Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  You should go there immediately.  After you read this.

Top Ten Best Bookish Memories
These are in no particular order.  I sort of just typed them out as I thought of them.  I didn't realize how many of them had to do with Harry Potter until it was too late.

1.  The Second Time I Ever Tried to Read Harry Potter - The FIRST time I ever tried to read Harry Potter, I only made it through chapter one.  I was thirteen, my brother and I were visiting our cousins in Plano, TX for two weeks during the summer, and I had run out of things to read.  They owned the first three books, although they had never read them.  But I didn't find the first chapter interesting at all.  I thought the Dursleys sounded AWFUL, and I was not interested in reading a whole book that featured them.  It wasn't until an entire year later that I picked up Sorcerer's Stone again while at my cousins' house.  I did nothing else but read for the last two days we were there.  And, with my aunt's permission, I went home with all four books to be borrowed for an indeterminate amount of time.  I finished them on the trip home.  My life has never been the same, and I regret nothing.

(I did eventually return the books.)

2.  The Midnight Release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I remember feeling like my whole life had led up to this moment.  I took my lunch break at 9:00 that morning so that I could stand in line at Borders for the correct color bracelet that would let me be in the first group to get my pre-ordered book.  I wanted to be sure and represent Snape correctly, so I wore a Slytherin headband, a "Trust Snape" t-shirt that I had made myself, and grey underwear.  I vaguely remember games and a trivia contest going on, but my friends and I were unable to participate, because we were too busy alternating between hyperventilating and trying to get the attention of a newspaper reporter.  At one point, the trivia announcer mispronounced J.K. Rowling's name and was almost murdered.  As it got closer to midnight, some lost soul stood in the middle of Borders and screamed "Harry dies at the end!"  There was complete silence for about ten seconds, and then three police officers apparated from behind some shelves and yanked that guy outside.  The entire bookstore agreed through telepathy to pretend we hadn't heard.  After I bought my book, my husband (who was still my boyfriend then) drove while I wept all over the dedication page. 

3.  Daisy the Dinosaur - I wrote my first novel when I was five years old.  It was called Daisy the Dinosaur and it took up an entire L.A. Gear spiral notebook.  It was about a T-Rex named Daisy.  Spoiler Warning:  She falls in love with another T-Rex and they give birth to an entirely different species of dinosaur.  Then she dies.  This story basically repeats itself with each generation until I ran out of pages.  Daisy is the only one named, and also the only one with clothes.  I had a lot of fun designing her outfits.  There is a lot lacking in character development, but I think there is an underlying metaphor regarding all the different dinosaur species and equality, or something.  My kindergarten teacher made me read it aloud to the class.  They didn't care.

4.  Every Scholastic Book Fair That Took Place at my Elementary School - I lived for these things.  My mom would give me ten or fifteen bucks and, even though I hated math, I would learn the damn tax rate and walk around with my calculator to make sure I spent every single dime of that money.  I was still so young that pretty much everything I bought was impulse buys, and I was introduced to so many good books that way.  Plus, you could buy animal shaped erasers.

5.  My First Ever Author Signing When I Was in First Grade - Diane Stanley, author of The Good Luck Pencil came to my school library and signed copies of that book for us.  I never thought I would meet a real, live author, and she was so nice.  I still have that book.

6.  The Library at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, TX - I went to NVC for my first two years of college.  My friend, Meredith, and I did a terrible job of scheduling our first semester, and we had hours of time between each of our classes.  So, everyday we went to the library, checked out a new book, and switched off between reading and napping on the roofed balcony.  That was probably the last time I ever felt completely relaxed. 

7.  The Day I Discovered Fan Fiction - Anybody who remembers the long wait between Goblet of Fire  and Order of the Phoenix remembers that this was the reason the Internet exploded.  Harry Potter fan sites were everywhere.  And we had nothing to do all day except discuss ridiculous theories over message boards.  It was the greatest time of our lives.  Somebody I met on the Internet sent me an email with an attachment that was "totally the leaked first chapter of Order of the Phoenix!!!!111!!omg"  It wasn't.  It was totally fan fiction, and not even very good fan fiction.  But, I never even knew that existed.  So, I found ffnet, and then I found fictionalley, and then I found ashwinder.  And no one ever saw me again.

8.  The Book Arts Class I Took in Art School - One of our printmaking teachers offered a book binding class once a year, and you can bet your ass I took it.  It was a FIVE HOUR FRIDAY class, which should just tell you how dedicated I was.  My professor was a genius, and I learned amazing things about book binding and using it as an art medium.  Also, my professor was CONSTANTLY, but unknowingly, making sexual innuendos in all his lectures.  So, class was always incredibly entertaining.

9.  The Day I Got Sorted on Pottermore - I was put into Ravenclaw, which caused an identity crisis.  Up until then I'd always identified with Slytherin.  I had Slytherin headbands, sweaters, t-shirts, Toms, bookmarks, bumper stickers, you name it.  And now I'm in Ravenclaw?  I mean, I like being in the smart house.  My brother/best friend is also there, and he promised we would mess with Cho Chang.  Most of my other friends are in there, and the dorms have decent desk and book space.  But, Snape is in the dungeons!  How am I supposed to convince him of our destiny if I'm not even in his house?!  I was really upset about this, especially because my husband DID get into Slytherin, until I realized that their common room is under the lake and you can see the giant squid through the window.  So long, Slytherin!

10.  My First Self-Published Photography Book - In my second-to-last semester of college, I put together a photography book for my Final Critique.  I had spent the semester on a project where I photographed people's garage sales.  It was the body of work that I'd had the most fun on, and when my professor suggested I present it as a book, I was totally thrilled.  I made it through Blurb, a self-publishing site.  It's a totally amateur piece of work, but it was really exciting to see my photographs in book form. 

Anybody else have any awesome bookish memories?  I'd love to hear them!


  1. Your list is awesome! Glad to know I'm not the only one who wept on the dedication page for HP7. I told myself before reading that I wouldn't cry until the very end, which was a plan that held up for about a second. I don't cry easily at books, but the entire time I was reading through teary eyes.

    Also, I loved being sorted on Pottermore, but it caused an identity crisis for me as well! I had always identified as a Ravenclaw, and I was sorted into Gryffindor. So I took the test again, with a different email. Gryffindor. Again. Gryffindor. I accepted my house after that.

    And Scholastic book fairs! I loved those. I wish colleges had an equivalent.

    1. Thanks!

      True Story: I was between classes in college, and went to go get something to eat. We had this large pavilion thing with picnic tables. And set up at one end of it was a real, live book fair; just like in elementary school!

      After I finished almost peeing my pants, I went and spent about 30 bucks.