I’ve been a reader my entire life . . . yes, since infancy (or so I’m told). By two, I had Winnie the Pooh Meets Gofer memorized. And for as long as I can remember I’ve spent more time with books than people.
My childhood was unfortunately pretty typical, my parents split up and my mom remarried. We relocated from the city to the literal middle of no where, and through all of the crazy, I kept on reading, mostly these horrific true life tales of girls overcoming great obstacles: cancer, working in a sweatshop, being bullied, etc. I guess their stories reminded me that no matter how horrible I imagined MY life to be, there were people facing much worse . . . and THEY had to live it out in a book!
By high school I had moved on to the classics. Unlike most of my classmates I found that I actually liked reading the assignments. I got lost in Grapes of Wrath, I was inspired by A Separate Piece, and Shakespeare, O Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet was so much more than the one boob you got to see in the movie. My classmates always looked at me a bit funny, but when I chose to read War and Peace for accelerated reading (mostly so I could get all of the points I needed for the entire year, and then read what I wanted without having to take a test) they voted me most likely to succeed . . . at getting lost in a book anyway!
When I went to college I discovered that with all of the “coursework” I had to do that there was little time for reading for pleasure. Yet, somehow during all of my “studies” I discovered Harry Potter, and realized that what I really love to read is middle-grade and young adult fiction . . . and still the classics of course.
After college I became a series junky. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Sisters Grimm, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and yes, I will own it . . . Twilight. The list goes on and on and on. When my husband started writing middle grade and YA fiction, I found a new favorite author, but soon found that editing books and reading for pleasure are two entirely different things.
When our daughter was born, I rediscovered Jane Austen. I found that getting lost in the familiar tales was a great way for a very tired brain to regroup. I even read them aloud to her while she was eating, and of course we watched the movies together during those late-late nights and early, oh so very early mornings. Now that our son is here (yes, he suffered through Jane Austen as an infant as well), we are finding that books are one way that our family can bond.
It’s amazing to share what you love with your family, and now I’m bringing it to you! Sometimes like our library bag . . . stuffed to the gills with everything from Super Diaper Baby to Thomas the Train to Stephen King to Bad Unicorn (my new favorite “bizarro fiction” series). And occasionally just that one book that you’ve been on hold for, for the last six months, and it’s finally your turn! So stay tuned to find out if it was worth hiding in the bathroom to finish my latest book. Busy Mom’s Guide To Reading.