Hello, Armchair BEA folks (and everyone else)! I’m excited to be participating in Armchair BEA again this year. Today’s post includes both my introduction and also my response to today’s genre question. Please do leave comments, ask questions, etc. I look forward to talking with you all, and I can’t wait to visit your blogs, too!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
My name is Adam AKA Roof Beam Reader. I have kept a blog for well over a decade, now, but I have been blogging about books, specifically, for four years. I first got into blogging because it seemed a good format for creative expression. Then, as I moved through college (English major) and onto graduate school (English/American Lit), I realized I wanted & needed a place to keep my thoughts on books. Voila – book blog!
Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
I’m blogging from Chicago, Illinois! Random fact? Despite popular folklore, there is no evidence that the O’Leary cow started the great fire if 1871. That being said, there’s no real evidence to dispute it, either. After all, the fire DID start in their barn, on an unusually warm October day, after a hot and dry summer.
Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
Yes! I believe this is my third year. I’ve not been able to make it to the actual BEA yet (maybe next year?), but I still like to be involved. I always have fun, I always meet great, new (or new-to-me) bloggers, and I always love the topics. So, why not!?
What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I was born on Easter Sunday and the nurses put me in a little blue bunny suit. The pictures continue to haunt me.
Name your favorite blog(s) and explain why they are your favorite(s).
This is tough. There are so many blogs that I love. But, I really enjoy A Literary Odyssey and Delaisse. Both Allie and O, the respective bloggers, are intelligent and engaging, and they, like me, consider reading to be a personal journey of sorts.
Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
This is something I think about all the time, and my answer always changes. If I had just one chance and one choice, though, I would sit down with J.D. Salinger. It’s impossible for me to choose anyone else.
What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I would love to visit Edgar Allan Poe’s house and also the Globe Theatre. The Irish pub where James Joyce used to write would be fun to see, too.
What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
So many great, passionate people sharing a common interest. I learn a lot from these folks, and I’m exposed to great books that I might not have otherwise taken a chance on.
Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
I kinda wish e-readers would disappear. 😉
Genre Topic 1: The Classics
Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature.
Well, that’s quite the undertaking! Why do I love classic literature? I suppose the easy answer is that “classics” are considered as such for a reason. They have staying power, they speak to every new generation, regardless of how much time – decades or centuries- has passed. The reasons for this are debatable, but I think classic literature is very human at its core. It speaks to us because it causes us to be introspective, to reflect on situations in our life that were similar, but it also gives us opportunities to explore things we’ve always imagined.
What are your favorite classics?
Oh, another impossible question! Okay, then! I really have no idea how to answer this. Of course, I do have my favorites, but there are so many – and so many great classics that others love but aren’t my own personal favorites- that I’m not sure where to start. To keep myself sane, I’m going to limit myself to three. I will say, some of my all-time favorites and some of the best pieces of literature that I know, are: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it?
I feel that people who don’t read classics are probably intimidated by the idea of them more so than by any (or many) actual experiences with them. I would recommend books by Willa Cather, Charlotte Bronte, and Thomas Hardy, among others.
How would you convince them to give classics a try?
I would also suggest reading them in groups, to begin with – it’s sometimes more fun, more informative, and less scary to read classics as a group. So, if this is you, perhaps consider starting a book club or, even better, join The Classics Club! I’m one of the moderators and co-founders of The Classics Club, so don’t mind the shameless self-promotion, but to be honest, we have a great group of people, readers of all levels, who read at their own pace, participate in various events and challenges, all with the goal of reading more classics. It’s quite the club! We are also on Twitter and Facebook!
And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?
They teach me about myself, about others, and about the world around us. There’s nothing more interesting, nor more important, than that. Plus, the good ones are just so good.
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You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. Octavia E. Butler