Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #1 (7/1 - 7/7)


This is my first time participating in this blog hop!
It's hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books,
and runs every week, from Friday to Monday.

Be sure to check out her blog for
the hop participation rules!

This week’s question comes from Elena,
who blogs at Books and Reviews!
Be sure to visit her blog and tell her thank you!

"When did you realize reading was your passion
and a truly important part of your life?"

This is a truly fascinating question!  I really can't remember a time that reading was not a passion for me, as well as a very, very important part of my life.  I think I was born with a profound love of books! 

I do recall that one of my favorite childhood stories, which I read over and over in a children's book, was "El Mago Silbador" ("The Whistling Magician").  Mom says that I told her the whole story from memory one day!  I don't know how old I was at the time.  Maybe four or five. 

Another little anecdote Mom has told me is that she didn't need anything other than a Reader's Digest magazine to keep me quiet, back when I was two!  She'd put me in a playpen in the living room, with the magazine sitting next to me.  Then she'd watch me as I carefully opened the magazine, and just as carefully turned the pages, scrutinizing each one minutely.  I'd spend at least an hour in this activity, after which I would fall asleep, the magazine at my side. 

I also remember having lots and lots of comic books as a child.  My favorites were Superman and Mighty Mouse.  I preferred them to dolls!

Then there were the "condensed versions" of such classics as A Christmas Carol, Tom Sawyer and The Prince and the Pauper, which I read in Spanish, since that was my first language.  I also read the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen in Spanish, as well as the fantastic tales of Hoffmann, the author of "The Nutcracker". 

When my family came to the U.S. and I knew enough English, I was able to read Tom Sawyer again, in the original language and full-length version.  I did have some trouble, though, with all those Southern colloquial expressions, since I was about ten at the time. 

I used to love going to the library to take out books, but this delight didn't last long, because the day always came when I had to return a book I had greatly enjoyed reading...  This happened over and over.  Each time I read a book, it became a part of me, so the day of its return was always a depressing occasion for me.  I wanted to keep the book!  So then I started bugging my parents to get me this or that book, for my birthday, for Christmas, or just whenever I decided that I just had to have a particular book!  So it was that I got books like Black Beauty, Little Women, Alice in Wonderland, Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, Treasure Island, and many others.

I have always wanted to dive right into a novel and just be my favorite character!  I don't much like reality, which I find so boring... 

Somewhere along the line, I got into the habit of taking a book with me everywhere I went.  That habit has stayed with me, too.  If I have to wait in line anywhere, I read.  If I have to sit for a while in a doctor's office, I read.  I even used to read a bit when I was at a red light, but gave that up, realizing I was going a bit too

I currently own well over 2,000 books.  I don't know the exact number.  Although most of them are in English, I do have some in Spanish.  I've been meaning to read Jorge Luis Borges for a while, and haven't gotten to him yet...

Books have always been my life!  And, as Borges used to say, I hope Paradise will be some kind of library!

Here are some of my bulging bookshelves!
(And my night table...)



    Following from the Hop : Im a New Follower

  2. Just popping in via the hop to say hi! I absolutely adored reading Farenheit 451, that is an all time favorite of mine. And of course Twilight, that series really got me back into reading so I'll always be a fan of it:) I'm a new follower here and I hope you have a great weekend!

    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

  3. I don't know why I keep reading a book. It's not the story. It's not the characters. I really don't know!

    I'm hopping by to tell you that I've got a wonderful giveaway going on at my blog, Readerbuzz. It's international! During the Readerbuzz July Giveaway I'll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! I'd love to have you stop in and throw your name in the hat to win!

  4. Phantom Paragrapher: Thank you for stopping by and following!! Heading over to your blog! : )

    Jenny: Yes, "Fahrenheit 451" really blew me away! And Twilight....ah, Twilight!! I don't care who criticizes it, I LOVE IT!! Hope you have a GREAT weekend! Thank you so much for the comment and the follow!! : )

    Deb: Hey, your giveaway sounds TERRIFIC! I'll be sure to check it out! Thanks for the comment! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! : )

  5. Hey there, Maria! Am stopping by through the link you left at my blog. :)

    I like this post. It's detailed and you have made quite a few good points. I especially agree with your last one. I dislike reading books that use foul language (I find them an eye-sore), and are overly descriptive about sex. It's the main reason I couldn't read so many books I wanted to, for a long time. I've realised, though, that these points don't matter if a book is otherwise tastefully written. Case in point, The Godfather - I'm currently reading it.:D

    As for what usually turns me off a book is bad writing, and yes, bad plot. Usually it's the first. If the writing is good, I can put up with a bad plot for a little while in the hopes that things will get better. However, I very rarely leave a book unfinished...I usually plod through books I don't like just for the heck of finishing it! - A waste of time, I know. :-/

  6. Hi, Risa!

    Thank you so much for your comments, and for following back!!

    You know, I read "Wuthering Heights" all the way to the end, even though I HATED it. I first read it in high school, and then, years later, picked it up again, wondering if I had missed something, since I didn't like it the first time. Well, I hadn't. Yes, it's brilliantly written. I still hate it! I reviewed it here on my blog, giving it three stars because of the great prose style. I did like Nellie Dean and Mr. Lockwood. But as for, no, NO!!

    I could never read something like "The Godfather". I just don't like the subject matter. I can't stand Mafia movies, either...

    Thanks again for dropping by!! : )

  7. These book blogger hop questions just get better and better. This one looks easy but I think it’s a trick question. We all know it’s the same answer – the writing – but we all have different perspectives of what good writing is.

    Hop on over to my blog at and read my three-prong answer as I explain why I’ll decide to pick up a book or put it down in under sixty seconds.

    Happy July 4th Weekend!

    Howard Sherman, Implementor

  8. Well thought out answers! I said that graphic violence as an opening "hook" (particularly against a child) is what makes me put a book down. Sometimes it seems like books try to outdo each other with gore.

  9. Howard: Yes, of course it's the writing! But that's a general answer. Excellent writing has many elements to it, which would have to be dealt with in several posts...

    Thanks for the comment! I'll go on over to your blog and see what you answered! : )

    Susan: Thanks for the compliment! And I agree with you about the violence. I should have included that in my answer. Well, that's the reason I dislike Maria-related books, although those are not the only ones with a lot of blood and gore.

    Thanks for droppping by and commenting! : )

  10. Happy Follow Friday! I am a follower! Hope you will stop by

    Emma Michaels

  11. Hopping through. I recently put a book down because the character made such a bad choice that I couldn't sympathize with her at all. Often I don't mind "unlikeable" characters if I understand why they act the way they do, but there are just some things I can't deal with.
    My Hop

  12. Emma: Happy Follow Friday to you, too! Thanks for the comment and the follow! I'll be sure to stop by your blog! : )

    Alison: That's exactly what happened to me with Heathcliff! I couldn't deal with him!!

    Thanks for the comment, and I'll hop on over to your blog! : )

  13. Stopping by via Crazy-For-Book's Blog Hop. I'm following your blog.

    I'm having a giveaway on my blog this weekend so please stop by!

    Holjo @ Pedantic Phooka

  14. Thank you so much for commenting, and then following! I'll be sure to check out your giveaway! : )


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