The Bookworm Challenge

For today’s bookish blog post, nobody actually tagged me to do this challenge, but that’s okay. I’d still like to add my voice to this fun idea. Some of my answers may not be as exciting as, say, a more avid reader’s answers. Let’s give it a go anyway!

How is your bookshelf organized? By color, author, genre, size, etc?

Author. It will always be by the author’s last name for me. It’s been that way since I was in high school and volunteered in the library during my free periods. Yes, I was that bookish kid in my teens. I tried doing it by color but I don’t have that many colorful books. Nor have I ever had enough to really organize by genre. And using the Dewy Decimal system at home would’ve just been too weird. So by author and subsequently their series in publication order it is!

What’s the last MG book you read and did you like it?

The last middle grade book I truly remember reading is the INKHEART series by Cornelia Funke. This is the same author who penned DRAGON RIDER, the MIRRORWORLD series, and several other children’s tales. But INKHEART is what first introduced me to her writing. My uncle, a published author himself, actually brought me a copy for one of my birthdays from England. Funke is actually a German author and while I’m sure the book would’ve eventually piqued my interest as a young reader, I’m glad my uncle introduced it to me early on. Just like he did the Harry Potter series. However, I am sad to say that I didn’t really like the film adaptation.

Pirates or street thieves (or both)?

Now this is a vague question! Now if you’re talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates, I think I’d still take street thieves over them! And if they’re Scottish pirates, well, then, you’ve given me an even tougher decision! If I encounter either, I think I’d need a handsome Scottish laird to rescue me. So give me either in the Highlands!

Uh…moving on…

What’s one of the most fictional things you’ve ever done? (gone skydiving, played a character in a Renaissance fair, set fire to something, tamed a dragon, had high tea with the queen)

In all honesty, I’m really not all that adventurous in my real life. You could say I’m a creature of habit, though lately I’ve been trying to change things up a bit. My cousins are the ones who participate more in Renaissance fairs. In fact they often play the drum and bagpipes for such events. I suppose the only thing close enough that I’ve done is be a cast member for my high school’s production of Annie Get Your Gun. I was on both crew and cast that year, and haven’t been in front of people in that capacity since then.

The other closest thing I can think of is I did attend a very British high tea in England the week before my cousin’s wedding. Let’s just say I felt very…American. And thank God it wasn’t with the actual queen!

Bookmarks! Do you use them? Do you memorize the page number? Do you have ticket stubs and old receipts you use instead? Or do you swallow a book whole in one sitting so nothing’s left to mark?

I own only two bookmarks and I rarely use either. Why? Because I usually read my books in one sitting. Two sittings, tops. Not only that but I tend to read ebooks these days. Especially at night when I’m laying in bed and have yet to figure out how to comfortably read on my stomach again. Plus, all my physical books I’ve read already. What would be the point of buying more?

A caveat: I would never, NEVER dog ear a page. I’d reach for a post it note before I did that! 🙂

The only time I ever really use a physical bookmark is if I’m reading something I borrowed from the library. Because who wants to pay a fine for a dog-eared page of a book you don’t actually own?

The Mysterious Thrift Shop: What’s the weirdest/creepiest place you’ve bought a book and what was it? The better the find and the weirder the shop, the better.

I wish I had a creepy book purchase but I really don’t. A creature of habit, I’ve always chosen the “safe routes” in life. If a place looks sketch, I usually don’t go in. One of the things I wish I’d done this summer was explore more of Pittsburgh’s book scene. Many smaller, non-incorporated book shops have popped up throughout this area in the last few years. Have I explored any of them? No. Because I’m a creature of habit.

I have several days off coming up and all my bills are paid for the month. I think it’s time to do some exploring!

What fictional world would you want to vacation in?

I know this world isn’t based on a book or book series. Rather, it’s an example from the fictional world of the one season wonder, Firefly. Cancelled in its prime by a network infamous for cutting its shows short, Firefly is my favorite science fiction concept second only to the Star Trek franchise. Even though Firefly got kind of a wrap up with its made-for-tv movie Serenity, there was the potential for many more stories that just couldn’t be explored. Every few years the show’s fans begin a “Bring Firefly Back” campaign, but I think even the cast members know it had its time and place.

Firefly is set in space, aboard the ship, or “boat,” that shares the show’s namesake. Earth is no longer inhabited by the human race. We are spread throughout the stars, speak a mix of English and Chinese, and are constantly on the run from a cannibalistic group known as the Reevers hunt down and brutalize anyone they come across.

It’s never clear what happened to Earth-that-was in Firefly, but all signs point to ecological disaster that may have killed everyone on Earth.

Firefly: What Happened To The Earth (Was It Destroyed?) (

So why would I choose to live in such a fictional world? Because it’s in the stars, and it feels like it could potentially be an early version or alternate universe to Star Trek itself. There’s a fine line between all the technology in the universe and having just enough to get by.

The only thing that disappoints me about this universe is that it was spearheaded by Joss Whedon. That’s a topic I’d rather not touch…

Do your librarians know you by name?

When I was neck deep in novel research, they probably knew my name. But as I haven’t been able to visit the library as often as I did before, they’ve probably forgotten me by now. I clocked in a lot of hours at one library in particular job hunting as well. It’s where I would fill out my resumes, put in many applications a day, and print out copies of things needed for my interviews. They may also know who I am now due to my new Meet the Librarian series here on this website. I know I’ll have to start popping back in soon for another new blog series coming up, so maybe we’ll get back to the knowing you routine! 🙂

Hardcover, paperback, ebook, or audiobook and why?

If it’s a book I want to keep for a really long time, or if there’s a special edition cover I really like for a book that I, well, really like, then hardcover it is. If it’s a book from a rummage sale or library book sale, then it doesn’t really matter to me so long as it’s well written (for nonfiction, well researched). I’ve never been a fan of audiobooks though I know that’s really the only way many folks get in the written word. Ebooks are my main choice for reading at home in bed, because they’ve become my bedtime routine. In reality, I really don’t have preferences that are really strong.

What’s one of the first books you ever read/the book that made you fall in love with reading (and the story behind it)?

It wasn’t a Harry Potter book, though I was at that age when reading really became uber popular. No. For me it was two different kinds of books: Star Trek (surprised?) and almost anything by Madeline L’Engle. Many of my first books came from my author uncle who knew what was what in the book world at that time. While he brought me the British version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I was reading L’Engle, Mildred Wirt Benson, Elizabeth Winthrop and Lois Gladys Leppard long before Harry Potter. What can I say? Even as a kid I loved Trek, historical fiction, a little bit of fantasy and with a touch of magic thrown in.

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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