance novels reminded me of a time when an old classmate of mine would read Mills and Boon novels while the teaching is yapping away. There was one time when he caught her reading a M&B book, and he asked her to take it out to him. Unfortunately, her thumb was placed in the page where she was reading, and it was a sex scene. The teacher read out the sex scene aloud in class. This was an all-girl’s school, mind you. Can’t remember what happened after that, but my friend went so red, and couldn’t face the teacher for weeks!

    Thanks for doing the tag though. Very interesting indeed :)

  • September 5, 2008 - 18:48 | Permalink

    Tine: At least I had the sense not to bring those books to school save for the ones on philosophy. I don’t think I ever got into trouble for reading a book. Then again I don’t think anyone paid me any attention to warrant getting into trouble. Which is why I spent most of my childhood reading in the corner. :)

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