Tuesday, March 6, 2012

For The Love of Reading

I'm a Reader...with a capital R. I have stacks of books in our home that I've bought or "inherited" or have been given to me. I love the smell of the pages and the feel of the book in my hand. I like the way they look whether they are stacked on top of each other or lined up like little soldiers. Books have been an ever-present part of my life. I remember being probably about 5 or 6 and going to the little shelf in school and picking out a book that I could check out for the first time. I picked one of the Dear Dragon books. And the next was a fairy tale about a fish and an old man. 

When I was in 4th grade I had the absolute best teacher ever, Mr. Wright. Every day after lunch we had downtime and he would either give us a word search puzzle which won us tootsie rolls or he'd read to us. To this day I can beat the best at word search just ask my poor husband.  And I learned to love Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I couldn't read enough. 

In Junior high, I was hooked on the Girl Talk series. I read lots of cheesy high school romance books I got from the Especially for Girls book club. Did anyone else do that? My favorite was Dream Boy by Ann Reit (Goodreads). I wish I could find those books. I'll have to keep an eye out at the goodwill (aka my favorite bookstore). Some of the other books I read on the school bus to and from Junior High and High School were Sex Education by Jenny Davis (Goodreads), Where it Stops Nobody Knows by Amy Ehrlich (Goodreads), and a lonely thriller Broken Date by R.L. Stine (Goodreads). High School was the same. I read on the bus (yes, even in high school I rode the bus). I read at the library. I read in my bed till I couldn't keep my eyes open any more :) 

Then between my last years of high school and college I began reading Harlequin romance. Everything else fell to the back burner I was obsessed. My favorite Harlequin author was Jessica Steele (Goodreads). I don't recommend them until you are an adult :) But I thoroughly enjoyed the hunt for all of her books. I had a collection of about 100 of that type of novels with me when I landed at college. They were borrowed often by dorm-mates :) Around the second year of college I had come to terms with the fact that those were not the books I wanted to be reading. So I tossed them. Just up and tossed them all. I don't miss them. That's how I roll. I've been known to toss books in the trash if I feel that's what they are. I know that's probably controversial but whatever it's my blog :)

This, however, left me in a bit of a dry spell. From around 1995 until the birth of my second son in 2000 I didn't read anything. It was very hard. It feels to me like my own personal version of the dark ages. I couldn't find anything to read. Dh and I met, dated and spawned in that time. It was a very hard thing to go to the library with him and watch as he picked up book after book and I couldn't seem to find my niche. It was a very painful time. I felt like I'd lost a friend and I couldn't do anything about it. 

Then one day, we were visiting college friends in Tn. I told my friend that I hadn't been reading in a really long time. She walked over to her bookshelf and handed me a stack of about 7 books. They were The Californians by Lori Wick, The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, The Testament by John Grisham and I believe there was one more but I can't remember it. I read each of the Californians series books in one day each. I confess that I read them out of order but they were still so good. Lori Wick and my friend, Barbie, gave me back my love of reading. (I've read every book Lori Wick has ever written. They are so good and pure and full of scripture.) From that point on I started reading every night at bedtime. I just read better then. The house is quiet, the hubby and kids are sleeping, no one needs me. I become me again. That little girl so totally excited to pick out a book for the first time. 

All this is to say, I just started reading Sean Donovan by Lori Wick last night. I'll always remember it as my first book after the dark ages. It just made me feel really excited and reborn. I've set a goal for this year to reread all of Lori Wick's books and 2 other books. I've read 1 other book and am on my 7th Lori Wick book. It's nice to reminisce with the old books. To visit a place in time where things were simpler. To escape. I hope if you've made it to the end of this that it means you love books too. And if you happen to have gotten this far and you haven't watched the video below, please do. I believe it won an Oscar? But even better than that it was so good I cried. My kids watched it with me. It's 15 minutes long but it's so worth it. Enjoy the video and thanks for letting me talk.

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