Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Reader GeneaMeme

As Jill said, better late than never!

Below is my contribution the Reader GeneaMeme set by Geniaus

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 

Which of these apply to you? reading

1.                 Have you written any books? Not yet J I need to gain some confidence – I do have some chapters that will eventually make up a book

2.                 Have you published any books? No

3.                 Can you recommend an inspiring biography? Lot’s, but the most recent one I read and couldn’t put down was called “His Majesty O’Keefe”. First published in 1950, it follows the trials and travels of an Irish American trader who set up a trading post on the Micronesian island of Yap, which is part of the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean, during the late 1800’s. It describes the life and beliefs of the islanders, and the consequent colonisation of Yap by the Spanish and Germans, as well the life of his own families – one from Savannah, Georgia – and his second wife, an Islander woman 

4.                 Do you keep a reading log? If yes, in what format? I used to keep an excel spread sheet, then Collectorz book collection software (when it was free); I now use LibraryThing

5.                 Are you a buyer or a borrower of books? Mainly a buyer; if I love a book, I find it hard to give back, especially with the large cull that our local library is undergoing. I may love the idea of Libraries, especially as an ex-Librarian, but I have also seen many Libraries close, cull their collections as a book hasn’t been borrowed enough times, or was published too long ago for it to be (not my words) “relevant” – such policies can really get me going….

6.                 Where do you get reading recommendations? Newspapers, magazines, blogs, radio, word of mouth….

7.                 What is the one genealogy reference book you can't do without? “The mechanical eye in Australia :  Photography 1841-1900” by Alan Davies and Peter Stanbury. I use this book for dating photographs as it list photographers from all over Australia, with their address and date that they were in operation. It has helped me pin down accurate dates for many, many photographs

8.                 Do you hoard books or do you discard them when you have finished? Hoard definitely, though it depends on the book! A light read will probably end up at the op shop, my collection consists mainly of reference, biography and non-fiction and faction or historical fiction, like “The harp in the south” by Ruth Park, along with two shelves of classics, a shelf of children’s books and folk and fairy tales from around the world, and finally my genealogy collection

9.                 How many books are in your genealogy library? About 400-500?

10.            What's your favourite genealogy magazine or journal? Inside History, Australian Family Tree Connections, and Your Family Tree (UK) are three that I subscribe to. I also love the journals  published by the various Genealogical and Historical Societies to which I belong

11.            Where are the bookshelves in your house? Two walls in the Lounge room, two walls in the hallway, one whole wall in my office, three shelves in the bedroom; then there’s my husband’s collection…
12.            Do you read e-books? How? e-books on Kindle and Google books on my computer

13.            How many library cards do you have? Local Regional Library which encompasses 6 libraries, State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia; The Genealogical Society of Victoria has a wonderful and accessible Library as well. Being an alumni of the SLV and CSIRO also allows me access to their collections, which equals access to 6 regional and 4 other major Libraries = total 10!

14.            What was the last genealogy title you read? A family history book, self-published by my cousin’s partner, Tony Berry called “From paupers to iPads”, looking at his family’s history in the UK.

15.            What is your favourite bookshop? Mainly online second hand bookshops, then there a few second hand book shops in different Melbourne suburbs that specialise in history and Australian titles; The GSV bookshop is a bit of a trap as well!

16.            Do you have a traditional printed encyclopaedia in your house?  Yes, a 1961 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica that was bought for my husband when he was a boy

17.            Who are the authors in your family tree and what have they written? My mother wrote many articles for the Randwick Historical Society during the 1970’s. Some were published and others remain in their archives; many of which are still referenced in some recent local histories – I get great pleasure and joy to see my mother’s name in the index of a published work!

18.            Who is your favourite author? US Crime writer extraordinaire and (in my view) social commentator James Lee Burke

19.            Where do you buy books? Anywhere I find them
20.            Can you nominate a must-read fiction title? Yes, but how long should the list be?
21.            How many books are in your personal library? 3000 odd, after a cull when we moved about 18 months ago. It is gradually building up to the 4500 we had before the move

22.            What is your dictionary of choice? Oxford English Dictionary for words; Dictionary of philosophy; Medical dictionary; Dictionary of scientific terms…. However I really need a “Macquarie dictionary” to check my words when playing along with the SBS TV show “Letters and Numbers” A must watch in our household!

23.            Where do your read? On the couch, on the veranda, in bed…

24.            What was your favourite childhood book? “Swiss Family Robinson”, Heide, Robinson Crusoe, Coral Island…. (all of which I still have – a real sucker for escapism and tropical isles it seems)

25.            Do you have anything else to say about books and reading? They are my life, heart and soul. I could not live without them.


  1. Hello Linda. I know what you mean about libraries culling their collections. I bought some great books very cheaply at two such sales! You mentioned The Mechanical Eye in Australia, but have you used Australians Behind the Camera: The Directory of Early Australian Photographers 1841–1945 by Sandy Barrie (Fast Books, Sydney, 2002)? It lists (for Australia and Territories) professional photographers and studios 1841–1945 and noted amateur photographers 1841–1900. It includes known dates/addresses. (This information is from my book Specialist Indexes in Australia: a Genealogist's Guide.)

    1. Hi Judy,

      I too have bought books from our local library "sale". It seems such a waste of already paid for public resources, but I won't go there... the argument for properly funded and resourced libraries of all kinds and their value is one that can really get me going for ages; I have done my fare share of arguing against the "Manager's" who have never worked in a Library!

      I know about the book you mention "Australians Behind the Camera: The Directory of Early Australian Photographers 1841–1945" by Sandy Barrie, and have it on my "wants list", but it will have to wait as we are about to travel for 6 weeks!

  2. Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me--I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com

  3. Love your post. Thanks, Linda for your contribution.

    Now I need to check out Abe Books for The mechanical eye in Australia.

    1. Thanks Jill,

      Also check out the book mentioned by Judy - "Australians Behind the Camera: The Directory of Early Australian Photographers 1841–1945" by Sandy Barrie, another "must have" in my view!

  4. Great book tips Linda. I use my photograph guide books often but I haven't used either of these. I know what you mean about libraries...I went to the library the other day hoping to re-read some of the books that came up on my blog post about Australian books. I was utterly astonished by how many weren't held.