A bit of a Hermione

2 11 2009

I’ll always be the little librarian.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Any person who has ever met me will tell you that I have a great love for books. In fact, the amount of books I own has accumulated here in my bedroom to such an extent that I no longer have space to put them. This is partly thanks to the many, many books I have had to read for both my under- and postgraduate studies. But this pleasure trove – pleasure, treasure, the same thing to me in this case, really – also owes many thanks to my love for Stephen King, the Harry Potter series, the Artemis Fowl series… and of course my love for Goosebumps when I was much younger. I admit it. I read an article once that children who grew up reading the likes of R.L. Stine, for example, were most likely to read works by authors such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz in their adult lives. Got me spot on.

Now, I must warn you that when I say I love reading, I mean it. I love walking through libraries and bookshops, picking up the tomes, reading a page here and there, ogling over covers, and smelling that sweet, somehow comforting aroma that is literature. It doesn’t matter if it’s the somewhat musty smell of old books in the library, several creaking and sighing as you fold them open in a puff of dust, or the delicious whiff of freshly printed pages as they waft enticingly in my direction on passing or entering a bookshop. A book is a book, new or old, hot off the presses or hanging on to its binding almost desperately in a second-hand store…

I own two hundred and ninety-five books. 295.

That must seem slightly crazy, huh? Books. Another obsessive compulsion of mine… well, maybe not as obsessive as my cleaning habits, but pleasingly compulsive all the same. Out of these books, 2 are Dutch, 2 are bilingual (dictionaries), 33 are Afrikaans, and 258 are English. I grew up in a bilingual home, yet I have never acquired a liking for Afrikaans novels. The poetry is nice – although not all of it – yet my heart lies with English. So: out of those 295 books (I’m not lying about the amount!), there are 12 dictionaries, 14 poetry collections, 37 Goosebumps books, 43 Stephen King books (novels and short story collections), and – wait for it – 88 prescribed books! Four years of studying language equals eighty-eight (eighty-eight!!!) texts I had to read, work through, and understand. And those are only the books. I shudder to think of all the critical readings, secondary readings, and my own extra readings and what they amount to – pages and pages photocopied dutifully in the ever full photocopying room in the university’s library. I’ve been called Hermione (Granger, from Harry Potter) by some of the people I know in the past. Perhaps that’s true.

Two dictionaries of quotations; two bilingual dictionaries; one Afrikaans dictionary; one Dutch dictionary; and 6 English dictionaries. That’s another thing with me: dictionaries. God, I LOVE dictionaries… how many times can I use the word ‘love’ in one blog and get away with it? Is there a quotient I can work out, where the word ‘love’ stands in relation to all the other words in the blog, or also what the blog is about and thus the usefulness of (or even the justification for the use of) the word? LOVE: feel affection for (v.): feel affection for, adore, worship, be in love with, be devoted to, care for, find irresistible, be keen on, be fond of… Thank you very much, Microsoft Word. Or how about LOVE: like (v.): like, be keen on, be partial to, have a weakness for, go for, fancy, have a thing about, be attracted to…

Yes, I feel a kind of affection for dictionaries. But not just dictionaries, as this entry makes things clear. Books. I adore the sacred tomes of literature, a kind of holy grail one comes to worship and be devoted to – literature, such a precious thing, must be cared for and kept safe, and my fondness for its tales of mystery, intrigue, despair, suspense, mythology, and all the other bits and pieces that fall into place is what causes me to find it so irresistible… Okay, I’ve used all the synonyms for LOVE: feel affection for (v.). I think I’ll save you all from my ruminations on LOVE: like (v.)… although it would have been fun to just keep rambling on like this.

I always seem to go off at a tangent in my blog, straying from one though via the maze-like paths in my thought processes, and ending up at an intersection where collisions occur all too frequently. It’s been loads of fun thinking about all the books I own; as the notion came to me, I immediately got up from my bed in order to count all my books and make my little How Many Of This lists. But the blog started with one simple sentence: “I’ll always be the little librarian”. And although it is true, although I love that notion, and even have a knee-length skirt and glasses to go with the image, it is not what I was thinking about. It’s actually about my feelings of the middle-child syndrome.

I’ve told you that I think my two sisters are far more attractive than myself. Want proof? My younger sister, currently busy with her final high school exams, was on her way home from her English exam, when a car pulls up next to her, and someone from a modelling agency – a modelling agency!!! – thinks she’s perfect to work in that field. Yes – a talent scout (from a modelling agency!) spotted my sister walking down the street in her school uniform after an exam, and thought she had great potential. She was spotted, like those surreal, sing-song, nothing-new stories you usually hear about celebrities in magazines. She’s going to make it big, with no real effort (at this point) on her own part, and I’m just sitting here trying (struggling) to find a job in the publishing industry while writing my own little stories and poetry… plus supplying you with my blog occasionally, of course.

I could always write a book about her. Wouldn’t that be fun…

Super Senior[I received the ‘Super Senior’ award at my university residence earlier this year because I translated their entire constitution… perhaps I am a bit of a Hermione…]

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2 responses

3 11 2009
Lize

hehehe. Ek was ook altyd self ‘n book-nut. Ek besit nou nie so baie boeke soos jy nie :-P, maar ek kan ‘n tye onthou in die laerskool en hoërskool wat ek amper nie eers meer gebother het om biblioteek toe te gaan nie. Want ek het so te sê die hele children section en elke reeks denkbaar klaar gelees. Ek het die LOTR boeke elkeen al at least 3 keer gelees en ek het track verloor hoeveel keer ek F.A. Venter se reeks (Geknelde land, Offerland, Gelofte land, Bedoelde land) al gelees het (het in daai opsig ook nogal ‘n obsessive compulsive nature).

Na die hoërskool het ek begin John Grisham, James Grippando en Sidney Sheldon (meestal legal dramas) lees. Maar die afgelope 2-3 jaar het ek net heeltemal opgehou. Het begin TV reekse kyk op die rekenaar. Ek moet sê though, ek mis dit nogal. In standerd 6 het ek baie keer gedink dat as iemand vir my vra ek moet kies tussen Ratanga Junction + ‘n Mall Visit en ‘n Lekker boek met koekies en melk, sou ek laasgenoemde in ‘n oogwink kies!

3 11 2009
Liske van Lill

Ek het nou nog nie John Grisham gelees nie, maar Sidney Sheldon wel. Ongelooflik 🙂 Ek is nie groot op tv reekse nie – alhoewel ek angstig wag vir reeks 5 van HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER om in SA te wys, of ek moet dit maar net download – so ek bly maar by die boeke.

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