As a little girl I remember adoring the books in our home. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to understand the gothic love stories by Dorothy Eden (read them when I got old enough), but spent time flipping through old college text books of my mother's, or reading from a yellowed page fairy tale book. Both of my parents tend to hoard books, and it was a pleasure to study strange things like hypnosis, iridology, or pioneer stories in the cold basement of our home.
Babysitting money was saved for trips to the bookstore in the mall, and when that was not an option the Bookmobile came to the rescue of our little rural town on the hill.
I must have been about 14 when I checked out something different from my usual fare of teen romance. It was called Killing Mr. Griffin.
I couldn't put it down. I hurt for the teenagers responsible for a teacher's death....I hated the mean teacher (who was the spitting image of my cruel science teacher at the time)......I was disturbed and moved. It awakened a need for unusual stories in my life, a need I still enjoy satisfying.
Sometimes I read stories to relax and get away. Sometimes to glean a bit of spiritual or political knowledge, but mostly, I read to think and be surprised. I love books that make me cry, books that make fall in love again, and books that I am sure would offend any morally responsible woman.
The last book I read, The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is a celebration of the written word. It is a novel compiled of letters to and from a variety of characters. I fell in love with all of them, (even the mean snippety neighbor) and found the historical elements the icing on a cake of beautiful people living beautiful lives. It is a simple and understated novel that moved me. While reading I kept thinking back to stories I have read, times books have helped me transcend my lot, books that have changed behavior, and books that have made me a better person.
I am truly sorry when someone tells me "I don't really read much..." it is like a stab to my heart. Like a person who is not really alive.
I buy books. I trade books. I quote lines from books and copy sentences into my book about books. I give away books and judge covers of books. I drive my husband mad with all the books I am so sure we need.
I am not the brightest reader around, that I will admit freely. But I am fierce about the books I love, I dare say, that is just as good as being intelligent.
To see more of my reading obsession check out my Shelfari page. If you are on this site, please make me a friend so I can see what's keeping you up at night.
Swap your unwanted books at paperbackswap.com and keep every books in people's hands!