Nymeth tagged me to do Eva’s bookshelf meme! I’m excited because I’ve never been tagged for anything before. Woo.
This is my mess of a bookshelf. It’s less than a quarter of my books because it’s a lot of work to move books. It’s messy because I’m a packrat. Here come the questions!
Tell me about…
The book that’s been on the shelf the longest. Well, most of my old books are still at home on my new cheapo (but huge) bookshelf. The oldest book on this particular bookshelf is my trusty copy of the Bedford Handbook by Diana Hacker. I was in a really intense high school program and in the 10th grade (aka worst year of my life) the English teachers, when they weren’t figuring out ways for us to lose 5 points on a paper for every misplaced comma or making us memorize all the cantos in Dante’s Inferno, convinced us that we would need this book every day of our lives. While I haven’t opened it every single day, it definitely has helped me when I needed it in a pinch. And I saved myself $50 when I didn’t have to buy it again for my English class in college.
A book that reminds you of something specific in your life. Since I’ve already talked about what the Time Traveler’s Wife means to me here, I’ll pick another one. On my bookshelf I have a compilation of Spanish Language short stories and poetry called Aproximaciones. It was our senior year text book for Spanish 6. It reminds me of the time in my life when I finally started to get Spanish. You may be wondering why I took it for six years if I didn’t get it. Well, we had to take at least 5 years of a language in high school and by then I thought it would be a waste to stop. I started my Spanish major for the same reason; I just didn’t want to waste all those years. It turned into so much more. I have found a love and appreciation for the Spanish language that I never would have thought possible before the introduction to Aproximaciones. My favorite story from that collection was La Noche Boca Arriba (The Night Face Up) by Julio Cortázar. It introduced me to a wonderful world of Latin American Literature, and the knowledge that you can only gain things by reading it in the original language. At the end of the year, my teacher pulled a couple of the students aside and gave us each copies of the text book to keep. She said that they were making her switch books and that these were just going to go sit in a warehouse; she wanted the books to go to students who would actually read them. It meant a lot to me that she thought I would be one of those students.
A book you acquired in an interesting way. I have two of these! One of them isn’t acutally a book, but a magazine. Z went to China after our Freshman year of college to visit his family and he brought me back a bunch of goodies! One was a huge edition of Cosmopolitan in Chinese. I’m not a big magazine reader, but I love looking at the characters and the pictures and pretending I know what it says. I took Chinese for a year, but I don’t remember many of the characters. I can still say a lot of what we learned, but I’d have to review them all the time to keep it up. The other book on my bookshelf that he brought me was an abridged, bilingual edition of The Little Princess. OH EM GEE, I love it.
The most recent addition to your bookshelf. The other day, from the English department’s cabinet of free books, I grabbed Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo. Hello, CAN’T wait to read this. I remember reading The House on Mango Street and being one of the only people who actually liked it Freshman year of high school. Which was 7 years ago. That blows my mind.
A book that’s been with you to the most places. Hmm… this one is a tie between The Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver and Confieso que he vivido: Memorias by Pablo Neruda (English and Spanish copies). I took The Poisonwood Bible with me to Key West one year, so it’s probably travelled the most miles, but I did a project on Confieso que he vivido, so I read it one summer, dragging it with me all over Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. Then I decided to do the term paper on it and bought the Spanish copy with me, dragging it everywhere. It’s one of those books that’s oh so quotable.
A bonus book that you want to talk about that doesn’t fit into the other questions. Last semester I had the coolest textbook ever. It is going to be a coffee table book for when I actually have my own coffee table. The best $50 I ever spent for school. It’s beautiful, it’s in Spanish, it’s about the Virgen de Guadalupe and I love it. I wish there were pictures to show you how beautiful it is. The hardback one is even more beautiful.
Anyway, that’s that! Thanks for tagging me Nymeth 🙂 I’m not sure if there’s actually anyone out there who hasn’t done it, so I’ll leave it at that.