Capt_Cardor left this comment, and I’m moving it up front in case anyone missed it:
I was an outside boy, raised on the streets of Brooklyn, albeit a kinder, gentler Brooklyn than today. I didn’t actually come to serious reading of books until I was in the seventh grade, when I had to commute to school by the NY transit system. I love to read even though I read painfully slow. I have tried a number of speed reading programs, from Evelyn Wood on, but to no avail. Getting through Grad School was traumatic since I read soooo slowwww.
As a teenager I read adventure books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard and Sir Walter Scott. I now read History, Science, Science Fiction, Mysteries and international fiction. I read magazines (no list) and newspapers every day.I guess my reading was to distance myself from a neighborhood that was deteriorating rapidly and a troubled home life.
I am always trying to get organized, although my house doesn’t look like it, and I decided early on to keep a list of the books that I had read. It is now over two thousand books long. Although it is just a list, it has become something more. To glance at the different parts of the list is to go back in time. I read this book in New Jersey visiting my sister. This book helped me through the night when my beautiful daughter was born. Here is one that kept me going during a twenty seven hour flight from New Delhi, India. So in some ways the list has become a trail that follows the ups and downs of a life and career that has at the least been very interesting. The books are markers of what I have done and keep me from forgetting both my mistakes and my victories.
Thanks for asking me to comment. No sarcasm, just reverie.
Well, how about it? Do you readers of 7A4K1F also keep track of your books? Do you associate certain books with certain times in your life? Certain places?
I associate “Under the Tuscan Sun” with Emily Rose because I read it while I was in labor with her (and, I’ll add, that’s how I found out that if you leave an intelligent-sounding book on the nightstand, hospital staff treat you as if you know more than a second-grader. At least, back in Angeltown, that’s what it took.) There are some books that, if I recall them, I’ll get a vivid memory of a specific subway stop, even though obviously I read the book in places other than Broadway Junction or Monroe Street.
Maybe that’s also why I get a sense of wrongness when a publisher changes the book jacket of a book I’ve read. It’s part of the entity I recognize, and although it’s not the most important part, it’s still my only visual link to the internal pictures created by the words.
What say you guys? Tell us about your bookish past and how it’s linked to your heart’s past.