Book of Me – Prompt 21: Hobbies

book of meThe Book of Me – Written by You is a weekly blog prompt created by Julie Goucher of the blog Angler’s Rest. This is a fifteen month writing project to highlight my life so that I will have something to leave behind for my descendants. Week twenty one’s prompt is Hobbies.

  • Childhood hobbies & collections
  • Did you share a “passion” with a family member or friend?
  • Tell us about it – How, why, where
  • Do you still have any old hobbies – the ones that have been with you since childhood?
  • Do you still have those childhood collections?

I have a few hobbies and they have pretty much been lifelong. They are 1) books and reading, 2) sewing and knitting, and 3) genealogy. All three activities have been passed down to me by my elders and have developed or evolved over many decades. Some of my lesser hobbies are subsets of the larger three categories. For example, I have always been a fan of the science fiction and fantasy genre.  I have read lots of books as well as enjoyed many science fiction television shows and movies over the years. One of my oldest friends (from Jr. high) can be credited with introducing me to science fiction literature. We had already bonded over Doctor Who and Star Trek. One series we read was the Dune books by Frank Herbert. I still have my copy of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin which she gave me for my birthday or Christmas many years ago.

Doctor Who books

Some of my Doctor Who books

So the major, sometimes overwhelming, collection in my life is my books. Some of my books, I have owned since childhood. The collection is always changing but I have thousands of books in my house. I have a collection of Doctor Who novels from my high school days. My first job was at the Worcester (Massachusetts) Public library’s main branch. Across the street from the library was an independent book store (whose name escapes me at present). The store no longer exists. However, they sold many of the Doctor Who books I own. They were the only place in town that sold them at the time. I used to go across the street during my break to buy the newest novelization or I would go to the store after I left work on my way home. I have contemplated selling these books at times, but they really aren’t worth much so I have just held onto them. Several years ago my daughter picked up a few of them to read and that was definitely fun for me to see.

Vintage patterns

Vintage patterns from 1900-1940

As a knitter and seamstress, I have collections of yarn and fabric. My workroom is filled with buckets full. I also collect old paper patterns. I have some that survive from the 1910s and 1920s. Of course, there are lots of knitting and sewing themed books in my library. There are a few vintage sewing books from the 1950s and 1960s. These are the types of books that were used in high school home economic courses to teach girls to be happy little homemakers.

At this point, genealogy is more than just a hobby; it has turned into a profession. (Sewing was my profession at one point but has now returned to the hobby status). Currently, I have boxes of family ephemera and artifacts that need to be sorted through, preserved and catalogued. I spend much of my spare time every day learning and working in this field. There are a few hundred books that go with this specialty as well.

Most of my friends and family share a passion for one (or more) of the above and I can’t imagine it being otherwise. A world without books is inconceivable!

© 2014 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
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6 thoughts on “Book of Me – Prompt 21: Hobbies

  1. davidmadison1942

    The book gene runs strong in both sides of your family, But now WE have run out of space in our New York apartment. So, the next best thing, the Kindle. 🙂

  2. NikiMarie

    I LOVE your Doctor Who books! I did not know such things existing as I’m recent convert to Doctor Who (in the last few years). Very neat!

    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      When the show was one during its first run, they started doing novelizations of episodes. the first few were published in the 1970s and featured some of the more popular television episodes of Tom Baker. I remember borrowing some of these early ones from the library. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, the BBC started doing novelizations of all the Doctors. My collection has about 75-100 different books and I know when I stopped collecting them (about 1986), they were still being written. I am not exactly sure when they stopped publishing them. Now they have Doctor Who books that are original stories using the different Doctors, but they are supposed to take place between the televised episodes. I have read a couple of them. For the 50th anniversary, the enlisted several big time authors to write short stories for each of the Doctors. I believe they are available on Amazon as e-books. I think Neil Gaiman wrote one. I want to read them but just haven’t gotten around to it yet!

    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Oh definitely, I have some favorites than I read once a decade or so. The really cool thing is having my daughter read some of the YA novels that I purchased when I was a little older than she is now. I have some first editions of Tamora Pierce’s work from the 1980s and my daughter just read them all.


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