Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Blogger Appreciation Week, Day 1

Before I loved making jewelry, and before I got over my distaste for numbers (a post for a later date), I loved books. I still do. Professional branding experts would probably poo-poo my blog for not being focused enough—for mixing up all of the book and video game posts with the relevant jewelry and science content posts—but I don't care. I do what I want!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week went on for years, went on hiatus, and has now come back, so this is the first I've heard of it. And while I do think it's stretching it to say that we should appreciate book bloggers for all the hard work they do (write a book blog because it's fun; stop when it isn't; don't spend money on it that you can't afford; don't try to turn it into your day job), I thought it would be fun to talk about books this week!

And while I'm a day late to the party, I missed the interview sign-ups so I'll be skipping day 2 anyway. So I guess that means I'm on track?

Courtesy of The Estella Society

Day 1: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.

There are so many! First out of the gate is always and forever Walden, even if it's perennially used to foster a political agenda at odds with my own. Thoreau taught me that it was okay to be weird. Not surface-level manic pixie dream girl weird, but really and fundamentally different.

Of course, this was coming from a guy who grubbed free meals off his friends ("friends") whenever he could and was the world's most hanger-on-y house guest (just ask Emerson), so maybe he should have toned down his weirdness and cared a little more about what other people were thinking. Still, he resonated very much with teenage me.

Next I would have to say The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. By now it's a geek cliche (and I won't disagree that some of Douglas Adams's fans are insufferable and obnoxious), but it's one of the few books I've been able to read and read again, maybe four or five times?, and still been able to enjoy. This is high praise; I typically don't reread often, except in different languages or years apart. But Hitchhiker stays fresh every time, at least up until Life, the Universe, and Everything.

There exists, somewhere, senior high school portraits of me posing with these two books. You were allowed to bring a number of items in as props (so people brought musical instruments or sports paraphernalia or what have you). I just brought these books. 

Taking a break from favorite books to most often referenced books, I would have to say Schumann's Gemstones of the World. If you're at all interested in gemstones, this is the most important book you can have. My copy is in the US right now, but it's a "high priority, relocate as soon as possible" book. I always refer to it for my geo-shopping and birthstones pieces; part of the reason I've been so lax on those recently is because I don't have Schumann at hand.

Courtesy Robert Hale, Ltd.

If I'm allowed to list a book I haven't read in its entirety, then it's definitely going to be The Second Sex. I've read and loved selections, but I've never had the chance to sit down with my own copy and really pore over it. One of my philosophy professors at the ol' alma mater is offering a course on Beauvoir (with a heavy focus on The Second Sex in particular) and she's writing about it over at My Semester With Simone Beauvoir. While I don't know if college-era me would have taken such a class, right now me would love to. Alas!

And for my fifth and final slot, I'm going to say: Language in Thought and Action, by S. I. Hayakawa. Again, Hayakawa has some unfortunate politics, but this seminal work on...semantics...is and will always be relevant. Honestly, Language in Thought and Action should be required reading. At least, required reading for awkward weirdos like me who struggled with socializing and small talk for ages.

Courtesy Kristian Bjornard
It's too late to sign up for interviews, but the rest of the prompts are interesting ones for any blogger to tackle! I'll be participating, and I hope you will too.


  1. OoooOooohh I love this idea!! If I'd learned about it sooner I would have queued up a few posts. Ah, well. I look forward to reading yours!

    1. I guess this means I need to add The Estella Society to my feed so I don't miss it next year!

  2. I want to inject every blogger with a dose of "I do what I want!" So so so important to having a great, interesting, personal blog AND avoiding burnout. But that's tomorrow's topic. :)

    1. I think the flip side of that coin is: "You don't have to be making money from this. You can do it **because it's fun**." That realization is what frees you up to decide that you do what you love and fuck the rest.