December 11, 2008

Bookshelf Meme Thingee

As much as I try to avoid these things, I've been tagged by C.B. James with this Bookshelf Meme and since he reads more in a year than I will in my life (and he has an awesome "Fight the H8" link on his blog), I guess I'll reluctantly acquiesce.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Now see, this is where I tend to go off the rails and get all lawyery.  Does this mean my current shelves?  Which book I have personally owned the longest?  The oldest book I own? I'm guessing which book I have personally owned for the longest and I guess that would be a sad looking copy of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish that now resides on my daughter's shelf.

2. Which book reminds me of something specific in my life?

Oh the places I could go with that one.  But seriously, it's  tough one because I really do have a good sense memory of reading most of my books.  As I look at them on the shelves I can remember reading it while sick, or on the beach or while travelling or even where I was living at the time.  Is that weird?  Of course I remember reading an interview with Peter Buck and he was saying that the physical book mattered a lot to him and he wouldn't even read one if he didn't like the font.  That seemed odd to me, but hey, you gotta have standards.

I guess the first one that pops to mind is a warped a water-stained copy of Misery that was sitting on the floorboard of a car that a friend and I accidentally drove down a darkened, flooded street and ended up having to push out of what had basically become a new lake.

3. What is a book that was aquired in an interesting way?

Man I wish I had a good one for this.  Something like a cool poker bet story.  The most interesting thing I can come up with is that I do have a couple of personalized books given as gifts from the authors themselves, which is always a treat.  Sidney Perkowitz gave me a copy of his most recent book, Hollywood Science as a birthday gift this summer and Aliki sent my wife and I a copy of Welcome, Little Baby when our daughter was born.  Those are the kind of things you grab out of a burning house once the family is safe.

Although, here's a funny story.  I was working at a bookstore when I noticed that one of the books I was about to shelve had an inscription.  We're not supposed to take books with makings back as returns, but it happens occasionally.  The funny thing about this one is that it was personalized by the author and it was to another author.  Guess s/he didn't like it!  Ouch!

4.  What book has been with me the most places?

Lawyer time.  Isn't this the same as question 1?  Or does it mean like an actual travel experience?  Or just one I moved around with me more than some others that might have stayed in storage for a while?  If that last is the case then it would probably have to be my worn red American Heritage Dictionary.  Even with the internet, I still have that one and a newer blue one and a Webster's and a Random House and a compact OED (the one with the magnifier).  I admit it, I'm a nerd.

5. Bonus book I just want to talk about?

This post is getting too long already, so I'll keep it short.  But speaking of author signings, my David Sedaris experience was funny.  He decided to personalize his inscriptions with comments from previous people in line.  So my copy of Naked says, "It's nice to finally meet you in person.  --David Sedaris."  He said that once he was signing in a large store known for it's humor and comics.  Matt Groening was signing at the same time on the other side of the store.  He stood up and told the people in line that if they wrote their favorite Simpson's character under their name on a sticky note, he'd draw that for them when he signed their book.  So David Sedaris stood up and told the people in his line that he would draw their favorite Simpson's character too!  Of course he ended up defacing everyone's book with a kind of mongoloid Bart Simpson-ish scribble along with his signature.

I pass this meme onto...whoever wants it.  enjoy!