Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books.
Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books
I had a tough time coming up with ideas for this topic. I mean, everything on my list seems perfectly normal and reasonable to me… even if non-booklovers might think some of it was outrageous.
1. Designed a tour of “King Arthur’s Britain” for my mom’s tour company when I was just out of college. My mom did all the administrative work of setting up and running the tour, but I figured out where we should go, and why, and went with her as her assistant. And I helped her get in touch with an Arthurian scholar, Geoffrey Ashe, who gave a lecture for the tour and accompanied us around Tintagel, where legend says Arthur was conceived and born.
2. Worked in a bookstore for 5+ years. Honestly, I think that was more “smart” than “outrageous.” I mean, what better place for a bookwyrm to work than a store where you are surrounded by books and you get an employee discount!
3. Went to sci-fi conventions and stayed up most of the night. Living just outside DC in my late teens and early 20s (1980-86 or so) was great for fantasy-and-science-fiction-nerds like me. Balticon and Disclave were both easy to get to and surprisingly affordable—especially if 4 or 6 people chipped in to cover the hotel room costs for when you inevitably had to crash.
4. Took the longer “northern route” driving cross-country from Utah to Virginia, just so I could go to the knitting shop featured in a mystery series. The shop is Lambspun in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the series is Maggie Sefton’s Knitting Mysteries.
5. Carried a grocery sack full of books home from the library weekly…on the bus. When I was in high school, in the summer I would take the bus to the public library once a week, and carry home a paper grocery bag absolutely crammed full of books I had borrowed. I’d plow through them in a week or so, then return them and get another bag full. I have to hand it to the librarians: they never gave me a hard time about borrowing so many books at once.
6. As a child, biked several miles to the library or the local bookstore, along country roads. Those same roads are crazy-busy now, and I would worry about even an adult biking on them now. But back then, my mom and my friends’ and cousins’ parents were fine with it.
7. Bought 2 copies of any new book by our favorite authors, so my child and I didn’t have to fight over who got to read it first. (Especially Harry Potter!) Or, if it was a book I planned to read aloud to Robin, I sometimes bought 2 copies so they would have their own copy after they grew up… because I had no intention of giving mine up.
8. Stayed up until 4:00 a.m. to finish a book. I probably do this at least once every few months—more often if I have insomnia. And about once a week, I’m up until 2:00 a.m. I suppose some people would think that’s outrageous. To me, it’s just what happens when a book is too good or too suspenseful to put down.
9. Bought multiple copies of favorite out-of-print books, in case they fall apart or get damaged. Or in case I want to loan one to someone. I have at least 3 copies of Elizabeth Goudge’s Gentian Hill, and two of Pilgrim’s Inn. Not different editions, the exact same copy.
10. Started this blog. When I started this blog nearly 10 years ago, I was the only book blogger I knew IRL. In fact, at that point, I think I was the only blogger I knew personally. So while it wasn’t outrageous, it was out of the ordinary, at least in my circles.
11. Went to an author event and bought every book I didn’t already own. The author was Susannah Kearsley, and I literally bought about 8 of her books for myself, plus three of her newest to give as gifts… and she graciously signed them all!
What are the most outrageous things you’ve done for the love of books?