1. The first time mr. strivingcynic asked me out, we met on a weeknight at a coffee place and talked for hours. I was nervous about meeting him, but I had such a good time that I was happy that he asked me out again for the weekend. He said he’d give some thought to what we might do. When we next spoke, his thought was lunch and a visit to nice, local used bookstore. I loved that he suggested a bookstore…and the excursion itself is a very happy memory. We’ve gone back there and to local library book sales a number of times.
2. Growing up, we had a room in our house we called “the library,” really just a spare bedroom which was used as an office and had lots of bookshelves. I used to love going in there and pulling books off the shelves to read their descriptions.
3. I’ve been to a number of readings, book signings, and author talks. I’ve seen Janet Evanovich several times (I complain about the books, but she is fun and spent hours and hours at the signings). More recently, mr. sc and I went to see Margaret Atwood speak about zombies at Princeton University. Also fun!
4. Before the idea of finding out of print works on the Internet existed, I had some fun hoping to turn up books at used bookstores. One of my happiest finds was a copy of Isak Dinesen’s The Angelic Avengers. I was less happy when the book hit a crucial point (lives in peril) and skipped ahead 20+ pages. Looked like the pages were just missing. I ended up interlibrary loaning it to read the missing chapter.
5. When I was at college, I told my father I wanted a proper dictionary for my birthday. Imagine my surprise when a really heavy Random House dictionary came in the mail. Carrying it back to my dorm was not such a great thing, but the memory makes me smile.
6. Random book conversations. I remember once getting into a conversation about Hemingway with a guy on a train. No idea how it started. I also remember talking to the guy next to me on a flight who was reading Mourning Becomes Electra.
7. Pretty much any time I get a book as a present is a top bookish memory for me.