1. I learned to read at four and was almost instantly a voracious reader. Sending me to my room was rarely an effective punishment because I’d go and read.
2. The only books I ever remember my mother telling me no about were the Fabio-covered bodice rippers when I was thirteen or fourteen. Running into parents who are a lot more restrictive always throws me, though I try not to judge.
3. The Incredibly-Patient-Mother’s rule about how many library books was that I had to be able to carry them, by myself, out to the car. I learned a young age how to stack up books quite highly, set my chin on the top to balance, and carefully teeter out to the car. I’m sure it was quite a sight.
4. One high school English teacher told me, at age 15, that I was “too young to appreciate Jane Austen.” As a result, I didn’t read them until after college. Austen is one of my favorite authors. I’ve never fully forgiven her for that.
5. Over the past year or two I’ve finally started getting rid of my college texts. Admitting that perhaps I no longer am interested in the Norton anthologies was incredibly painful. Now if I could just admit to myself some things about the beginning library science books….
6. I started listening to audiobooks in junior high or high school, long before the current trendiness. Primarily I listened to Lilian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who series and Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October (Recorded Books/Frank Muller version). I listened to these at bedtime, which meant a fair amount of rewinding in the morning to figure out where I’d fallen asleep. George Guidall’s voice still makes me sleepy.
7. Out of desperation one semester, I slogged through Jane Eyre over a couple of weeks because it was the only thing I had in my dorm room that wasn’t course related. I was surprised how much I enjoyed grabbing a chapter here and there.
8. I read historical and paranormal romance novels. I send regular shipments of Regency Romances (150-200 pages, no sex) to an opera singer in Chicago. It gives her new reading material and justifies me in my buying of them.
9. I really enjoy medieval and renaissance history: Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Gregory of Tours’ History of the Franks, and the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. I just put in an ILL for an audio version of Canterbury Tales that I started in high school but never finished.
10. There are certain books I’d just rather own in paperback, mostly series mystery books: Cat Who (Braun), Meg Lanslow-Birds (Andrews), Mrs. Jeffries (Brightwell).
11. I spent several months and a ridiculous amount of money on ebay collecting a complete set of the M.A.S.H books by Richard Hooker/William Butterworth.
12. Used book stores and library book sales are a little piece of heaven for me.
13. I committed what I’m now told is a library cardinal sin. I went into library science because I like books. Moreso because I like information and organization of information, but also books.
14. I have had no formal training in children’s literature.
15. It came as a great shock to me to find out that I apparently read very fast, or perhaps just a lot. Reading over 100 books a year is easily par–and that doesn’t include picture books, though I will include longer children’s chapter books on the spreadsheet I keep.