1. The first book you ever read (or was read to you): Goodness, I can’t even remember! There was a core set of books that my mother read to me over and over while I was growing up. However, I would probably guess Dr. Seuss’s ABC book! My mother definitely had this book memorized…and could probably still remember parts of it today…simply because we read it so often!
Big B, little b; what begins with B? Barber. Baby. Bubbles. And a bumblebee! (or Bibliophile’s Binge and Bethany!)
2. The first book you ever bought with your own money: Again, I can’t remember! (And for those of you that do, damn, you have a good memory!) I will say that I was always hoarding my money for the Scholastic Book Fair whenever it came to school or when we would get the small magazines to order from. I would always eagerly go through it circling the books I wanted!
3. A book you stayed up all night reading: The last Harry Potter book was the only midnight release party I could go to. Once I was old enough to go, we were living abroad and it wasn’t quite the same. However, I was thankfully home in the States visiting family when the last book was released, so my dad and I went to the neighborhood Barnes & Noble for the midnight release party! Even after all that excitement, I stayed up wayyy to late to start (and finish!) the last book in this iconic series.
4. What book or series will you never forget: This may be a copout but Harry Potter (again!) and Chronicles of Narnia. While I’m an avid Harry Potter fan, I could take or leave the Narnia series. What makes them so memorable, however, is that my grandfather gifted me almost all the books. He would purchase them, read them himself, and then send them to me as a present! I’ll forever be thankful for that and for him.
5. A book you frequently think about: The Phantom Tollbooth! On my left forearm, I have a tattoo of one of the characters (Princess Rhyme), so I see a bit of the book everyday. And I’m always answering questions about what my tattoo is and what it means, but I love sharing my happiness for this quirky and underrated novel! Do you have any #bookish tattoos?
6. A scene that has haunted you for years after reading it: I’m guessing I’m not allowed to say Harry Potter again and start crying over Sirius Black…or Dobby…or Hedwig…or Fred? (Um, sorry for the spoiler, but if you haven’t read Harry Potter at this point, are you even living life?) Other than those…I would say the heartbreaking end to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. No spoilers though…because it’s so much better than the movie.
7. An unforgettable character: This one is a bit obscure, but in fourth grade, we were assigned a novel called Letters from Rifka. I loved it so much that both me and my sister basically reread it every summer. It’s the story of the immigration of a Jewish family fleeing Russia for America. I don’t know why, but the story and Rifka have always stayed with me and I find myself thinking I should pick that book up as an adult.
8. A book that changed your opinion about something: I wouldn’t say it changed my opinion about something–but Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide opened my eyes to injustices I didn’t know about. I truly credit this book with my own feminist ideology and awakening–which then led me to learn about other forms of oppression and injustice in the world. If you haven’t read this books, I cannot recommend it more highly (at least watch the docu-series!).
9. Share another random bookish memory: When I was in late elementary school and middle school, I still have a strict bedtime (oldest child problems, right?). I remember using a small booklight or flashlight, so I could read after having gone to “bed.” I would crawl under my covers, so my parents couldn’t see the light under the door and I would read for hours. Of course, my parents knew what I was doing all along–and I didn’t find this out until I was in college!