It all started in about 1991. I was eight years old and had just had my tonsils out. My favorite movie was The Little Mermaid and I had been promised lots of Jell-O and endless movie-watching while I recovered. But after about 600 viewings of my ‘favorite’ movie, it was getting lower and lower on my list of favorite things.
I’m not sure why, but my cousin (well, my second cousin actually but who’s keeping track) loaned me five books. Up until then I don’t remember being much of a reader. But all of that changed with my very first Mandie book.
What’s really funny is that my (second) cousin didn’t lend me the first five books in this series. I think I ended up with books 6-10 but I was nevertheless completely hooked. Thus began my life as a reader. I consumed the Mandie books, saving my allowance to buy new ones when they came out and becoming more and more invested in the characters and their lives.
An argument can probably be made that I started reading so obsessively to avoid other, more messy things that were going on in my family and my life at that point. But the fact of the matter is that I’m no shrink and I just loved to read! : )
After I started to outgrow my beloved Mandie, I started another series called the Twelve Candles Club. I was so in love with this series that I even started exchanging letters with the author, Elaine Schulte. Looking back, I so appreciate her willingness to take the time and energy to answer the letters of a young girl whose life she was affecting.
I always had a book with me. I took a flashlight to bed and read under the covers waaaay past bedtime. I hid a book in my lap at school so I could read when I should be listening to the teacher (not terribly proud of that). I read in the car, I read while I walked home from school, I even took books to most family gatherings and shut myself off in a room somewhere. I loved that even though it didn’t feel like work I was learning so much and getting to experience different times, lives, and places.
Fast forward to the present. It is 2013, I have three kids, a husband who is gone a lot, a house to keep, and bills to pay. Needless to say my reading time is limited to the bathroom (just keeping it real!) and those few moments I can keep my eyes open after I crawl into bed.
I still recognize that there is so much to learn from a good book—fact or fiction—and want to continue my…education in many areas. As the stacks of books piled up and toppled over, I decided I needed to get a bit more organized about what I’ve got and what I really think will have a positive effect on the little life I live here with my munsters and husband. So I busted out one of my handy dandy notebooks, rounded up all the books on my nightstand and kitchen counter and went to work.
I have books about money and home-making, books about marriage (and sex!), books about parenting and then Pride & Prejudice. I’ve read P&P about 12 times; I just love it and I’m due to read it again. : )
After listing them all out, I decided that some of them are just going to have to wait. Sorry, Jane Austen! You’re at the bottom of the list. I’m currently reading One Thousand Gifts and Miserly Moms. I’d like to keep myself limited to reading three books at the most at once, that way I won’t get overwhelmed. Because when I get overwhelmed, only Hershey’s and Netflix can fix it. And that seems like a step in the wrong direction. : )
Do you have a list of books a mile long that you’re reading? Any tips on how to prioritize what books to read first? Does anyone else have trouble finding time to read? Take books to the bathroom? That always reminds me of that “Seinfeld” episode when George takes that book to the bathroom at the bookstore. Ah, George.