Memories when it comes to books are easy for me. I’ve been reading obsessively since I learned how to read. By the time I was out of grade school my library was almost as large as my parents and since then it has only grown to be massive. Books and reading have always been a big part of my life.
1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – I’ve talked about this before on my blog but I learned to read with Charlotte’s Web. We were riding in a car headed somewhere and I started sounding my way through the first two pages of the book. By the end of the second page I stopped reading out loud and was completely transitioned to reading in my head and worked through the book.
2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I was eight or nine when my grandmother sent me the Anne of Green Gables books as a kid. I devoured them and found my first literary sister or kindred spirit as Anne would say. something about this character really connected with me. I wore out two more sets of the books until my grandmother started finding them for me in hardback because I just destroyed them so quickly due to the massive number of rereads.
3. When reading made me cool – I’ll never forget the time I got my teacher in trouble because of my reading speed. Almost every year my mom would get the same phone call at the beginning of the year. The teacher would call and say that they were having a problem with me lying about reading. My mom would tell them to ask me comprehension questions and call her back. They would. I would answer correctly and they would call my mom back and apologize. In junior high though I had a teacher with a temper. She didn’t like me from day one. The first time we were to silently read came up. This teacher though didn’t think to call my mother. Instead she asked me comprehension questions and then after I answered correctly, called me a liar in front of everyone and was rather nasty about it. I was furious and told her to call my mother. She did, thinking she was going to get me in more trouble. Instead, they had me read something else and asked me to retell the story. I watched the instant the teacher’s face fell because she had finally realized I was in fact telling the truth. The rest of the class was in awe. I went from being a nerd to being kind of cool. I had gone up against a teacher – and won. I had been bullied so badly by my peers before that and this event stopped it all. For the first time in my school life, I wasn’t being picked on. Of course, less than six months later we moved and I was back to nerds-ville and bullies again but those few months were awesome! As a teacher, this experience really helped me learn to give kids the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.
4. The Portrait of An Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce – The book itself was never something amazing to me but until I read this book I really struggled with symbolism. For some reason this book pulled back the veil for me an I was able to understand the hidden meaning behind what was being written. It gave me a whole new perspective on some of my favorite authors.
5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – This book helped me discover my love of reading after spending four or five years doing very little free reading due to college and my music education. Well, very little reading for me.
6. The Twilight Series – Did anyone really think I would create a list without it? This helped me discover less intense reading. I needed a way to keep reading without it being in depth, heavy material with my job which was taking a lot from me. This book captured my imagination in a way that very few books had before and got me writing again.
7. Hitting 250,000 readers – When you hit a quarter of a million readers with your fiction as an amateur author, it definitely leaves a lasting impression. That so many people would read something you wrote is amazing. It made me want to explore writing more. While I have a long way to go, I definitely feel like anything is possible.
8. When someone you know gets published – A friend getting a publishing deal is almost as cool as getting your own – almost 😉 At least I think so since I haven’t gotten one – yet.
9. Every time I read to my kids – As a teacher, one of the best things I get to do is share my love of reading with my students. I get to show them that reading is a part of everything they do and how important it is. I also get to share how fun it can be as well 🙂
10. Getting my first nook – When I realized I could carry hundreds of books at once and never had to carry a separate bag for my books on vacation again. Overjoyed doesn’t quite cover it. Now if I can only convince someone to get me a simple touch with glowlight…