I would like to thank Sara @The Bibliophagist for this tag.  Sara has been reading and reviewing  young adult, new adult, and romance since 2013. In her post, “25 Bookish Facts About Me,” she challenged anyone who loved to read to share 25 book and reading related facts about themselves.

Books are passion of mine and reading is an incredibly important aspect of my job (They don’t call us people of “The Book,” for nothing!) Therefore, I’m delighted to share my 25 of my own book related facts with you!

 

1. I support braille literacy. When I was young, I had enough usable vision that no one thought to teach me to read braille. The belief at the time was that a person should read print as long as they had even a tiny amount of usable vision. As an adult, every day I wish I could read braille.

2. I am afraid of losing literacy. Being able to read braille allows for true literacy. A person who can read braille can check for spelling, grammar, and analyze the syntax of a sentence. I worry what will happen if my vision continues to decline. (For more about my fears related to my low vision and literacy, see my post “What Does Healing Look Like?”)

3. I had a very hard time learning to read as a child. No one thought to give me large print books when I was in elementary school, perhaps because the text for young children was already quite large. It’s very hard to learn to read when you can’t see the page.

4. The Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine inspired my lifelong love of reading. When I was a child, I was fascinated by all things spooky. I desperately wanted to read the Goosebumps stories. They were the perfect length, the print was large, and the lines had enough space between them that the words didn’t run together. It was the perfect combination.

5. In 2012, I had the chance to meet R.L. Stine at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. He signed one of my books and I got to thank him in person for inspiring my life long love of reading.

terror tower cover
A Night in Terror Tower by R.L. Stine was my favorite Goosebumps book. I had it on audio cassette and listened to repeatedly.

6. I read a lot of books on audio. Audiobooks definitely count as reading and I am so grateful that Audible has become so popular.

7. I got my first Kindle in 2007 and have owned at least five of them since then. The Kindle is a little miracle. I remembering actually praying to God, “Please let digital books become popular.” I was ecstatic that now I was able to read SO MANY books and enlarge the text on the screen. The popularity of eBooks has been an every day miracle in my own life. Technology is amazing!

8. I would rather read a book than watch television. I enjoy television, but since I have trouble seeing faces, many of the finer details are lost on me. I know for certain that i missed many meaningful looks across the room in Downton Abbey. (Luckily, Netflix now offers Descriptive Video Service on all Netflix Originals. Thanks, Netflix!)

9. I’m a voracious reader, but I have a soft-spot for genre fiction. I especially enjoy: Georgian and Regency Romances, Gothic tales, and fantasy.

10. My favorite author of all time- hands down- is Mr. Alexander Pope. He was the defining poet of his age and I love him. He can say more with two lines than most authors can say in an entire book.

11. In September 2017, I had the opportunity to visit Twickenham, where Mr. Alexander Pope lived. We even got to visit his famous grotto! I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself.

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A photograph of me visiting the grotto of the famous neoclassical poet, Mr. Alexander Pope, in Twickenham. It’s undergoing renovation in order to bring it back to it’s former luminous beauty.

12. Some of my favorite Christian authors are: Nadia Bolz Weber, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Rachel Held Evans. I love the work of these women. The church needs more women in leadership.

13. The longest book that I have ever read is the Bible. Multiple times. It’s part of the job, but it’s also quite fascinating as both a historical and cultural text.

14. When I was sixteen years old, I won a national Shakespeare competition and got to travel to New York City and compete in the finals, which were held at the Lincoln Center. I didn’t win the final competition, but at that point I figured that my acting career (brief as it was) had peaked. I knew I was never going to surpass performing at the Lincoln Center-even if it was only on a little side stage! That’s when I decided I had better pick a more stable career than acting. I decided I wanted to be music teacher instead. Today, I’m a Methodist preacher. (Well, you know what they say about, “The best laid plans of mice and men…”)

15. When I walked into the Long Room at Trinity College, I started to cry. “It’s so beautiful,” I murmured. “This must be what heaven looks like!” I had the opportunity to visit Trinity College in 2017 where we saw The Book of Kells. The Long room took my breath away.

wikimedia commons long room
The Long Room at Trinity College is filled from floor to ceiling with books. Busts of famous authors line the hall.  (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

16. I love bookstores. Even though I do most of my reading digitally, I still love physical books. I love the way they feel. I even love the smell of books. I love to just visit the bookstore and wander amongst the stacks.

17. Some of my favorite secular authors are: Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Joshilyn Jackson, Tolkein, George R.R. Martin, Tamora Pierce, and Edgar Allan Poe .

18. If you see me playing with my phone, I’m probably reading. I used to carry books in my handbag all the time. I was terrified of being caught somewhere without something to read. Now, I’m so grateful for my iPhone. I

19. I’m usually reading at lest three books at once: something related to theology for work, a classic, and a guilty pleasure.

20. For a long time, I hated Nathaniel Hawthorne. I couldn’t stand The Scarlet Letter when I read it in high school. This summer, I read The House of Seven Gables and really enjoyed it because it was a Gothic romance. Then, I had the opportunity to visit the actual House of the Seven Gables. It was just like being in the book! Now, I’m an (albeit reluctant) Hawthorne fan.

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A photograph of me standing outside the entrance to the House of Seven Gables from the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The house has been remolded to make it look more like the book. Visiting the house was just like stepping into the pages of the story.

21. Despite growing up in Pennsylvania, I’ve always favored British literature. That’s why I was excited to learn more about American literature during our vacation this summer. We visited lots of sites that were both historically and culturally significant.

22. Besides Mr. Alexander Pope, my favorite poet is Emily Dickinson. I visited the home in Amherst and actually got the opportunity to stand in the little bedroom where she wrote most of her poetry.

23. I got the opportunity to walk all the way around Walden pond and to see the site where Thoreau’s cabin was built. It was a great experience, but I was surprised at just how much of a tourist attraction it has become. There are many places in my native Pennsylvania that are much more secluded.

Walking near Thoreau's cabin at Walden pond
A photograph of me walking a path that encircled Walden Pond near the site of Thoreau’s famous cabin.

24. I love to listen to audiobooks while I walk, clean, or do laundry. I get so much reading done when I’m doing chores. It helps distract me from cleaning and I can be so much more productive by scrubbing the floor while listening to a text about the prophets in the Old Testament.

25. I love reading diverse voices. I’m so tired of not seeing myself represented in literature. I would love to read a regency romance where the heroine is not white or a fantasy novel where the protagonist just happens to have a disability. The portrayal of characters with disabilities in literature is frequently problematic People are more than their disability. I want a heroine who fights dragons and just happens to be blind and isn’t all angst ridden about her situation.

 

Those are my 25 Bookish Facts! I would love to hear yours. Do you have any good book recommendations for me? Do you know of a Georgian romance where a the heroine isn’t white or has a disability? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

I would like to tag Maggie Jane Schuler and Lori Katherine! If you two want to play, i would love to hear 25 Bookish facts about the both of you! Maggie Jane Schuler is a very talented novelist. Check out my interview with her here, and stay tuned for my upcoming interview with the poet Lori Katherine!

I would also like to tag YOU dear reader! Do you have 25 Bookish Facts you would like to share? I’d love to see your blog post!

Until next time-

Peace be With you!

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-Rev. Rebecca

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