Category Archives: Book Adjacent

My History of Reading

Hi, all!

For this delightful Friday, nearing the end of the Olympics, I decided to do a fun post. For those DEMANDING reviews, I will probably have a review of the Cybils winner (woohoo! click to find out! SUSPENSE! JAZZ HANDS!) very soon. Also, that Harry Potter love triangle post will be coming along soon. But today, I want to look back upon the days of my youth.

A lovely friend of mine once posed the following, paraphrased, question: What book do you think made you or defined you as a reader? A fascinating line of inquiry, if you ask me. And one I’d like to answer for all the world today.

First, the background. I would never characterize anyone in my immediate family as “habitual readers.” They do read, but only occasionally. Me and my voracious reading habit, apparently, comes from my great grandmother who read a lot, and frequently late at night. But, my tiny town had a public library and my family frequented it. I could ride my bike to it. So, even though the fam went to the library a lot, I went to the library by myself a lot more. I frequently wandered the stacks. I checked out super random books.

But the one I checked out the MOST was Anne of Green Gables. I frequently went back to it – again and again and again. (While I read the entire set of 8 books, I mostly skimmed the last three.) I loved the spunkiness of Anne. I loved Rachel Lynne’s super weird but fun sounding sayings. I adored Gilbert’s cockiness. And I loved Diana’s kindness (and when she accidentally got drunk). But most of all, I loved Prince Edward Island. Lucy Maud Montgomery made that tiny island seem like the only place in the world worth living. And it transported me.

You would think, given the flowery prose that LMM uses, after loving Anne, I would’ve fall into other classics with no problem – but it’s hardly the case. I’ve yet to make it through Austen (even though I love the adaptations) – and I’ve tried and tried. The classics I read in high school I only remember with disdain and boredom. It’s just not how I roll. And I think that’s interesting, considering my fave book of choice in elementary school. (Aside: I recently found my book report on Anne. It included a drawing of Anne with green hair.)

So, I don’t think I fell in love with that particular writing style (although I do try to read as much LMM as I can) while reading Anne. I don’t think that’s what made it the marque book of my youth.

I do think my love for books with romance, books about friendships and books with strong, well-written settings can be linked directly to Anne of Green Gables. (And so can, incidentally, my demand for awesome book adaptations.)

And for that reason, Anne, PEI and Gilbert Blythe will forever hold a very special spot in my book-loving soul.

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For the record, if we were to talk about a book of my youth that most affected me in a BAD way, there’d be a tie: Johnny Tremain and War of the Worlds.

UGH.

What about you guys? What books influenced you?

Have a lovely weekend!!!

P.S. – the silver and gold to most influential in a GOOD way are def. The Fairy Rebel and The Perilous Guard.

ALA Midwinter 2014 Redux

Aaand nearly two weeks later, it is my turn to do a brief (or not-so-brief, we’ll see what happens) recap of the conference that brings all the librarians to the yard: ALA Midwinter 2014.

True story: I just deleted about three pages worth of my descriptions of ALAMW because yeah. You didn’t want to read all that. Instead, I’m going to fall back on one of my fave things: Pros/Cons Lists

CONS OF ALAMW 2014: PHILLY EDITION

  • Cold/snow cause traffic/travel problems. This is what happens when you go cold places in winter. (But save money. So I get it.)
  • Not enough time to eat all the food. Because it was so, so good.
  • Not enough time to see all the sites. Being a Midwesterner, old cities absolutely fascinate me.
  • Being unable to figure out where I was. This isn’t Philly’s fault. I am directionally challenged.
  • Spending 15+ hours in a conference room and being unable to see many of the panels/talks or spend as much time on the exhibit floor as I have in the past

PROS OF ALAMW 2014: PHILLY EDITION:

  • Spending 15+ hours with a group of librarians that were amazing, passionate and hilarious to watch work their way through over 200 nominations to create an epically awesome final Quick Picks list.
  • The food. I can’t even tell you.
  • Getting to see the Liberty Bell with absolutely no crowd due to extremely cold temps.
  • Hearing every librarian in the room gasp when the park ranger crossed the security line to point out the death crack in the bell.
  • Attending YALSA’s Midwinter Paper Presentation (my other committee!!) and seeing how great the turn out was and how interesting the topic was. (It cannot be denied that I also learned about STD eCards at this presentation.)
  • Going around the exhibit hall floor and taking picture of all the QP nominees with their QP flags
  • Attending numerous events, dinners and parties with my fellow committee members. So many happy memories.
  • Seeing one of our committee members see snow fall for the first time
  • Getting to hang out with my Partner in Travel and Crime, Brynne.
  • Going to the Franklin Institute with Jackie and Liz early Friday morning. There’s photographic evidence of me completing a circuit with a Graaff machine that I’m sure will come back to haunt me.
  • Staying up way too late laughing and looking at pictures of adorable animals with my roommate, Jennifer. Sleep: who needed it?
  • Attending my first ever Youth Media Awards. I managed to get one of the last seats in the packed room and it was worth getting up super early for. I may not have read/known every single book but hearing (and contributing) applause for all of the hard-working committee members made my heart grow three sizes.

As you can tell, I had a great time in Philly. It was certainly a Work Hard/Play Hard situation and I was so exhausted/exhilarated by the time my (very delayed) flight whisked me back to Ohio.

I’m so looking forward to Annual!

Hope all is well,

~kell

Olympics 2012!

Completely and totally unrelated, but I just HAVE to express how much I am loving watching the Olympics right now. I delight in both the Winter and Summer Olympics, but am always convinced I love the current one more than the other one DURING that game. In 2014, I’ll love the Winter Games with all my heart.

I know this is not book related, but I have Olympics Fever and I’m loving it.

And, well. It’s semi-related, after the awesome Opening Ceremony tribute to children’s literature, right? Book-blog adjacent? I’m totally saying it’s legit.

In actual book blog related news, I’ve got some posts lined up for this week! With actual reviews! Woot! Productivity has been a thing recently and I’m trying not to question it and just embrace it. Until Distraction starts to win again, anyway.

But I wanted to take a minute and say Woo! Olympics! Team World! (which, clearly, is Visa’s thing. But, I love the sentiment. So, there you go.)

Hope all is well and everyone is enjoying summer! I can’t believe it’s almost fallllllllllllllllllll.
Happy Olympics, all! (even if sports Olympics isn’t your thing. I’m totally down for non-sports related Olympics. [please see the Rejected Olympic Sports hashtag on twitter])