Sunday Stories #1 – My Bookish Life: An Overview

My theme for Sunday posts will be Sunday Stories and in them I will tell the story of a book that means something special to me. Whether the plot was entirely right for the time in my life when I read it, or whether I felt connected to and empowered by the characters, or whether it was a thoughtful gift from someone I love… these Sunday Stories will be the books that are special to me.

Now, because it is Sunday and I thought of this theme *checks clock* three minutes ago, I don’t have a specific book to feature today. Instead, I’ll use today’s post to talk about Me as a Reader. I think it’ll help me organize myself for future posts and I think it’ll help introduce myself to you, if you’re new here.

And so, without further ado,

My Bookish Life

I don’t remember the first book I loved. I do remember being ridiculously proud of myself when I could follow along as my mom read me any and all forms of The Berenstain Bears that were out when I was little. (I gave my set of those books to my cousin and it is still a great regret in my life… though she’s a book lover now so maybe it wasn’t a total loss.) I remember when my mom thought my sister and I were ready for the books she loved, and read us the Little House on the Prairie series. My sister played on the floor, I sat beside my mom and tried to absorb every word.

I like to think I resolved then and there that I would read chapter books by myself one day. And I did. I still have those same Little House books, and I re-read them to this day.

I don’t know what happened to my collection of The Babysitters’ Club books. I suspect I sold them at a yard sale to get money for new books. I loved those books too. (Claudia and Stacy were my favorites.) I borrowed a lot of Lurline McDaniel books from my elementary school library, because I was addicted to angst and drama before I could define the words.

My fourth grade teacher had a little library in her classroom and we were allowed to borrow books to read on our own. She tried to get me to read Gulliver’s Travels but I did not like it, as I remember. I borrowed Bram Stoker’s Dracula from her when I was in fifth grade, but I don’t think I finished it. I liked the grown-up feeling of trying to read it.

My fifth grade teacher read to us every day after lunch. I remember her amusement when she was reading Anne of Green Gables and I pulled out my copy to follow along. She very kindly taped the cover back on the day it fell off, and that tape is still on my book.

I was person who loved required reading in high school English. I didn’t love all the books (looking at you, Henry David Thoreau), but I had favorites. Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World… to name a few. On my own, in high school years, I explored my mom’s bookshelves. I read Stephen King maybe before I should have, I was convinced John Grisham was a master storyteller, and I found myself developing a love for historical fiction.

College required reading was even better than high school. Effie Briest (and I was happily stunned when I realized that I’d read Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary and these three books make a literary trio of adultery in Europe), The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Billiards at Half-Past Nine… to name a few.

All these classics and academic literature are just fine but I love the fluffy stuff too. There’s no one better than Julie Garwood if you like history, fiction, and smut. And the YA series that grew into generation-defining entities (Twilight and Harry Potter, to name just two) are still like comfort food to me.

And now I’ll read almost anything. And this is me, in a nutshell.

Will read anything.

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