I’ve read so many books in my lifetime that I’ve forgotten many of them.Being a voracious and fast reader, there was a time in my life when I read three or four books in a week. As I’ve grown older and my free time has dwindled with working, having babies, doing laundry, and writing, it’s become far more difficult to maintain such a pace.
My reading has shifted from novels, to articles, and from series to blogs. I’m still a constant reader but I plan my reading time around the rest of my life, knowing it won’t always be this way. One day the babies will be in college and the laundry will be less and my pace will have picked up. When I’m really lucky, I get to binge read, like I did when I first got my Kindle. I wish I could read at the pace that I did when I was younger. I read anything that was written by Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary and my fondest first memories of reading were “See Spot Run” and the adventures of Dick and Jane that my parents must’ve had tucked away from their own childhood.
As a teenager I graduated to reading VC Andrews, Sweet Valley High, and anything that intrigued me at the local library. I remember reading some of Jackie Collins’ famous stories about sex and Hollywood, which was the furthest I dared to venture into the adult section at that time. I became addicted to anything by Mary Higgins Clark; murder, mystery, and strong heroines always drew me in.
As an adult I curtailed my reading as I grew my career and social life, and eventfully got married and had babies. But being a reader and a writer has always been a part of who I am. The desire to do both had never left me, surfacing during the difficult times in my life, and comforting me like a warm blanket and an old friend.
Most recently, I read Letters in White by Kathryn Perez, which told the beautiful and sad story of a woman struggling with depression, ultimately taking her own life. Books that make you think always get to me and this one did. I still think about it even weeks later, and I love that about this book. My most recent read was Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which I loved with every fiber of my being. I sank into the story as though it were my own, because in a lot of ways it was. I became lost in every page, relating to each character as though Ms. Ng had seen into my soul and created them from within me. It’s one that I’ll probably read again and again because as an Asian-American, a woman, and at times, a lost soul, this book speaks to me.
I still have many books waiting for me on my Kindle, though I fight the urge to #oneclick daily. While I adore my Kindle, I still love paperbacks and always will. There is nothing like having a book in my hand and turning the pages. The act of turning the page, anticipating the end of the book, is both disheartening and exhilarating and nothing will ever replace that feeling for me. Unfortunately my book collection has grown anemic over the years, lost during a time when I lived out of my car or lost boxes while moving from one place to the next, until I decided to and find a home.
As life has settled down I do try and collect the older books as I find them, C.S. Lewis’ books about love and faith, Anne Rice’s books about witches and vampires, the classics that I love so much and try and reread once every few years. I also try and collect new books a long the way telling myself that they’ll be happy on my bookshelf. Many are stored on my Kindle but I do dream about a house with many bookshelves, and books to fill them, in the near future.
Some of my favorite books are Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and the Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I love anything my C.S.Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Shel Silverstein. My reading tastes are as eclectic as my preference in music, dependent upon my mood and my situation in life. When I read a book that I’ve read before, often it reads differently to me depending on where I am in my life and I love that about books.
I love reading and getting lost in a story or in the characters and I can’t wait to dive into my next set of books, the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. I know that I’m about a decade later than most when it comes to reading these books, but I do tend to run behind at times. I’ve read all of the Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins but I’ve never seen the movies. I still haven’t read every Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling, but the ones I have read, I’ve enjoyed immensely. I have yet to see the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, but I’ve read the books by E.L. James. While I’ve seen a few of the Twilight movies, I have yet to see them all, and I’m looking forward to the books, which I’ve been told are far better than the movies are.
I’m looking forward to growing my bookshelf and if you look really closely at the pictures, you’ll see the original Leaving Eva sitting on the shelf as well. I’m beyond excited that I can put my books on a shelf with so many other amazing works and fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a writer.
Books are made of dreams and dreams are a beautiful thing to never give up on, which this author and reader never intends to.