I was tagged by Larry at Simpson's Folly with the '7 random or weird book facts about you' meme, so here goes.
1. I learned to read early. My mom used to read to me when I was little. But at some point I was bad (who, me?) and the punishment was that she wasn't going to read to me that night. Apparently I raised such a fuss about how that wasn't fair because she knew I couldn't read myself, that the next day we went to the library and she got me some first grade readers, showed me the basics, and off I went.
Bacon Memorial Library. Part of the building is a fugly 1960's era brick thing, but part is the Bacon house from 1897. Having your aunt run the library means no limits on checking out books, something that I took full advantage of.
3. Growing up, one of my favorite books was Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels. He wrote about his travels around the world in a biplane called The Flying Carpet, back in the 1930s when traveling anywhere was a big deal. Plain and simple writing geared towards kids, it gave me my first look at the bigger world. I think my love of geography and maps comes in no small part from reading this book countless times when I grew up.
4. Currently I'm reading Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff. It's very powerful stuff, but not easy reading by any stretch of the imagination.
5. One of the coolest books I own is Dante's Divine Comedy with the Doré Illustrations. I've only ever read Dante's The Inferno, first back in high school (thanks, Mr. Appleyard) which is interesting and wickedly funny in parts. But the Doré illustrations (c. 1857) add a certain je ne sais quoi that a more modern style of artwork never could.
6. Have I mentioned I love books and reading? Besides learning to read early, I've always read a lot. My sister Kirsten and I both use to stay up past our bedtimes, reading under the covers with a flashlight if necessary. In 5th grade my teacher gave awards at the end of the year, making sure to give something to everyone. My award? The most book reports, for writing over 100 during the year (the other likely award was 'paying the least attention', because I was bored out of my skull at that point in school.) These weren't 5th grade-level books, either. While I don't remember most of what I read that year, I do remember reading Peter Benchley's Jaws. I covered it with green construction paper, because, being a sensitive 5th grader, I was embarrassed about the naked girl on the cover.
7. My favorite genre of book is science fiction. I love books of all sorts, and K and I own hundreds (thousands? we've never counted) but the largest single category of books I've bought and read are science fiction. From Asimov to Zelazny, from Brin to Vinge, I love science fiction. Some people lump fantasy in with science fiction, and I love a lot of fantasy books (e.g., Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy is amazing, and defined the entire genre, laying the foundation for countless books, movies and games), but the two are pretty different.
Now I'm supposed to tag 7 other bloggers, but I'll have to think about it some as several of the blogs I had in mind have already been tagged. But hey, if you want to blog on this meme, go for it! At the very least I'll tag Pete at Corner Kick because I know he loves books and writing.