My earliest memory of reading is sitting in my Grandma’s basement. My grandma had a collection of old Dick and Jane books she stored in one of those old-fashioned valises. This one was so old the leather was curling away in parts and the smell was musty and choking. I remember laboriously working my way through that stack of books. By the time I was in Kindergarten I could read solidly and was sent to the first grade class for reading…in second I was sent to third and so on until some type of equilibrium was found and I was able to remain in a reading group in my own class.
I discovered Beverly Cleary in second grade and C.S. Lewis in third. I worked my way through The Babysitters Club, Little House on the Prairie and Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. In sixth grade I was entranced by Tuck Everlasting and The Green Futures of Tycho. I think I was fourteen when I read my first Stephen King novel and was hooked. Chuck introduced me to Michael Crichton and John Grisham (okay, he didn’t technically introduce me to them, but if you love books as much as I do you know what I mean). I can’t begin to tell you how many memoirs I’ve devoured during a decade of breastfeeding my children.
Books are so important to me that a love of reading actually made it to the list of Qualities That My Future Husband Must Possess. It was right up there with a love of God and desire for lots of kids.
These days we hit the library every week, but gone are the times when I could leisurely browse the shelves for interesting books. Instead I am watching my children browse the shelves and discovering their own love of books. For years I have taken advantage of our libraries website and have been putting books on hold. It is a brilliant system: I request a book, the librarian finds it and saves it for me. The only downside of this is that to request a book, you need some idea of what kind of book you are looking for…
Enter Good Reads. How have I just now discovered this amazing site??? I have knocked away more books in the few weeks than in I don’t know how long. I currently have a list of 46 books to read. Every couple of days I pull a few titles from my Good Reads list and request them from my local library. As I rate and read more books, the site makes more recommendations. Now, every visit to the library is yeilding half a dozen or so books for me to read. And I am in literary heaven. For years I have toyed with the idea of keeping a list of all the books I read in a year. Why? I’m not quite sure, but I suppose it has something to do with savoring the moments, no the memories, I’ve shared with those characters. Now, Good Reads does that for me. I recently set a goal to read 50 books this year (hey, I didn’t set the goal until last week) and have currently reached 13% of my goal.
Are you part of Good Reads? How do you utilize it? Has it changed your reading? Feel free to seek me out there and we can share our mutal love of reading.