The only way to explain why I love reading is to explain my journey and how I got to where I am today. So hang onto… well a rather boring recounting of how it all got started.
I’ve read since about the age of eight. I was a slow learner to start with partly because of the required reading book I had– McGuffy’s reader, but when my mom realized it was difficult for me, she found another method.
Suddenly the words weren’t as overwhelming, I found it to be a challenge instead to read every learning reader she put in front of me. For extra practice I began to read the Hardy Boys out loud to my brothers because they didn’t want to read girly books like Nancy Drew. My first book set was Little House on the Prairie and we couldn’t wait for Mom to read each chapter. As the Prairie she described matched the t.v. series it wasn’t hard to “see” the story come alive from the page of that book.
By book #4 I was on my own and reading anything I could get my hands on. I entered a study where you worked on lessons and mailed it in to them. ( Yes, people it was the 80’s and there were no emails back then for most of us since AOL hadn’t been invented yet.) Then they shipped me my prize– a new book. Many lessons later I had started my library.
Growing up I had two choices; playing with my brothers or reading, since there weren’t many children in the area we lived in. Books became my friends, the most immediate problem became finding age appropriate books for me to consume. Bookstores gift cards were my only requests for gifts over the next few years. When I could spend $30-$50 and come home with boxes of books I was ecstatic. I not only read them, but counted the days until the next shopping trip. By high-school I was reading 200-300 books a year, finally unable to edit my books before I read them, my mom made a few rules for me to follow. No cuss words allowed and romances could only have chaste kisses. I felt free, there were so many books to read from now, but I mostly stuck to biographies and Christian romances. (No judgement please. Wink, Wink.) Then one day my mom picked up a biography of a WWII general I was reading and found cuss words in it. “What? Where?” I questioned worriedly. Then she explained ‘damn’ and ‘hell’ were bad words. ( Yes, I was very sheltered, but I turned out okay. Although I have a term for it now, Christian PTSD). Mom and I worked out a compromise, real life would have some language in it and as long as there was only a few cuss words it was okay. So I reluctantly took Patton off my reading list.
My clean and sheltered world took a huge turn when I went to college and my reading choices changed. School reading filled my first few weeks, but then a friend recommended LOTR to read, (Before the movies fyi.) and I had a moral fork in the road. See magic and wizards were considered evil and the LOTR’s was full of it. So on the advise of a wise friend, he suggested a the guideline I still follow today. “Does good win? Are you rooting for the good guys or the villain in the story?” Whoa!! So if the good wizard or witch beats the bad guy then it didn’t bother my young soul anymore and opened up an entire worlds of new books. LOTR’s came first, then the Wheel of Time and the abhorred Harry Potter books. HP entered my world as a movie theater manager and I couldn’t watch the movies without reading the books first. They did fit the basic rule of good wizards and love winning the day.
After my magical break-through, I learned to read non-Christian fiction and more romances. As my college years drew to a close my hubby introduced me to Ann Rice and the paranormal led to mystery and thriller authors such as Nora Roberts ( J.D.Robb.), Mary Higgins Clark, and Lisa Jackson. Then one day after several recommendations, I tried Laurell K. Hamilton and fell in love. I started in the middle of the series and a mutual friend lent me the next book in the series very cautious because people tended not to return them to her. She was amazed when two days later I returned it and borrowed the rest of the series. Sherrilyn Kenyon followed and suddenly my world was filled with vampires, werewolves and spicy romances.
After accumulating over 6000 books, ( yes, my walls are bookshelves), I discovered the kindle and indie book communities. While leery of switching over to only digital books, I now have a new set of book friends in the motorcycle club, paranormal, erotica and romance areas. Some over the years many have thought I couldn’t possibly remember every book I’ve read and no I don’t. If it was a great story and kept me reading and wanting more I’ll remember it. I go back and reread occasional books, but only once have I started a book not realizing I had already read it until the scene in the middle re-jogged my memory. They are standing at their respective windows and the girl looks out and sees the guy, but can only stare because he is naked. Now that was a memorable scene!!
Through the years my taste have changed, but sometimes I’ll pull out an old friend like Anne of Green Gables, because you can never have enough of the Anne girl, to read again. I disappear for a short while into their world, but mostly I love the friends who are always calling my name from my shelves, kindle and local library. Come visit us for a while. We miss you. You haven’t been on an adventure in a while. Down the rabbit hole I’ll fall into a brief respite from adulting.
I never know where each adventure will take me, but I’m always up for learning new things and making new friends. To say that books fill my world is putting it mildly. So may your shelves never be empty and your adventures never end.