Monday, April 4, 2011

Words, words, words..

My friend Michelle blogged about her new-found love of books and reading, and it kind of inspired to me to blog about my age old love of the written word.

I don’t ever really call reading one of my “hobbies” because it is just something that I have always done. It’s a part of my life that I don’t remember ever not doing. I grew up in a house full of books.

I read because I love it. I have had such great examples of readers throughout my life.

Dad read the encyclopedias for fun, and he had a musty old stack of paperbacks in his closet. They’re probably still there. The library was always there and I could choose any book I wanted to read. It was also right in my direct path home from school so I’d often stop there and pick out a new book before crossing main street for the last half of my walk home. I could read and walk at the same time. Probably not the safest thing to do, but the world was a different place when I was growing up. It’s weird sometimes to say that, thinking that I am only 32 and it wasn’t that long ago that I was a kid, but the world really is a different, darker and less trusting place… but that is a topic for another day. This is about books.

In Second grade my teacher gave me a book at the end of the year. My very first copy of Alice in Wonderland. I still have it. It’s tattered and yellowed from the years of love, but I have it. I remember Mrs. K told me that I was the best reader, and inside my shiny new book was a shiny $1.00 bill. Mrs. Karadeema fueled my love of books. Periodically over the years, from the time I left second grade to the time I was in High School, I’d stop in at Kaysville Elementary and see her. She always remembered me, and was happy to talk to me, and we always talked about books. She was the best teacher ever. I don’t recall another teacher in my 13 years of education that ever inspired me to read more then her. She retired from teaching several years ago.

My dad has handed me several books over they years. Books about religion, mysteries, histories, pictures, genealogy, poetry… When I was older I remember reading the first book I ever loved. It is called Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman. I read it in 4th or 5th grade and it impressed me enough that I never forgot about it. I bought it a few years ago

After that books came and went that I loved and didn’t love. Books I bought and books I never want to see again. It’s a bit of an obsession with me I suppose. I have been buying my favorite books since I got my first job in high school... so I have a lot. My book collection has spilled over the confines of my book shelves making piles of books in almost every room of my house. John hates it, but what can I do. I'm a reader. I tell him to read this book or that book, but they're mostly YA romance and he's not really into that sort of thing.

Several years ago, I joined a book community online. The website is I used to just pick and choose books by their covers at the library or at Barnes & Noble. But with Goodreads I can see what people I know are reading and also what the authors I love are reading too. That makes it fun.  
It is here that I can connect to other readers, lovers of books, and authors. Which is cool I have 412 books on my “read” list on, but I don’t think that  covers all of the books I have ever read… I’m sure there are hundreds more that I just can’t remember the titles of.  I'd suggest that if you're a book fan, or if you want some suggestions of what the people you know are reading, you should go join I'll be your friend. :)

I read an article the other day that said that book ownership is an indicator of education levels. The more books you have in the home, the more likely your children will be to finish their education. I hope someday, that the amount of books in my home will inspire my future generations to be better readers and to seek learning. That would be awesome.

Currently my favorite style of books is YA fiction. I don’t know what it is about the young adult books that captivates me. Is it the silly first love stories, the “that never really happens” aspect of it, the feelings, the realness of the problems, the relevance of their issues to not just YA audiences, but to me too… I don’t know, but they caught me.

My current favorite YA series/author --  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. The story of a girl and a boy and the werewolf between them. It’s a trilogy. Shiver, Linger, and Forever. Forever comes out in July 2011. I have really enjoyed reading there books. The story is good, the characters are believable, and the writing is really good. (I’m a bit jealous of writers and their ability to write the way a person really speaks. I have a few hang ups on this so I’m a little behind in my writing career.) I really do recommend this series to everyone I know who would love them. I don’t even want to admit how many times I have listened to the audio versions of the first two books.

Also, speaking of YA series’, I also really enjoyed The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen. I suggest these for people who enjoy good historic coming of age novels.

I also love the genre of Fantasy. My favorite series in this category is The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. He passed away in September 2007 and the books are being completed by Brandon Sanderson. I’m not a huge fan of his work but if he gets these books done then, good for him.) I have been reading them since 1995 (at least.) I’m ready for the series to end, but I think I’ll miss them when there is nothing else to look forward to. By the time the series wraps up (hopefully this fall) there will be 14 books to this series. These are some heavy duty books and there is a lot to remember and keep track of throughout the series, but the over all picture is worth it. I’ve gotten a lot of my family to read these ones… Thanks, Richard McGee, for getting me hooked.   

Other author’s I have come to really enjoy: David Gemmell, Madeline L’Engle, Lemony Snicket, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Baroness Orczy, Mary Higgins Clark, Richard Peck, Lucy Maud Montgomery, William Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, Edgar Allan Poe, Judy Bloom, Shel Silverstein … and so many, many others it’s hard to name them all.

I guess what I'm rally trying to get at is that... I LOVE BOOKS. There are so many books out there that I have yet to discover and have their pages flipped through my hands. I can't wait to pick up the next book in this ongoing adventure.

Hmmm... what should I read next?

1 comment:

Jennifer Allen said...

Have you read the Fablehaven series yet? Bryce and I both love it. (And it's hard to get Bryce to read new things sometimes).