Sunday, October 24, 2010

Evolution of Reading

I've loved to read for as long as I can remember.  My mom, sister and I would go into the public library on Saturday mornings and stock up. Instead of getting in trouble for watching TV when we should have been doing chores, dad would yell at us for having our nose in a book. What else was there to do when it was -30 outside? Sometimes I'd get through 2-3 books in a single weekend.

Book reports in school were easy. The hard part was picking which book to do the report on. Does anyone remember the Book-it program Pizza Hut ran back in the 80s? (They still do it! I wonder how many free personal pan pizzas I got out of them. It's no wonder that English was my favorite subject in school. I did get in trouble a couple of times in class though because I'd be reading on of my own books instead of a chapter in a history book. (I had to find out how it ended and couldn't wait until lunch or afterschool!) One of my good friends from elementary school is also an avid reader. To this day, we still swap book suggestions. We can go for months without talking, but when we do, the conversation inevitably turns to what good books we've read lately.

The earliest ones I remember loving were, of course, the Ramona books. 2nd grade, Mrs. Gander's class. And of course there was The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High.  There was also a series of books that had a girl's name as the title. Each of these girls lived at a different time in history. Cassie is the one that sticks in my mind. (I can't find it on Amazon, nuts.) One of my absolute favorites though was the Heralds of Valdemar series. LOVED THESE BOOKS. If you've got daughters, have them read these books. Excellent.  Arrows of the Queen is the first book.  Then, of course there is The Oustiders. All of S.E. Hinton's books were great.

I'm going to stop for a second here, I'm going to be 35 years old in a couple of weeks (holy crap 35? how the hell did THAT happen? Sigh.). So, what does it say that I remember all of these books from when I was 8, 9, 12 years old? That is the power of books! They stick with you, shape you, make you a spelling bee champion, and allow you to kick ass in Scrabble.

Ok, moving on...are you tired of hearing about books yet? Sorry, but I've only reached like 6th grade!  I'm going to reveal a deep, dark secret I don't think I've told anyone before (ok, maybe my mom and my sister, but I can't remember). When I was around 12-13, I used to babysit my cousins. My aunt had a whole bookcase of Harlequin romances.  I used to steal them (one at a time so it wouldn't be missed...sometimes two, but never three). I'd read them, bring them back the next time I babysat and would grab more. I wonder if she ever knew. They weren't like anything I'd ever read before and I was addicted. 

I think that Harlequin romance addiction started my obsession for historical romances. My friend and I devoured them. The trashy-er, smutty-er the better.  Amanda Quick was favorite. I'd read a whole series one right after the other.  I hadn't read one in a long time until the other day while at Target The Valcourt Heiress by Catherine Coulter caught my eye.  I couldn't resist it. I reserved it from the library that day and read it in a day. (I'm a fast reader.)

A couple of years ago a friend started a book club. Mysteries. I hadn't read a lot of mystery/thriller books in the past, but it was a good excuse to get together with the girls and drink wine. Turns out, I like mysteries/thrillers! I can't do an entire diet of them, but every once in a while they are great. It was one of the girls in this same book club that convinced me to read the Twilight Series. I'll admit it, I loved them. Devoured them. Could read one easily in a day.

These days, I typically read chick-lit. I enjoy memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love and The Sharper the Knife, the Less You Cry.  I just finished Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Super good book. 

Every once in a while I'll read an Oprah book or one that is supposed to be one that EVERYONE has to read. Water for Elephants was good and I have The Help waiting for me to pick up at the library.

Funny how the stage in your life kinda determines what books interest you. I still enjoy a raunchy smut book on occasion, and a good mystery is a nice change of pace. 

Maybe I'll add a section to my blog that reviews books. We'll see. (I do need to start keeping a list of some kind, cause I've caught myself getting books from the library that I've already read, but didn't remember it until I started the book. Ooops.)

Ok, enough of this computer, I've got a book waiting. (Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner if you were wondering.)

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