Monday, January 19, 2009

Bookworm Meme

Susan has tagged me for a bookworm meme that includes this racy badge, which makes it all that much more fun!

Am I a bookworm? I don't read nearly as much as when, as a child, I earned the title, but I'm surrounded by books both at home and at work, which is an elementary school. Books have played a tremendous role in my life as the shapers of values, ideals, ideas and common sense. I credit my appetite for books with helping shape an art and literature lover whose experiences were not vast due to the limits of a Portuguese immigrant upbringing.

When I think about my love of books and reading and learning, I invariably think of my father, who died in 2005. He was a working class, immigrant man with a veracious appetite for reading. While his English was far from perfect, even after having lived in the U.S. for 20 years, he read three U.S. dailies from cover to cover, as well as books in Portuguese and French.

I recall family shopping trips to the local Mars department store, where in the toy department, I would seek out these cheap, hardbound copies of children's classics, which I would ask my father to buy for me to which he would almost always oblige. Some of these included Heidi, Little Women and Gulliver's Travels. I've managed to hang on to the ragged copy of Heidi, which I must have read at least 25 times.

Now, you may think that reading Heidi was a nine-year-old isn't very sexy but I had a hell of a crush on Peter, the goat keeper! ;-) Besides, before I knew it I had graduated to D.H. Lawrence!

Okay. Now for the rules of the meme. If you play, you are instructed to find a nearby book, turn to page 46, select the fifth sentence and type if out, including subsequent sentences. I interpret this to mean that whatever after the fifth sentence makes sense, should be included.

Like Susan, I picked up a couple of handy books that didn't quite work out. One was a book of the artwork of Nick Bantock, the creater of the Griffin and Sabine books, but the pages were not numbered and there is very little text. The other was a book I just bought at The Book Mill where I also ran into the problem of not enough text on the page due to the art plates. Finally, I resorted to grabbing a random book among several that were on top of one stack on a bookshelf:
Wintering by Kate Moses, a fictionalized account based on documented events and the work of Sylvia Plath. The book chronicles Plath's last six months living in a London flat before she killed herself, as well as weaving in and out of the pasdelving into much of what may have gone on during the period when Plath wrote Ariel, the last collection of her work. It's a beautifully written novel, clearly written by a scholar who both appreciated and understood Plath's work.

Here we go.

In truth, they are moving eagerly on, their life telescoping out fromthis claustrophobic walk-up; what does it matter to them who takes their exiguos flat? But surprisingly, it does.

"Hullo?", Sylvia says, elbows on the kitchen table, her free hand fingering her braided bun. "Assia, this is Sylvia Hughes - "

Her voice carries through the apartment, moving over it lightly, like a fine mist. It settles over the painted floors and glossy molding that traces the rooms. " - you'll have to visit us there. It's Ted's dreamscape. Our own Avalon, complete with apple trees and the bones of pagans."





Is reading sexy?

You can play too, just let me know if you do, so I can read your post.

2 comments:

  1. Oh that was a very synchronistical passage to fall open in your hands. It's amazing to see the kinds of literature my friends keep close to them.

    I was also a big fan of Heidi when I was little. My mother had a best friend named Hedy back then in England, a woman who had married a British soldier. She hated England and made sure everybody knew it so she wasn't well liked as you can imagine. They moved to Africa along with their little boy, Peter, and it was him I imagined when I read Heidi.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Susan,
    From the time I read Heidi, I wanted to visit Switzerland. I finally had the chance in 2006. It really was a dream come true.

    ReplyDelete

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