Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Life Formed by Books

My favorite conversations with people generally revolve around books. Books they're currently reading, favorite books, books that have had an impact on them. But lately, I've been reflecting on my reading history. It all started with this book, You've GOT to Read This Book!: 55 People Tell the Story of the Book That Changed Their Life.

I initially checked it out from the library and immediately realized I wanted it as part of my personal collection and bought a copy. Since then, it's made me reflect on books that have influenced my life. I can't say that I had a "defining, life-changing" experience after reading a single book, but I can say that I feel that there are books that I've read that have come to define who I am as a person.

My first real memory of loving books and reading came after my 4th grade teacher read aloud, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. After that, I was hooked on Judy Blume books. I read them again and again and again. What girl hasn't read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret?

There was another book I remember checking out of my school library over and over and over again, Mystery In The Old Red Barn. I really don't remember why, especially since I'm currently not a big fan of mysteries in general, but I know my name was signed several times on the "check-out" card-oh how I wish I could find one of those cards with my name on it. On a whim, several weeks ago I decided to check Ebay to see if I could find an "old-school" version. Sure enough, I did-along with a second book. I am currently rereading it to see why I was so drawn to it. Infact, it's made me want to reread several books I read in high school-this time for pleasure, and not for an assignment. What will my adult eyes/heart get from reading To Kill A Mockingbird as an adult, compared to a teenager?
As I hit my pre-teen/teen years I loved read the Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys series. I still love series books to this day. As an adult, I love reading all sorts of books-fiction/nonfiction. So it's hard for me to pinpoint a life changing book, but I know I wouldn't be the same person if reading hadn't been as big of part of my life as it had. It was my way of escaping, blocking out what was going on around me-a comfort blanket of books...and still is.



At 2/05/2008 , Blogger janna said...

The Trixie Belden books are what started me on my love of serial mysteries, I'm sure. On the other hand, I never really liked Nancy Drew.

At 2/06/2008 , Blogger Courtney said...

I always loved the Ramona books. I loved the Judy Blume books too. During my sophomore year of college, I brought my roommate home to Minnesota with me and we spent a good part of the week sitting around re-reading all of my old Judy Blume books. I think my mom thought we were crazy, but we had a great time.

At 2/06/2008 , Blogger Bezzie said...

You're right, no "life changers" here either, but there are a few that I flock to even now.

I always seem to pull out "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" when times get tough. I'm going to have to dust it off here again soon.

Man, I read a ton when I was little, Beverly Cleary, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, a few Trixie Belden and some Nancy Drew...but my faves were John Bellairs and I remember going through a non-fiction kick where I checked out a lot of books about the supernatural/paranormal.


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