For the Love of the Written Word

I used to be quite the reader.

In fact, my family still introduces me as the one who always holed up somewhere in the house devouring books instead of playing outside with the other kids.

The truth of the matter is...I haven't read much since I was in high school. Even then, most of my reading was required. So let's just be honest here: I traded books for boys...well, at least the idea of boys...because we're being honest, remember? Boys eventually became one boy man who married me and gave me all these delicious babies. So long story short, I traded books for babies. Well now those babies are growing up and not needing me for every second of every day and I have found myself reunited with my first loves.

Ladies and gents...I am READING again! It's pretty exciting. At least to me. And none of this Kindle, e-book, electronic crap. Real, tangible, hard copy books full of dusty, papery pages and blacky, blocky ink, borrowed from the hallowed halls of the local library. Can't you just smell them?! Mmmm!

Last year I tried to make my way through a list of 23 books some random person out there decided you needed to read to amount to something. I made it through about 5 of them before I had to turn tail and run. They were mostly anti-war novels and just so. darn. depressing. I can't help but feel a great load of guilt for hiding from this list. Am I guilty of burying my head in the sand? Of trying to deny the existence of pain, darkness, and evil? No, I'm not ignoring the bitter ugliness of the past but I just couldn't handle the emotional toll these books were taking.

Maybe I'll revisit that list later when four little ones aren't depending daily on my mental health. For now I'm devouring whatever strikes my fancy. Adult fiction, children's literature, juvenile fiction, the classics, old favorites, book club assignments. (Did I mention I'm in a book club? I'm in a book club! My first one and I LOVE it! Food, friends, AND books! Does life get any better? No. No it does not.)

There's a meme circulating through Facebook right now. "Name ten books that have meant something to you or stuck with you or something blah blah blah through your life". I've been tagged multiple times and I've purposefully ignored every tag.

Several reasons...

1- I have such a bad memory! I cannot remember most of the books I've read.

2- Most of the books I come up with are books from my childhood. Which isn't a bad thing...It just looks so...juvenile.

3- It's not a competition. But it kind of feels like a competition. All the sudden I am keenly aware of what a pseudo-reader I am. I am not the well-read lady I claim to be. Remember the whole "babies for books" thing I mentioned at the beginning? I'm a lover of books that hasn't actually touched too many in the last twenty years. The truth is out. I am exposed. I look like a Twilight fan next to a bunch of War and Peace intellectuals.

SO WHAT! As I embrace reading once more so will I boldly create and share my list of ten books. Do with it what you will, World.

TEN BOOKS. In your status, list 10 books that stayed with you in some way. They don't have to be the 'right' books, or books of great literature, just ones that affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list. 

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are few books I want to read more than once. This is one I've read over and over again. Such a treat every single time.

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. A childhood favorite. It makes me giggle every time I think of this one and the memory of asking my mother what "testicles" were when I misread "tentacles".

3. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. While not a favorite book, it was the first book where I learned about symbolism in literature, especially "Christ symbols". And that books don't always have happy endings and that's okay.

4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. A childhood favorite, but enjoyed multiple times throughout my life; once in high school when I used it as the basis for my biggest high school paper and again as a mother with my own children.

5. The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques. I loved this entire series. I remember very vividly throwing my book down with angry tears streaming down my face when a beloved character was killed and being amazed that I could become so attached to something fictional.

6. One Second After by William R. Forstchen. I'm a sucker for post apocalyptic material. This fueled that fascination as well as helped me to consider just how physically prepared I am for the end of the world.

7. What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. I poured over this book with each of my pregnancies. I was very honored to do some free lance writing for the WTE website a few years ago.

8. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. I remember my mom reading this to us when we were little. Powerful message then and now.

9. I'll Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch. I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Then and now.

10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I am in the middle of reading this beautiful book right now and I can already count it as a lifelong favorite. I wish I had read this in my youth and will require each of my daughters to read it as they come of age. There seems to be a powerful life lesson in every single chapter.

And can I just add as addendum: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Anne of Green Gables, anything by Roald Dahl, the Little House on the Prairie books, Stuart Little, and Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic (one of, if not the very first real book given to me, given by my Grandma Riley)?

Sigh. Books.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails