I love reading… seems like a rather lame introduction to a post regarding my undying love for the written word – specifically in book form. But it is accurate – my love for reading is unconditional. I get really amped up over every book I read that takes ahold of me (in a good or bad way) and I have been known to behave a bit like Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook when ranting to my parents about a book (I do this with movies also).
I don’t hate the books I have read that were less than riveting, bored me to tears (looking at you 50 Shades of Grey sequels) or that ended in a manner that I felt was inappropriate – because someone wrote each and everyone of those books. Someone took the time to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and pour their heart and soul out in order to produce something that would be judged by everyone who read it and if they were lucky – really lucky – that book would be judged by millions of strangers.
I love reading because no matter what else is going on in my life, no matter how stressed, angry, overwhelmed, tired, cranky, sad or happy, elated, content, relaxed (I am never relaxed) I am feeling, I can open a book and disappear between the pages. If it’s an exceptionally captivating book, then it’s as if time stands still when I am reading and I am transported to the time and place written about in that book; as if I am a quiet observer, almost close enough to touch the characters.
I love reading because I love the way a book feels in my hand – I tried reading on my former iPad (I miss you iPad!), but it wasn’t the same. I like the smell and feel of a book. I have bought used books from antique stores simply based on the way they looked and felt (insert judging a book by it’s cover joke here).
I can’t go more than a day without a book – which means carefully timing my library requests or Amazon orders and as a parent I have tried from day one to instill the same love of reading in my four children. When they were newborns I would read to them aloud from the newspaper, magazines, or books I was reading (as long as they weren’t too scary… didn’t want to scar them from the start) and while I don’t read everything aloud to them anymore, we do read together every day. They especially love when I use my funny voices and I especially love that in the past few years my 2 oldest daughters have learned to read (the twins aren’t far behind) and they love it just as much as I do. We have trouble staying under the 50 book limit on our library trips. Aside from taking their first steps, learning to read is my favorite childhood milestone – the look on their faces when they realize that they have just read the word on the page of a book is enough to bring me to tears. Or when they start to slowly recognize the letters and sound them out and shout to me from the other room, “Mom! This spells DOG! It’s right here in the book!” I love that.
This post was originally intended to share with you some articles I wrote for Untrained Housewife about great books to read aloud as a family and now it’s turned into my love letter to books, but either way you can see – I take reading very seriously.
And I thought I would also share with you two tools that I love when it comes to deciding what to read and keeping track of what the kids and I have read. Goodreads is a fabulous site that allows users to keep lists of books they’ve read and want to read, gives you recommendations based on your ratings and reviews and on top of that you can discuss what you are reading with friends.
Another fun tool when you are sad to be done with a book you just loved is What Should I Read Next? You simply type in the book you just finished (or any other book you loved) and they will give you a list of suggestions.
Well enough writing, it’s time for me to go put on some warmer clothes (it’s unseasonably cold in Florida) and curl up with my new library books.
What are some of your favorite books as a child or an adult?