My contribution is very late as I was away when Geniaus first threw down the gauntlet of another geneameme and totally missed it. Geniaus commented that this one hasn’t been as popular as previous ones and I suspect it is because it is not as genealogy oriented or perhaps everyone is just busy at present. Here are my thoughts on the topic and I apologise for the all bold font in some of the questions – I can’t seem to fix it and have now lost patience with my limited techno skills!!
The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item
- Have you written any books? Yes a number of small genealogy guides published by Unlock the Past
- Have you published any books? I’m not sure what the distinction is between this and the previous question unless it is written but unpublished. However during my working life I was responsible for overseeing the publication of a number of books and finding aids.
- Can you recommend an inspiring biography? I like reading biographies and recently won a prize from Inside History Magazine for recommending Mary Lovell’s A Rage to Live: A Biography of Richard and Isabel Burton but most of us wouldn’t want to live that exciting a life!
- Do you keep a reading log? If yes, in what format? I’ve always wanted to keep a record and each year I start out listing them in my diary but then I don’t keep it up!! Then I struggle to try and remember if I have read something.
- Are you a buyer or a borrower of books? Both but I have stopped buying (almost) in favour of the library – I borrow six books every four weeks a mix of fiction and non fiction including genealogy items.
- Where do you get reading recommendations? The usual places friends, reviews and other authors’ bibliographies
- What is the one genealogy reference book you can’t do without? A tough question as it would depend on whether Australian, UK or whatever and even then I don’t think I could pick just one.
- Do you hoard books or do you discard them when you have finished? I have long been a hoarder of books and magazines and as I move every few years this has become a problem. As we are about to move yet again, and now that I am retired, I have been giving away journals and professional books to people I have mentored or who are just entering the archives and history professions. Fiction books have gone to family and friends and it really is a sad time for me. There are still lots of bookcases I have to clear including my beloved cookbooks.
- How many books are in your genealogy library? Probably hundreds but then I have been doing it since 1977 and some are quite dated now but I still can’t bring myself to part with them. I have been trying to downsize this area by giving away items to smaller societies or offering magazines as door prizes.
- What’s your favourite genealogy magazine or journal? Inside History Magazine which is still a relative newcomer on the Australian scene but keeps getting better with each issue.
- Where are the bookshelves in your house? All down the hallway, several in the kitchen, in the bedrooms and in the study.
- Do you read e-books? How? Not really although I have downloaded a couple of genealogy e-books to my laptop.
- How many library cards do you have? Three – local, state, national.
- What was the last genealogy title you read? Irish Family History Resources Online by Chris Paton – I have a number of Irish families
- What is your favourite bookshop? No favourite although I do tend to buy in airports a lot and also small country towns seem to have great secondhand bookstores.
- Do you have a traditional printed encyclopaedia in your house? I gave these away many years ago. Now it’s Google or Wikipedia if I need to look something up quickly.
- Who are the authors in your family tree and what have they written? No authors in the family tree – I may be the first!
- Who is your favourite author? Another too tough question – depends if I’m looking for a light read or doing research but I will confess to being an Agatha Christie fan.
- Where do you buy books? This is similar to an earlier question but mostly at markets, country secondhand bookstores, and the airport if I’m caught out by delayed flights or leave my book behind!
- Can you nominate a must-read fiction title? I really liked The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and I lent it to my son and I’m still trying to get it back from him!
- How many books are in your personal library? Not as many as there used to be and it’s getting smaller each week. When we go to Adelaide next week we’ll be taking some over to our son who is interested in true crime and police histories we have. I’m trying not to think about numbers but more redistribution to good homes.
- What is your dictionary of choice? I have a Webster’s dictionary on my desk but I often find I just Google now – I always used to win the spelling bees at school and I suspect my teacher would be horrified by that Google confession.
- Where do your read? Mostly at home (or in hotels/motels) I usually travel with a number of books and magazines and there’s nothing better than a cold wet day and you are curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee.
- What was your favourite childhood book? Enid Blyton’s Famous Five – I remember I could only get out one volume at a time from the local library which only opened every Saturday so I was always one of the first lined up each week. We didn’t have books at home but Mum always took us to the library.
- Do you have anything else to say about books and reading? I love reading and from the time I bought my son home from hospital I was reading to him every night. If I think about it I can probably still recite Thomas the Tank Engine stories off by heart! My son is still a reader and I think it is one of the best things we can encourage our children/grandchildren to do.