Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Listing Toward Bethlehem

I have written before about my love of books and libraries. One of my favorite libraries is in Delmar in the little town of Bethlehem. But this post is not about libraries.

In addition to reading books, I get a particular kick out of keeping a list of the books I have read. It probably all started when I was a nerdy child in elementary school spending my free time at lunch hour in the school library instead of playing games on the playground or in the auditorium if the weather was inclement. Our school library was not all that fancy. My favorite books were short, green bound biographies of famous people that I would whip through quickly. Then I could record them on the List of Books I Read which was some contest run by the diocese of Albany. For 25 books read you got a silver paper medal and for 40 a gold paper medal. I won the contest every year. I still shiver with pleasure from the thought of reading and listing all those books.

When my son was in elementary school, Pizza Hut sponsored a Books for Pizza contest where you earned a pizza for so many books read. And to think I was satisfied with paper medals! My son loved pizza so he met the target the one year the contest was held. Somehow, though, as life went on, his love of movies overtook his love of pizza and he has gone on to spend his spare time watching flicks rather than reading. So pizza did not even work all that well in his case.

For me the list itself is rewarding. For a few years, I kept on Myspace a list of books read and then transferred it to FB until I discovered that FB has an application that allows you to list and write reviews of books you have read. Oh boy! I can list books that I have started reading and check them off when I am finished. Today, for example, I am close to finishing Post American World so I expect to be on the FB application tonight listing and reviewing. I can almost taste it now.

What does this interest in listing books mean? I do not know. It is not a compulsion, just a pleasure. I do not like making lists of most other things. So maybe it is just the life long remnants of a wonderful childhood experience for a nerdy little girl who was always better at the books than the games. Nerd power!

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