16 May 2006

Books! Books! Books!

I'm a nerd. It's not an all-around thing: I dress less nerdy than I did in Junior High School, and I'm not a computer geek, that's for sure. I suppose it's a categorical thing for me; in my profile I list myself as a book nerd. How do I know I deserve this title? Consider some clues:

  • I have two library cards: one for Queens and one for Manhattan. I've memorized the card numbers for both of them.
  • My dream vacation includes a visit to Hay-on-Wye, the book town in Wales. I'm almost afraid to go there as I may never want to leave.
  • I get regular bulletins from at least five book related websites, that suggest other books based on previous orders.
  • I'm a terrible interior designer, the two rooms in my apartment that are all mine are not stylish or even neat at all. However, one of those rooms I've selected for the sole purpose of being my personal library. It's the most organized and attractive-looking part of the house, and it's stocked with tons of books I've never even read. That's because I'm too busy taking books out from two boroughs of libraries. Did I mention I have a separate set of bookshelves just for tea books?
  • I love reading books about books. It's crazy: here are some of the best ones I've read in recent years: Sixpence House, Reading Lolita in Tehran, The King's English, Leave Me Alone I'm Reading, Library: An Unquiet History, 84 Charing Cross Road, not to mention Jasper Fforde's creations.
  • I have terrible eyesight.
  • Even when I go away, I must have books near me. If I neglected to bring any, I will without fail end up purchasing at least two books, if I'm in an English-speaking country anyway. In Quebec I refrained actually buying, as most of the books were French, and it was only a long weekend. Still, I know the names of most of the chain bookstores in my favorite vacation spots. Bon and I have been tempted to go into libraries while away together, until we realize how ridiculous that is.
  • In elementary school we had a library teached, Ms. Oral. If you forgot to bring your books back the day of "library class", you would have to sit at the table and lose out on the chance of perusing the bookshelves. Her famous pronouncment was to bring the book back "tomorrow morning before nine, and no books for you today." The only time I did forget I actually cried.
  • I love blank books too, journals, that sort of thing. I have a bunch of empty ones waiting to be filled. They will be, eventually.

There's more, but I think you've seen enough evidence. My flesh is wearisome, that's for sure.


k said...

If you read (or have read) Middlemarch by George Eliot and Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens it will be like a masters degree in book nerd-dom.

I just finished Middlemarch and it is literally the longest secular book I've ever completed. But it was good.

Catherine said...

Still haven't finished Middlemarch, despite it being the first my first book purchase in London!

Seriously, I don't think I'd move to Hay-on-Wye, but I wouldn't mind living somewhere that had easier access to it. Dream on...

At least NY is somewhat book oriented. As long as we have The Strand, and NYPL, I should be okay.

Marie said...

This was a fantastic post...Gata, you broke it down for us. You REALLY are a book nerd. Your house is disorganized, except for your books - thats another sign.

I remember Ms. Oral, I think I did forget my library book once too and felt so SAD when she said: "No books for you today."

That was like, the worst thing anyone could say to you. You weren't even allowed to browse the the books. That was mean.