Monday, December 19, 2005

DZER the reader ...

I’m a voracious reader. I read the newspaper, magazines, online news stories and blogs, as well as books galore. At any given time I’m reading at least one book, and often more.

I stole the idea for this post from AlwaysArousedGirl, who had a great list regarding her reading history, habits, predilections, preferences and other associated reading trivia. So here’s mine.

1. My parents read all the time, and my mom still does (dad passed away a few years ago). So, as a result, all of us kids read, some of us more than others. I remember getting my first library card. It was great, even though I could only take two books home with me at any given time. We went to the public library almost every Saturday, no matter where we lived.

1.5 A big credit for my reading success goes to Sesame Street, Electric Company and Mr. Rogers. Those were — and Sesame Street still is — great for teaching and encouraging kids to read. On top of reading, I also learned about numbers, what the Alligator King got from his sons, and to never walk down stairs carrying 11 ... banana ... cream ... pies ....

2. Like AAG, we also had a children's illustrated vesion of the Bible, which I read all the way through. There were a lot of books, with a lot of stories. As a kid I like the stories about David and Noah the best, and though Lot got a really fucking raw deal. I also really got into the parables of Jesus. When I got a little older, I read the Bible several times — mostly the Catholic version, but also the King James version just to see how/if it was different. There really are some great stories in there.

3. Even in first grade I can remember checking out books meant for older kids or adults. In first grade I kept checking out books on dinosaurs, as they were the coolest thing ever (thanks, Land of the Lost!). I was one of the few 6-year-old who could correctly spell and pronounce words like "Tyrannosaurus Rex," "ankylosaurus" and "bracchiosaurus." Heh.

3.5. I always tested far above my reading grade level on standardized tests. By seventh grade I was at 12th grade level in reading and comprehension. That was me, the guy who finished off the curve. I was Mr. 99.5 percentile. Not bragging, just truth. OK, a little bragging. :oP

4. I totally disagree with both AAG and Edgy Mama... Stephen King is NOT an underrated genius. He is, in fact, and overrated HACK!!. By the way, it's shameful how ignored and underappreciated Mark Twain is.

5. I, like AAG, reread books all the time. Some of my favorite stories and books have been read dozens of times. Great authors and great writing keeps it from becoming boring. I love an author who can insert me into their stories, as if I were in the story. Realistic conversation — mixes of serious talk and subjects, fun and humor, teasing and nonsense are a must. I can't read the always-stilted shit. Some of my frequent rereads are: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, almost anything by David Gemmel, the Heralds of Valedemar and associated books by Mercedes Lackey, and almost anything by Raymond E. Feist.

6. I'm not one of those people who can fall asleep reading. I might get tired whilst perusing pages, but I have NEVER fallen asleep with a book in my hands ... unless you count course texts in college ... yawn!!

7. Some of the books that almost destroyed my love of reading: Crime and Punishment. Silas Marner. Any Victorian English novel. Some of the books and stories that saved me: Almost any of the American fables — Paul Bunyan, John Henry, the Headless Horseman, Johnny Appleseed. Anything by Dr. Seuss. Anything by Maurice Sendak. The Lord of the Rings forever made me love books. My favorite genre to date is still high fantasy, though I read Science Fiction, fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction and even a romance novel or three, as long as there is crime and hot sex involved! LOL

8. I learned so much real science theory from comic books that it wasn't even funny. Gamma radiation, mutation, space travel, time travel, black holes, quantum theory — I learned it all from comic books. I also initially learned about the gods of different cultures (thanks to Thor, Wonder Woman and Hercules), which led me to the library to read books on mythology — Greek, Roman, Norse, Native American, Eastern and Indian. I read the translation of the Iliad at about age 10. At 12, I found a translation of The Prose Edda. I still love reading mythological tales.

9. Books I refuse to read: Any of those self-indulgent self-help books by people like Dr. Phil. The only one I've ever liked was Robert Fulghum's "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." That was actually a great, light read with uplifting stories.

10. I truly plan to someday write a novel. It will probably be a high fantasy book. I've actually already have a loose outline and story background, along with several characters semi-shaped. Chrissie, whom I've known for close to a decade, keeps telling me that with the kind of erotica I usually produce, that I should write a romance novel. We even came up with a nom de plume for me. I forget exactly what it was. I think it was something like Desiree McCovington. LOL ... I'm pretty sure on the Desiree part ... the last name was supposed to be some high-falutin' sounding name. DuBois. Delacroix. Something like that. LOL

10.5. Besides the erotica and the stories, columns and assorted pieces written for the newspaper and magazines I've worked for, I've also written some short stories, a lot of poetry, and even a fairy tale. I lost most of this non-backed-up material last year when my previous computer fried. Bleah.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Chamorro was strictly an oral language. There were no written records until the Spanish came, and even they never made any real effort to document or preserve the language. Today's Chamorro is a mix of the ancient language, Spanish, Chinese, Filipino, American English and other dialects and languages, I'm sure.


kathi said...

I, too, love to read and always have at least one book going. I take this after my mom, also. I remember reading Gone With the Wind in the 6th grade, staying up all night, many nights, reading it in the bathroom downstairs so I wouldn't wake anyone up. The night I finished it I sobbed uncontrollably and in the morning my mom kept me home from school because my face was all swollen and splotchy, she never knew why, she just thought I was sick. My favorites are James Patterson, John Grisham's earlier stuff, Patricia Cornwell, Tom Clancy, ohhh and my all time favorite forever will be Janet Evanovich. Do yourself a favor, babe. Read one of her series of #'d books. Funny stuff.
*Big Texas hug right back at'cha*

gigi said...

Did the Allligator King get 9 Ruby Rings? I don't rememeber how many exactly BUT 12 lady bugs came to the lady bug picnic!

If it weren't for Louisa May Alcott and Charles Dickens, writers of the Victorian age, (I can not stand English Rengency Authors, sorry all you Jane Austin Fans)I would not be where I am today which is...where the hell am I?

gigi said...

Kathi-Janet Evanovich ROCKS!

SignGurl said...

I too love Maurice Sendak. I even have Where the Wild Things Are checks. I read this book to at least 5 classrooms at the elementary school every year. It's a classic in my book.

I also finished all the reading levels by 7th grade (12th grade level). They didn't know what to do with me so I spent the rest of my school years helping other students learn to read. That has come in handy as a parent of two children.

I have to disagree with you about Stephen King. His imagination astounds me. I'm not sure how he continues to come up with the ideas he does after 30 + years of writing.

I know that we are all waiting to read one of your novels. However, I disagree about the pen name. I think you should keep Dzer because you already have a following.

Suze said...

Dzer, I had exactly the same dinosaur book, I loved those guys.

I must admit I don't tend to read much these days but I enjoy Pratchett and prefer James Herbert to Stephen King.

You have now given me the urge to go out and buy something to read over the holidays (only when we are not having sex though, it makes the pages stick together. LOL)

da buttah said...

It's kind of funny...

Because both my parents are immigrants, they kind of learned all the American/Anglicized version of fairy tales etc when I was just starting to learn them, because they were both in school when my brother was a wee little lad. Anyway, I would get so frustrated with how slowly they read, I started to read it to them when I was 3..... love of reading was born....and my inherent need to do everything relatively quick.

Book that Ruined Reading: Wurthering Heights. Someone should have shought the Bronte sisters LONG LONG before they could even get far enough to write.

Book that Excited Me Back into Reading after countless hours reading Law: Invisible Monster, by Chuck Pahlaniuk

grainne said...

I knew you were a great guy but I am so impressed that you are not thrilled with Steven King! I think he is one of the most over rated, over paid people who has ever been published. I won't even read a book that has his reccomendation on the cover.

Growing up where I did, without English TV...books were everything.
I bought an ebook reader a couple of years back and have been working my way thru It's great - perfect size to fit into my purse and great for reading while on the go.

DZER said...

kathi: I'll give almost anything a try once, bookwise, so I will check her out! thanks!

gigi: OK ... I'll give you Dickens. It's just the Brontes and their ilk that do it to me, I guess LOL

jenn: sendak is DA man!! and sorry we disagree on King ... I'm sure his next novel, about the evil toaster oven gone killing crazy will turn me around LOL

suze: you could always buy a sex book with plastic, non-stick pages! LOL

buttah: just from reading your blog I picked up on you as a fellow voracious, rapacious reader. and word on the bronte bitches!! LOL

DZER said...

grainne: glad you feel me on King! *cough*hack*cough*

and I dunno about e-books ... I really like having a page to turn and mark and what not ... but maybe someday LOL

gigi said...

Jane Eyre?! Come on! It rocks!

DZER said...


gigi said...

OK, it's hell to read but the movie version with William Hurt *sigh* every homley girl's dream.
Not William Hurt the idea that Rochester chose Jane over the beauty. *sigh*

TequilaGirl said...

Sesame Street rocked! I was a loyal fan. I was reading by age 3 or 4. My mom has me on tape reading my books and singing! LOL!

Those tests in school were a joke. By the time I hit middle school I was reading on a 12th grade or higher level.

I have to take a break from books every once in awhile. Once I have one in my hand I tend to block the rest of the world out. I'm doing better, but I don't sleep or do anything that I'm supposed to do. I do hold off and wait until my son is in bed to make sure he gets proper attention. LOL!

K, Dz I'm always looking for some good reads. I'm a fantasy chick at the moment and have been for about 6 years now. I'll read other books, but it's rare to see one in my hand. Here's my list of favorites:

Raymond Feist
Robert Jordan
George R.R. Martin
R.A. Salvatore
JK Rowling
Christopher Paolini
Laurell K. Hamilton
Terry Goodkind

What are some of your favorites besides Gemmell and Lackey? I’ll check them out since I haven’t read any of their books, but I’d like to know some others also.