Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Teasers and Things

LibraryThing (LT) and Real Life (Real Life)- do you have friends in real life that you met through LibraryThing? Have you attended any LT meet-ups in your area? Would you be open to attending meet-ups or is LT strictly an online thing for you?

When I was in middle school, I discovered the wonders of pen palling, exchanging letters with people around the world. I anxiously awaited the mail delivery each day, dreaded Sunday because my mailbox would be empty, and would spend hours reading and writing letters to people I knew I would most likely never meet. Pen palling opened up an entire new world to me and gave me the opportunity to interact with people from varying cultures and lifestyles. We talked about everything and anything in our letters to each other and I came to think of many as friends.

I have met six pen pals over the years. These were all letter friends, people I wrote good ol' fashioned letters to. I have yet to meet anyone I first met online, either from one of my book groups or LibraryThing. I came close this past spring at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, and it is possible I walked right past some of you who also attended without even knowing it. In another two and a half weeks, I will have the opportunity to meet a wonderful woman from one of my online book groups. As with any first meeting, I am nervous and excited. I tend to be shy when meeting people for the first time, even people I have gotten to know via letters or online. Wanting to be liked and accepted are perhaps among the biggest concerns. Will she be disappointed in me? Am I what she expected? Silly perhaps, but I think common thoughts many of us have in similar situations.

Even though I have not necessarily met those I know online, there are several I would count among my friends--and they are just as real as my best friend sitting next to me. I would jump at the chance for an opportunity to meet them. Even so, I have not attended a LT meet-up, nor have I searched one out. That isn't to say I am not open to the idea. I would be if the circumstances were right.

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. NO SPOILERS!
  • Share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from (that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given).
  • Leave a link to the blog post where you’ve shared your “Teaser" in the comments to the week's TUESDAY TEASER post at Should Be Reading.
  • If you don’t have a blog, share the teaser in a comment on that week’s “Teaser” post.

Ni-Fu turned to look at the medical director still standing in the doorway of his room. "I must be dreaming. An avowed Communist speaking reverently of the past."
- Rabbit in the Moon by Deobrah & Joel Shlian

"There are pros and cons to independence, but it is coming and we will manage. Interesting challenges ahead."
- The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan

Question 10 on the medical-insurance reimbursement forms I have to fill out asks: "Cause of injury?" I could truthfully answer, :Assault by books."
- Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan [pg 50]


  1. I need to read Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading. That sounds right up my alley.

  2. Wow, I remember pen pals. But somehow the correspondences always dropped off after a while. Too many other things going on, I guess – at least on my part. The internet has really given a whole new dimension to pen-palling, hasn't it?

  3. I remember having a couple penpals back in grade school- but nothing ever came from that. It's cool though that you met some of yours!

  4. I love the idea of pen pals. I tried to write to three when I was in elementary/middle school and none of them ever wrote back to me! It's awesome that you've met some of yours.

  5. I had a post up on my blog today about a pen pal that I've known since we were both sixteen. I had a "whoa" moment when I saw you'd written about pen pals here too! It's very cool that you've met some of your pen pals in person.

    I'm hoping that we can manage to meet up at next year's Festival of Books :-)!

    And I need to get my hands on a copy of Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading too.

  6. Hi Wendy, I'd like to try the random page meme but will do it when I get home. Looks like fun!

  7. Traci - I am enjoying Corrigan's book so far. I'm reading one chapter a week and reviewing on Sundays as I go. I really like books about reading.

    Joy - Pen palling was a big part of my life well into my adulthood. I was only a couple of years ago that I found my interest in it waning. I think a lot of it had to do with how easily accessible the internet is and interacting with people that way. I am still in touch with a couple, but we mostly interact via e-mail these days.

    Kathleen - I have my mother to thank for my love for writing letters. I was heavily involved with different pen palling communities when I was a teenager and in my twenties. Pen palling was equal to my reading passion for many years.

    Meghan - That's too bad none of the three wrote back to you. Early on, I received no response more than I received responses, but I was persistent and would try writing to as many people as possible until I was satisfied with the responses I received. Later on, I was involved with more serious pen palling communities which made it a lot easier to make friends through the mail. Like minded people and all that.

    Florinda - How neat! I will have to hurry over and take a look at your post.

    I am looking forward to meeting you at the nexxt book festival. :-)

    Alice - I look forward to reading your teasers!

  8. I had a few penpals when I was younger too, but I never met any of them in person and we've long since lost touch. I know what you mean though about counting some people I've met online as friends. I often keep in touch with them much more than I do some of my real-life friends!

  9. I have a friend that I went to school with for 2 months in 7th grade and haven't seen her since. We wrote letters for years, dropped out of touch a bit after college, but now email and chat on gmail on a fairly regular basis. I love that we're still in touch.

    As for meeting people online- I have a lot of friends that I met online first. Most of them I've only met a time or two, one set of brothers I met 6 or 8 times. And I met my husband online! We both played an online game (EverQuest) and met through it. We've known each other 9 years now.

  10. I tend to be a pretty reserved person (I used to think shy was the correct word but I'm not sure if that's what it is), and it takes me a bit to open up to others in real life--it's amazing how a lot of those barriers are sometimes forgotten or broken via the Internet.

    I hope your meeting goes well!! I'm sure it will be great. :)

  11. A couple of coincidences: I've recently discovered a lot of letters from family members (including letters to and from my father during WWII) and posted this morning on my quilting blog about the fact that people so rarely write letters any more. It is a great loss, I think.

    Secondly, a woman responded to another post on the quilting blog that her father had been pen pals with a girl who lived on Bayou Teche in South Louisiana, and he drove from Alaska to meet her. They married and eventually moved back to an island off the Alaskan coast. What a marvelous pen pal story that is.

  12. I taught English to a preteen in Japan while I was there and for a few years afterwards, we exchanged letters. They were so cute! I wish we hadn't lost touch, but I moved so many times...

  13. Ah...those fond memories about the pen palling days. It's always a great pleasure to check our mailbox and to find a letter awaiting us, isn't it? Although the usage of internet/emails is so common nowadays, I still find myself excited whenever I see a letter addressing to me. ;)

  14. I never had a pen pal when I was young but I did write letters to old friends because we moved around quite a bit. I had and treasured those letters for years. Thanks for sharing your pen pal days!

  15. Good luck with your meeting! It will go well for sure :)

    I never had a penpal, but I have met quite a few friends made online in person through the years. Every one of these experiences was great, and there are some that I have been meeting up with regularly for almost 8 years now.

  16. I remember pen pals! So different online. I've met a few people in person that I first met online. Mostly, it went really well! In the cases where it didn't, I think it was the setting we met up in. Too loud and too many and not connected enough to the online community we'd met in.

  17. That's so cool that you got to meet several of your pen pals! I used to have several but you know how things usually go although one of those pen pals became my husband! Yep, that's how we met :)

    I would love to meet book bloggers - maybe one day.

  18. Nat - Oh, me too! There are people I talk to online every day that I've never met and real-life friends that I talk to much less.

    Lisa - Isn't it great when you reconnect with a friend that way? I'm noticing that a lot of bloggers met their significant others online. I think that's neat. :-)

    Trish - That's probably a more apt description of me too--reserved rather than shy. I'm really quite talkative when I get to know someone well and feel comfortable.

    Jenclair - Finding and reading old family letters is such fun, isn't it? I love reading my grandfather's letters--he was quite the story teller. :-)

    It is sad that letter writing has fallen by the wayside. As quick and convenient as the internet is, there is nothing like reading and writing an old fashioned letter.

    I had two pen pals who also wrote to each other and they ended up falling in love. I don't know if they actually got married--we were quite young at the time--but I've always wondered what happened to them. We drifted apart a few years ago, so busy with our own lives.

    Lenore - What a great story! The closest I came to a situation like that was when a camp counselor and I exchanged letters for a few years. I would probably be embarrassed to read my letters to her. :-)

    Melody - I hate an empty mailbox! But one filled with only bills isn't so good either.

    Jaimie - I think that counts as having pen pal experiences. :-)

    Nymeth - Thank you! She's just as nervous as I am.

    That is so neat--that you've been meeting with some of your online friends for nearly 8 years.

    Carrie K - Yes, it is quite different, one from the other.

    Iliana - How wonderful for your husband and you! I love to hear stories like that. :-)

  19. How fun! I hope I remember to do this next week!

  20. Funny, I've never made the link from the pen-pal relationship to the online/LT relationship, but it's a great metaphor. I had pen pals all over the US and Canada, Europe and Asia ... waiting for the letters could take so long, but getting one (especially one that might contain a photo or foreign currency) was so cool!

  21. April - It is fun! :-)

    Dawn - My response would have been really short had I just stuck to LT relationships. :-)


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