Thursday, July 21, 2016

25 Bookish Facts About Me

I fell down a BookTube rabbit hole this week, and now I have all these tags I'd like to do, so I'll just ignore the fact I don't have a YouTube channel and do them here, for my three readers.

Consider yourself tagged for any reading-related list-thing I do, Sharon! But don't feel obligated to actually do them if you're like, Girl, that's lame.

25 Bookish Facts About Me:

1) I learned to read in nursery school, from books my dad made for me.

2) There were stretches of my childhood when I read a chapter book a day.

3) There were other stretches of my childhood when I read the same book over and over, like ten times in a row.

4) Despite the fact I was an early and voracious reader, I was not in the top reading group in elementary school. I was in the second top group. I remember being really peeved by that, and feeling like the few top-reading-group kids couldn't possibly read as much or love it as much as I did, and were chosen primarily because they were goody-two-shoes suck-ups.

5) Despite the fact I was a voracious reader, my parents never took me to the library when I was a kid. Instead, my dad took me on book-buying binges, a habit I've worked a lifetime to overcome.

6) The first adult novel I ever read was Scruples by Judith Krantz. I was maybe ten, WAY too young to be reading that trash!

7) I did not care for 90% of the fiction I read for school in high school and college, and it made me think for a time that I wasn't a reader after all.

8) I rarely read fiction for pleasure between the ages of 14-22.

9) My first boyfriend got me reading a little again, which is ironic because he had dyslexia and was a late and slow reader himself. He loved comic books, Horror, and Fantasy, so I wound up reading Sandman and Swamp Thing, and some Stephen King and Clive Barker, and The Hobbit, and to my surprise I enjoyed them.

10) After I graduated college, I spent a year working my way alphabetically through the contemporary short fiction collections in the library. (I was too poor to buy books.)

11) I started reading Science Fiction after I started writing it.

12) I started keeping track of how much I read in 2009.

13) Since 2009, the number of books I read a year has increased from around 25 to around 100.

14) The author I admire most is Ursula K. LeGuin, but the author whose work is most perfectly tailored to my reading preferences is Sharon Shinn.

15) Lois McMaster Bujold sits at the exact midpoint between LeGuin and Shinn. They are like the Three Graces of my writing psyche.

16) Although I adore romantic subplots in novels, and every book I've written includes as least one romantic subplot, I don't care for Romance novels. Every now and then a Romance will hit the spot, but usually when I try to read one I feel like there's something missing from them.

17) In my twenties I was super judge-y about Romance novels and the folks who read them. I swear that was half my problem writing the early drafts of Eleven Names: the internalized misogyny was so intense, I kept fighting the romance aspect of the story.

18) In my thirties, I had a literary epiphany and realized that genre snobbery is elitist bullshit, and that ghettoizing Romance is sexist bullshit. Romance may not be my particular cup of tea, but that doesn't make it tepid Lipton in a janky styrofoam cup.

18) I love hard Science Fiction, even though my spotty high school attendance and the fact I went to a hippie college with lax distribution requirements mean I do not have the math and science knowledge to grasp a lot of it.

19) I do a lot of my reading in 10-minute spurts throughout the day. I don't have a cell phone (am I the last holdout in America?), but I always have a book with me, and I read basically every time I have to wait for something.

20) I love to read before bed, but I have to watch it, because reading does not soothe me or make me tired. If I'm not stern with myself I can stay up way too late reading.

21) I don't have a kindle, but I'm seriously considering getting one despite my loathing of handheld electronic devices, because I have carpal tunnel and the way I hold books is making it worse.

22) I'm very opinionated at book club, but in private I doubt myself a lot when I'm not into a book that everyone seems to love.

23) Case in point: I read the first 150 pages or so of Game of Thrones, and I really wasn't into it. But it's still on my TBR because I have a hard time accepting that I actually have no desire to read the Song of Ice and Fire series.

24) I lost the TBR list I'd been keeping for seven years when my hard drive died back in January, and honestly I was a little relieved to be able to start over. There were a lot of obligation reads on it. My new list only has about 60 books so far, and they're all things I really want to read.

25) For the last five years, I have always been listening to an audiobook with The Son, mainly in the car. I am so glad he loves stories as much as I do, and so grateful to have shared so many wonderful stories with him. The day he first recommended a book to me (which we then listened to together, and I loved it) was one of my happiest and proudest moments.

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