Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Book Tag/Meme

Emily at Hazelnut Reflections tagged me a few too many days ago (sorry about that, Emily!). Books, books. I used to be defined by books and reading more than any other aspect of my self.

How many books do you own?
Er, um, I'm not sure. I know I brought 15 boxes of books to our marriage, and I used to be able to say we have about 35 shelf-feet of books. We have about eight boxes of books in the garage crying to be attended to, and 12x3' =36 bookshelf-feet of books, another 3-4 feet of books on the other shelves, and in my office maybe another 3-4 feet. Plus miscellaneous around here in various places. Most of the books, but not all, are mine. Let's say about 20 books per shelf-foot (maybe averaging a bit more than half an inch thick), so my guesstimate is 880 books in the house. Or so.

Last book you bought?
Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, by James McPherson, a gift for my dear husband. A book purchase is rare, other than for gifts. I worked very hard about 10 years ago to break my habit of buying books to read. Now I rely heavily on the local library, somewhat on the city library, and occasionally I resort to interlibrary loan. At some point I might start using the university libraries as well, yum! For fiction, sometimes I borrow from friends as well.

Last book you read?
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, by Eoin Colfer -- quite fun. Son1 and I read the first Artemis Fowl at the same time a few weeks ago. He went on immediately to read the next three, and now I'm catching up. I finished this one yesterday and started the third book. Fun kids' book!

Five books that mean a lot to you?
Even skipping the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, my list is very faith-oriented. If you'd asked what writers, or what types of books, I'd give different answers...
1 & 2. The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave me glimpses of a world grounded in greater things when, as a child and teen, I knew nothing about faith and religion.
3. The History of Christianity, by Kenneth Scott Latourette, opened my eyes to the breadth, depth, and multitude of strands of Christianity worldwide from its beginning to the 1970s, at a time when I needed to know what was beyond my narrow experience. At two volumes and over 1,500 pages, I gave this book three years and lots of thinking and prayer.
4, 5, & 6. (Squeezing another in here!) Offering the Gospel to Children, by Gretchen Wolff Pritchard, affirmed and deepened my understanding of how to and why enrich the spiritual lives of children. Then Developmental Disabilities and Sacramental Access: New paradigms for sacramental encounters, edited by Edward Foley, and Experience the Mystery: Pastoral possibilities for Christian mystagogy, by David Regan, in a one-two punch, blew my mind and drew me beyond an intellectualized faith strengthened by reason above all else, and showed me that we can experience God and spiritual life without first understanding. Oh, the implications for children, developmentally delayed people, very ill people, and others unable to reason, and then... for all of us!

And now, who to tag? I'm not sure anyone will drop by soon, but let's try... Zelie, Dylan, and Trina.


TKinOKC said...

Sorry, not gonna participate!! Ha!! I have to many books and too many favorites! I was tagged a few weeks ago and passed then too!

Thanks for tagging me though.

Barbara said...

That's okay, Trina -- I definitely understand. I figure, there are many ways to answer these things. I regretfully did not mention John McPhee's essays or Barbara Kingsolver's, Kurt Vonnegut's novels, or my favorite cookbooks...

Emily said...

Hi Barbara,

Great books! (I left off the cookbooks, too).