Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Reading History

I would consider reading my number one favorite hobby, but I really don't think of it as a hobby. It is a part of me that I truly could not give up if I wanted to. Reading is what I think about doing when I am in the car, at the mall, on a hike, or riding a snowboard. I look at book covers in any store, scroll Goodreads endlessly, and subscribe to every book retailer in my area. I could easily read over anything else. It's just something I feel I have to do to be me, just as much as breathing, eating, and sleeping is needed.

 I have been reading for as long as I can remember, but even before memories, I was carting around books at the ages of three and four. My mom loved reading children's books to my brother and I and I would memorize them as she read them out loud. Corduroy and New Shoes will forever be my favorite children's books, I even look for reprints to gift to friends at baby showers. We grew up in a house where our television viewing was very limited and our computer time had to be educational. Anyone remember Peter Rabbit in the early 90's? I was very imaginative, I would play with Barbie dolls nonstop, but I would also read. I would huddle under my covers with a flashlight, I would purposefully forget books on trips so I could buy more on the way, and I loved doing my Aunt's reading homework that she would be assigning to her students.

 My first book series was Nancy Drew and boy, did I eat it up. My mom had her copies from childhood and I read all of those, we'd go to Costco and she'd buy me the reprints and the newer stories, I could read Nancy Drew forever. This led to the purchase of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen series of mysteries, and all of the Dear America series. I loved mystery and historical books, both of which I continue to read today. I still consider a book I read at 7 years old one of my top five favorite books, Chasing Redbird. I re-read it to this day, loving the adventure Zinny went on. I was probably too young for it then, but my mom would let me read anything I asked to read. Seriously, by 14 I had read the Donner Party stories, which grossed me out, but made me wish to know more about California. My grandma would let me read her definitely inappropriate romance books when I visited her in rural Pennsylvania and my aunt, cousin, and I would share what books we were reading and send them to each other. I went on to read all of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants novels, obsessed over anything Sarah Dessen, and read any book before watching a movie based on it.

 At twenty-five, I have definitely figured out my favorite genres, though I do read anything handed to me. I like to turn on music, curl up in a big chair, turn on the fireplace, and completely zone out. I love coming home from work and being so engrossed with my book that I don't realize hours have passed and my boyfriend has come home. I love reading library books with their musty smell, buying new books just to crack the spine, and the ease of being able to just open my phone and find the exact page I had stopped on the prior night. I like historical fiction, romances, mysteries, and even the occasional naughty read. I jump at any opportunity to read anything dystopian and even went through a witches and vampire stage. My most favorite, however, is the new genre of New Adult. Young adult doesn't cut it for me as much anymore, but I like the happy medium between 18 and 30, a book I can relate to, a book with character's experiencing the same experiences I have. I have great joy when an author perfectly captures a realistic moment in a fictional story, teetering on a moment so true to real life that I think it must be about a real person. I embrace the novels that deal with true situations, from the LGBTQ+ movement to the idea that insta-love doesn't exist. This is my favorite kind of book, this is what I want to read, review, and recommend. That is my genre and I bet I might still be reading them when I pass that new adult age in five years.

 If you're a friend reading this, an author, or even an employee from a Publishing House, please send your book suggestions, ARCs, etc. my way. I would love to share my thoughts with you, because if there's anything I like right after reading, it's digesting and discussing a book over a cup of coffee.

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