Today is Book Lovers Day. And while I don’t need a special day telling me to sit back and read, it’s nice to have a whole day dedicated to the love of books. I’m one of those people whose heart breaks when someone tells me they don’t like reading. I’m a firm believer in the saying, “If you think reading is boring, you’re doing it wrong.” I am convinced that everyone can learn to love reading with a little push and shove. All of us who love reading can remember the things that turned us into readers for life. A certain book or series that solidified our love.
For some the love for reading does come more natural than others. My mother loves to always talk about my obsession with books, even at a young age, reaching for books at the age of one over every other toy offered. I read my first book when I was three-years-old, Bears on Wheels. Sure most of that “reading” was just memorization but this is still one of my mother’s favorite stories to tell (brag about!). Between the ages five and seven, I probably went through every single book Stan and Jan Berenstain had to offer. Twenty years later, these books will always hold a special place in my heart, especially The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit, as I still struggle with a nasty nail biting habit to this day.
After that I progressed to my Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy books. It was nice to escape the reality of being an awkward preteen and pretend to be Nancy or Harriet. Needless to say I spent a lot of time “solving mysteries” in my house.
Matilda will forever be my one of my favorite books. The movie is also one of my favorites. It made me realize how amazing it can be to see your favorite literary characters come to life on the big screen.
I remember reading Go Ask Alice, A Child Called It, and It Happened to Nancy. Stories about drugs, rape, AIDS, and abusive, sadistic parents. Thankfully they were horrors in the world that I otherwise would have been blissfully unaware of. I couldn’t get enough of these tragic stories, slowly realizing that life is not as easy as my 12-year-old self thought it was.
And Speak is probably the book that solidified me as a reader for life. I felt a connection with Melinda Sordino that I wasn’t able to fully get with any other character I’d read about before. I felt her pain and wanted to be her friend.
Sometimes finding your love for reading just takes some trial and error. Some people may not have any desire to ever read the classics, and that’s fine. As long as you’re reading, that’s all that really matters. Try out a few different genres to see what sticks. You’re never going to like every book you come across. If you find a book boring and think all reading is boring, then clearly you’re doing it wrong.
So in honor of National Book Lovers Day and because I am always looking for new books to add to me to-read list, what are some of your favorite books?
Note: This post originally ran in a blog I used to run about books and food.