Y’alls – I’m so excited to do this! This is my very first Top 10 Tuesday – something I’ve sort of found to be a quintessential part of the book blogging community. Now, life has been a bit crazy and I didn’t have time to queue up the post I’m scrambling to get this post up on time but I really liked this week’s prompt so here we are.
This week’s prompt was Outrageous/Crazy/Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (i.e. skipped meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like to read, traveled long distances to bookish events, etc.). I don’t feel I’ve ever really done many things that qualify as outrageous so I sort of twisted it just a little so I didn’t feel like I was reaching for answers. That being said, here we go!
1)Growing up I had the coolest mom. She found out at a pretty early age that I was interested in science and math (and reading) and provided me with a lot of books about female scientists. My favorites were the geneticist Barbara McClintock and the ethologist (ethology being the study of animal behavior) Jane Goodall. A few years back Jane Goodall came to give a talk at a local university. At the time I was struggling pretty hard with social anxiety and agoraphobia so for me to even leave the house for an event was a pretty big deal and to go to a basketball arena FILLED with people was even more insane. After she spoke, I waited through a huge line to meet her and get one of my books from when I was younger signed. The anxiety was absolutely insane but meeting my childhood hero was priceless.
2) On the examples in the prompt, book events were listed and while I’ve never really gone to a book event, I have worked at one! I used to work as front of house services at a local theater that had all kinds of gigs go through it – from musicians to comedians, writing workshops to dance recitals, we did a bit of it all – including host a couple author events! When signing up for shifts at this job, you could see what the name of the event was so you know the instant I saw ‘Magnus Chase’ on the sign-up form, I begged my manager to schedule me to work that day. And when I showed up at the theater and entered the lobby to just casually walk past Rick Riordan sitting at a table furiously signing mountains of books, you know I about died inside. I mean, it was Rick friggin Riordan! The even overall was pretty cool – it was a Q&A type deal from what I recall but I wasn’t able to be too terribly involved as I was mostly too busy readying the book handout table in the lobby for the masses of young readers about to come out at the end (one book per ticket). I think the best part was being able to see all the kids come streaming out the doors afterwards mad excited about reading their books and seeing them in the windows of neighboring coffee shops and restaurants later reading their books with their families. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Rick nor was I able to get my hands on one of the leftover copies of the book, though not for lack of trying for the latter. However, it was overall a really positive and moving experience and I’d love to do one again. And while I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy of the signed book, I did get one of the t-shirts from the event and still have it to this day.
3) Is it cheating to put the same job twice for this list? Probably. I don’t care. Because, not only did I get to work at a Rick Riordan event, the theater, in conjunction with the university, hosted an even with Lois Lowry that was free to the public. You know, the Lois Lowry that was a large part of my elementary school reading lists. And middle school reading lists. That Lois Lowry. Again, I was too busy to really hear anything she said as I was readying our gallery for a reception after the talk and I was too busy doing my job to really interact with her during the reception but it was really cool.
4) The summer before my senior year of high school, Breaking Dawn was released. Like many a high school girl at the time, I was madly obsessed. It was week or two after the book released but I managed to get my hands on a copy of the book … at band camp. I can’t remember exactly who it was that I borrowed the book from – it was either a flute player or a fellow color guard member, but I do have a distinct memory of being the most anti-social twit and locking myself up an empty room with the book and refusing to partake in band camp shenanigans during our free-time. For those who have never been to band camp, it’s like 70% blood, sweat, and tears out on the field and then 30% pure chaos with minimal adult supervision. It should have been one of my biggest social outings of the year and I spent it reading about sparkly vampires.
5) Remember how in #1 I said my mom was pretty cool? She was, in fact, so cool that she got both me and my sister reading lamps that clipped to our bunk beds so we could read in bed. The deal was supposed to be that for the first 30 minutes after bed time, we could read but then it was a strict lights-out policy. BUT NOT FOR US! Oh, no! For you see, we were sneaky little nuggets. We would put the lamp under the comforter so no light leaked out and our parents would be none the wiser. It was absolutely foolproof! That is, it was until I fell asleep with the lamp on and melted a hole in the foot of my favorite stuffed animal and left a sort of brown-ish burn mark on my Harry Potter pillowcase. Not one to be outdone by me and certainly not one to learn from my mistakes, my little sister went on to do the same later but actually managed to wake up surrounded by the smoldering remains of her comforter. She remained perfectly unharmed, thank goodness! But it was definitely the end of the book lamp era at our house.
6) I was once at a microbiology conference in Boston and in our spare time, we sort of explored the city. A huge thing to do was to walk the Freedom Trail, where you walk throughout Boston hitting up historical sites along the way. It was free and interesting but it certainly wasn’t my cup of tea. I’d heard there was a used bookshop hidden back in an alley that specialized in older books. And that they had a bookstore cat. I obviously had to go because reasons. So find the little storefront hidden in an alley, I did! It smelled like heaven. The cat was excellent. Can I find a used bookstore just about anywhere? Yes. But this one was in Boston so now I can say I’ve been to an old bookstore in an old (by American standards) city.
7) I haven’t been to many midnight releases for books – to my knowledge, they’re not really much of a thing out where I live, but I have been to at least one! It was a Harry Potter midnight release party (Half-Blood Prince, I believe?) It was also a costume contest where people with the best costumes could win better places in line when midnight rolled around (we all got tickets with numbers on our way in the door). My favorite character was Dumbledore. Legit could not get enough of the kooky old man wizard. So, naturally, I made my own Dumbledore costume for the night, completely with a handcrafted faux-fur beard. Now, this was not my first Dumbledore costume – I’d been known to rock a full bearded mask, but it was my first one I’d made myself and I was proud of it, even if it looked really rough and certainly wasn’t going to win a prize. My advice: never wear a fake beard tied to your head to a release party. I lost count of the number of times people came up to me and tried to yank it off (resulting in yanking my entire head) before I got my book. I also helped my sister construct a time turner with fully moving parts out of tin foil and pins for the party. It was a good bonding activity for the two of us.
8) In addition to being pretty into books, I’m also pretty into video games so when I got a fairly sizable tax return a couple year ago, I splurged on an art book for my favorite video game series. I usually like to think I keep my book purchases roughly in the realm of reasonable when it comes to how much I’m spending. This time I did not. It was definitely more than $50 and I’m not gonna lie, more often than not, I’m too afraid I’ll mess it up to sit down and go through it. It’s still a prized item though so it was probably worth it.
9) I keep my kindle in my lab coat pocket at work. For those concerned based on the title of the blog, fear not! I’m not working at a job with anything even remotely close to infectious agents presently. I’m not messing with a culture of a bloodborne pathogen and then getting it all over my reader, I swear! I’m presently working in a biotech company where I largely deal with checking identity and purity of products we sell so everything is good! I’ve just found that on slower days I like to get all the machines caught up and then sit in a ‘quiet’ part of the lab (between two mass specs) and read a couple chapters before checking back for work. It’s seriously improved my quality of life at work.
10) I almost hate putting this one because it seems so obvious, but I’ve definitely stayed up way too late reading, just because I couldn’t put a book down. Given that I work overnights, it’s especially easy to get caught up in a book (and the daylight) and then suddenly realize it’s far too late and that work is going to suck. I’ve also seriously considered putting in vacation time for certain release days, though I have yet to do it. I’m sure I will one of these days though.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/ so be sure to go check her out!
See anything you can relate to? What are some over-the-top things you’ve done out of love for books? Let me know in a comment!