Wednesday, June 15, 2005

the goddamn book meme

It's been flung around the blogosphere for a while, and a large brown chunk of it finally splatted the back of my skull. Tag; you're it, Kevin! Thanks, Nomad.

The meme asks you the following:

1. How many books have you owned?

As other bloggers have noted, the question isn't asking how many you currently own, but how many you've owned in total. Easy: thousands. Don't ask for an exact count. The most I can say is that, back in the States, my studio apartment was lined almost wall-to-wall with full bookshelves.

2. The last book you bought was...?

I don't remember. Might have been A Tale of Two Cities, which was on sale at Youngpoong Bookstore in Chongno. I bought it last year. If not Dickens, then my last purchase was something related to English teaching.

3. What are five books that have meant a lot to you?

The Bible
The Tao Te Ching
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Reason and Religion by Rem Edwards
The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

The last book was a kick in the ass to me from my old high school biology teacher, Mr. Dirner. He gave me a battered copy of Hoffer's book at the end of my sophomore year. I was a creationist back then, and spouted some fundamentalist shit, including the extremely offensive claim that the Jews were being persecuted because they'd killed Christ-- a sentiment whose origins I still can't fathom, because my parents and Presbyterian congregation certainly never made that claim. Mr. Dirner was of Jewish heritage. I don't know whether he was a practicing Jew. In any case, I've regretted my youthful stupidity for years, and hope one day to march up to him and apologize to his face, even if he doesn't remember me.

Of course, before I was a Presbyterian, I was a Southern Baptist (until fifth or sixth grade), so it's possible I internalized some poison there. Luckily, I'm cured of all that nonsense, but the side effect is that I'm fat. Mr. Dirner's karmic revenge?

It's no use complaining that five is too small a number for listing books that have meant a lot to me. Suffice it to say that, if I were to answer this question later tonight, my list would be different.

4. Whom will you tag with this meme next?

No one. Taking a page from Skippy: The meme stops here, baby.


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