Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoughts on Reading

Reading has always been a part of my life. I’m in it for the adventure, the escape, and the chance to live in someone else’s shoes if only for 300 and some pages.

I grew up on an island but despite being surrounded by water, I would fantasize constantly that I crossed the prairie with Laura Ingalls Wilder. That was one of my favorite day dreams. The other was learning to fly an airplane with Amelia Earhart, and I was elated the day the world opened up for Helen Keller at the water pump.

I loved reading encyclopedias, remember those? We had a set of Grolier’s and when I was a kid I could recite all the different breeds of dogs, horses, and cats. I read about Peter Pan, discovered Pandora’s Box (a word of caution, don’t open it!), and learned about the ancient Greek and Roman gods.

I was never a destroyer of books. Quite the opposite, the thought of creasing a page or folding back a corner makes me cringe. You will also never find a bag of Cheetos within a million miles of my books!

As a young middle schooler, it was always an exciting day when our Scholastic book orders came in. The books would be lined up on the counter and one by one, in an orderly fashion, we would pick up our brand new books. I had a penchant for ordering anything to do with horses, biographies, teaching your dog new tricks, and craft projects. These were the days before Harry Potter signed on with Scholastic Books. I probably could have used a spell to make the line move faster!

When tuning in to watch Star Trek I was keenly aware that there was not a shred of paper on the Enterprise and in fact a book that Kirk received for his birthday was considered an antique. Now we have Kindle and the like but you can’t beat the feel, the weight, even the smell of a good old fashioned hard back. Never say never, but I don’t think I’ll be getting an electronic book reader anytime soon.

So, tell me what draws you to pick up a book and turn its pages?


  1. Escape! One of my first books that I read that read that was a series was Little House in the Big Woods. I can't remember my age, but that got me into reading. My flavors changed as I grew up. But right now I'm eclectic. I may read murder mystery then completely change to fantasy next, then off to historical novel. Then in between I read a thin comic one as a palate cleanser like between meals ;D

  2. I'm with you about electronic books!

    When I'm "surfing" to find a book to read, I open the pages. There is a certain feel I get from the print type selected and the arrangement of words on a page. I can just "tell"! (Isn't that weird?) I suspect I have passed a few I might have enjoyed just because of my first impressions....

  3. I love to browse bookstores and libraries. I just wander around and pick up books at random and read a few bits here and there. My husband jokes that I will read anything including a cereal box, but I tend to prefer mysteries and historical fiction. Love short story collections, and anything at all by Pat Conroy or James Lee Burke. I did receive a Kindle as a birthday gift. At first, I handled it as cautiously as I would a snake, but it's grown on me. It's great for waiting rooms and trips. And these 50 year old eyes really appreciate the fact that I can change the font size lol. But it will never replace the magic of handling and feeling and smelling a hardback book. Kathy