So much of my life revolves around books and that's pretty much the way it's always been. A couple of the first books I remember toting around with me were "Poppy," a book about a fairy, and a Latin/English dictionary. (Don't ask me why about the last one. I didn't get to study Latin until high school. I just liked that book!) I read a lot and loved going to the library. What a treat that always was. Fortunately for me, since I'm now a librarian, going to the library is a daily treat.
Although I did read a lot, it was not always the best. I loved series - The Bobsey Twins, Honey Bunch, The Happy Hollisters, Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Donna Parker, etc. I may have missed out on reading a lot of the classics, but I enjoyed what I read.
Until I went to library school, I pretty much read in a narrow range. I may not have read series so much any more, but I did have my favorite authors - Joanna Trollope, Elizabeth Berg, etc. My classes required me to read well beyond that range. What a great gift. I took a Young Adult class that really stretched me. Three of the best books I've read came out of that class - Lois Lowry's "The Giver," "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers, and "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer. Then in another great class we read a large number of books covering a very wide range of topics/genre - romance, thriller, detective, books "that made an impact," Christian fiction, non-fiction, etc. It was a great challenge that I really enjoyed.
Now, my book groups keep me reaching outside my range. The group at the Library alternates between fiction and non-fiction. The Facebook group reads an eclectic mix. Some of the best books from these efforts include "Lying Awake" by Mark Salzman, "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros, and "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett." I probably would not have read any of these books had it not been for my book groups.
I look at the pile of books next to my bed and in my office and marvel at both how much I've read and how much I still have to read (definitely more of the latter). I can now carry a load of books with me wherever I go thanks to my Kindle. And, there are times when I cram in every little bit of reading that I can - even in line at the grocery store!
What a great gift reading is. With so many books and so little time, I don't get to enjoy it as much as I'd like, but I know that it's always there for me. So, now it's time to hit the books.
If you'd like to see what I've been reading over the last few years, take a look at my page on LibraryThing. Look for Irishwasherwoman. What good (or bad) reads do we have in common?