How long have you worked at Lemuria?
About five years.
When did you start really collecting books? (Is it a collection, or more of a hoard?)
When I was in high school, I read books, but I wasn’t a book nerd. In college I was an English literature major, so I read books, but I didn’t collect books. I just bought books I liked. We didn’t have a good bookstore where I grew up; we just had a Walden books. If I had grown up with Lemuria, I probably would have a book hoarding problem.
What do you look for in a good book?
I read for many different reasons, as I think all people do. Sometimes I read for the poetry or the lyricism of the writing. I read for escape or just a good story. I read to learn about other people and why they do the things they do. I read for information; about real people who have actually lived their lives.
What book do you think is the best-kept secret?
The Prime of Life. It’s a memoir by Simone Debouveoir. It’s one of my favorite books.
How long have you been reading?
I’ve never been a non-stop reader. I like to read, but I don’t read obsessively. I’m usually not sitting down and reading a book all day long.
How do you organize your books? (Do you?)
When I lived by myself, I had no organization to my books. That was before I worked at Lemuria–being single and not working at Lemuria led to zero book organization. But since I live with my sweetheart now, it is much more complicated. I keep the most precious, valuable, collectable books in my room on 2 bookcases. But I am seriously running out of room.
In the music room, we have beautiful built-in bookshelves that have lots of my sweetheart’s really old books. And in the living room, I put a lot of non-fiction. I need more bookshelves. I have sent out distress calls to family members, and nobody has answered. I even asked for bookshelves for my birthday, but everyone has forgotten that I asked for them. I have gotten desperate. There are books all over the desk, all over the bedside table, all of the buffet in the kitchen. They are everywhere. I need a book makeover.
Is there a system to how you choose what to read next/the order you read books in?
Lemuria is the system.
What book have you liked most that came out this year?
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
What are you reading right now?
Shout her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber
Stray Decoroum by George Singleton
om Love by George Minot
Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meacham
The Orphan Masters Son by Adam Johnson (I’m rereading it for book club)
When do you read?
I like to read before I go to bed.That’s my preferred time, but my sweetheart distracts me, and reminds me that reading is not a social activity. So I try to also read in the morning before he’s awake.
Is there an author you would like to meet?
There isn’t a particular author I am pining to meet, however, I do like meeting the authors that come to Lemuria. I enjoy the surprise; you have no idea what kind of person they are going to be. You could love their books, and not like the author, or the reverse. You never know what to expect when that author walks in the door.
Do you have a favorite author that you have already met?
There are so many that I’ve really loved meeting. In fact, I always have an author-crush-of-the-moment (ACOTM). My ACOTM is George Singleton. I’ve also had a crush on Karl Marlantes, Audrey Niffenegger (she floated when she walked. She floated through the bookstore, and she was a true book lover). I’m sure there are more authors, but there are so many I can’t name them all.
Are you a one-at-a-time reader, or are you reading many books at once?
Before Lemuria, I rarely read more than one book at a time, but now I always read more than one book at a time. I read maybe 5 books at a time.
What do you look for in a good bookstore?
A good literature selection. I like old books, so if I’m going around to bookstores, I look for books specially from the periods of 1875-1930. When I started collecting books from that period, I didn’t realize it was the golden age of book art. Now when I go to bookstores, I look for books from that period.