I both spent my high school afternoons working at my local library, shelving books and scoping out all the new titles. I loved being able to get my hands on them first! I was always excited when something new would come in that I thought my grandmother would love. It seemed like every time we visited my grandma she was curled up at the end of her couch with a pile of books.
Those were the good old days, but I still find that a trip to the library ALONE is an extra special treat!! Taking the kids is fun, too, but in a completely different and chaotic kind of way. Scotte and I often end up at Barnes & Noble for date night. I don't care if all of this makes me a nerd, because it makes me totally happy.
I have a serious book addiction for my kids now. When a Scholastic book order comes home in the backpack, I swear I am only going to let the kids pick one book each. Fifty dollars later.... I'm a sucker. They know by now that I will deny toys when we are out shopping, so they eventually grab a book and the rest is history. Plus, if you saw how many books I purchased at our recent school book fair...Oh, well, I can't help myself. I figure there are worse addictions.
After reading Gretchen's bookworm post, I almost immediately dug my two dusty boxes of books from my childhood out of our grimy basement. My only regret - I can't really see my boys reading most of these treasures, and I'm sure no one else will appreciate them. It was so fun to look through those boxes and reminisce, and it wasn't too surprising to realize that I still read the same types of books I did then, for the most part - just the grown-up versions.
Okay, here is my copycat version of Memories of a Book Worm. These are my books:
|Where the Red Fern Grows By Wilson Rawls|
This is the first book I can recall that left me crying hysterically in the bathroom. Until reading this, I had NO IDEA that it was possible to lose it over some words on a page, and to this day, any book that leaves me crying is a winner. For some reason, animal deaths always have the end result of me with snot running down my face.
I will always remember how the main character, Billy, had so much determination to succeed. I hope when I share this book with my boys when they are older that at least one of them will love it as much as I do. Most of my books might not interest them, but this one is a keeper.
|All Nancy Drew Books By Carolyn Keene|
|Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley Twins created by Francine Pascal|
I am sure that reading these types of books is also what makes me love reading any books now that are part of a series or have a number of sequels. I often have great remorse when I finish a book and I have to let characters go. I often don't feel like it's time for a story to end, and that authors just quit books because they are tired of writing them. Give me a good series any day and I can read about the same characters for months! Heaven!
|Ghosts Beneath Our Feet By Betty Ren Wright|
|The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright|
|Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn|
These are the first books I read as a kid where I can recall simply not being able to stop reading them. They were like an obsession! How could I possibly put down a book with such suspense, when the story was unfolding right before my eyes. My favorite kind of book!!
|Six Months to Live By Lurlene McDaniel|
|Encyclopedia Brown By Donald J. Sobol|
I always loved these quaint little mysteries. Unlike Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown wasn't jetting off around the world funded by her lawyer daddy. He wrapped up small mysteries quickly and in his hometown. I remember puzzling over one of his cases for days because the ultimate punchline had to do with when people trim their toenails. He was sure that toenails couldn't be trimmed after a bath because they would be too soft. I still prefer to trim my toenails after a bath, so I have puzzled over this for two decades in fear that one day I will be put in prison because my alibi will not stand up to scrutiny. Seriously, that was too much information, but you can see how his little mysteries had "perfect" solutions.
|Animal Inn series By Virginia Vail|
I LOVED this series as a kid, but I don't think they made very many - like 12 or so, which pales in comparison to my other collections so it left me utterly disappointed. I read these when I was sure that I would grow up to be a veterinarian. The books centered on Valerie, the daughter of a vet, and they were all about her helping her dad take care of injured animals. Luckily I outgrew the desire to be a vet...that definitely wasn't the future for me!
|Just Like Jenny By Sandy Asher|
|A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle|
|Follow the River by James Alexander Thom|
I like to think that my reading tastes have matured over time, but these were my early influences. I love each of these books. I am so fortunate to have a family that has always encouraged reading, and to have had lovely English teachers in high school who introduced me to more "refined" books. Still, I think what matters most is to read what makes you happy. Happy reading!!