One of our favorite go-to stories to tell of childhood isn’t really a story but more of a lifestyle description. When we were growing up, The Parents wouldn’t allow us to watch television on school days. That might sound like torture to an eight-year-old, but believe me, it wasn’t. Just like in a diet, it’s easier to deal with the lack of one thing by replacing it with something else.
We “replaced” TV with books. My sisters and I spent as much time at the library and the Barnes & Noble in the same plaza as our dance lessons than we did at home. We traded often, ravenously eating up every sentence. I’ve always been shy but books allowed me to become friends with the characters I read about and have adventures with them in their fully imagined worlds.
I don’t think any of my friends were actually surprised I brought a book to a football game.
I’ve brought books to parties. I’m so fun.
The moments I spent reading as a child are some of my most precious.
There were “the classics” – anything by Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Phantom Tollbooth…
The siblings that reminded me of my own sisters – The Boxcar Children, the little women Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Boy/Girl Battle series, Jane Austen’s Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, Lydia…
My original “strong female protagonists” – found in the pages of Judy Blume, Anastasia Krupnik, Pippi Longstocking, Alice McKinley, Anne Shirley…
Stories that broke my heart but have stayed with me, even today – Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, The Giver, The Outsiders, The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre, Prep, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry…
The one book that had a young Haitian-American main character battling not poverty or violence but the typical issues of any suburban child – Ola Shakes it Up…
Harry Potter, of course, deserves its own separate mention.
I’m happiest when I’m reading. I enjoy the journey of discovery and love the feeling of rapidly turning pages to see what happens next just as much as I love savoring each word to make a novel last longer. There’s no feeling of satisfaction (tinged with a bit of sadness) like when finishing a good book.
I have books for different occasions. Sure, if a particularly engaging story catches my attention, I plow through it but I usually have a few things simmering on the back-burner:
I currently have three novels on rotation. I’ve just started (I know, I know) George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones as my new commuting book. I downloaded it on the Kindle app on my phone for convenience. My go-to dinner book is an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) and hasn’t even been released yet (ooh exclusive): The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. When my day is finally done and I’m cozy and ready for bed, I’ve recently curled up with Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.
Are you a book worm like me? Even if you’re not, is there something you enjoy that you haven’t really had time to do lately like playing an instrument? Or sketching? Baking? Squeeze it in!
Your soul will thank you for it.