Eleven Things About Me as a Reader. (Tamara is a terrific writer, by the way, and if you haven't read her blog, you should definitely check it out).
1. I was one of those kids who went to school knowing how to read. Actually, I have been a reader since I was a very little girl. The first book I remember reading was HOP ON POP. I vividly remember the last page- there is a yellow circle with red words. The words are all pushed together and I remember finding the individual words within that huge block of red letters. I haven't stopped since. I will not, however, tell the story about getting kicked out of second grade reading group because I told the teacher I was not interested in learning about short e.
2. I come from a long line of readers. My grandmother was the head librarian at a branch in the Chicago Public Libraries. My mom went to bed with a book every single night. Four years ago, she had brain surgery and has some trouble with her eyes, but she still reads two or three books a week. My father read slowly, and said he wasn't a reader, but he always had a book going. When I was in college and a young adult, he and I read John Grisham together.
3. As a kid, I loved series books- The Borrowers; Betsy, Tacy, Tib; Miss Piggle Wiggle, Nancy Drew. My all-time favorite was the Little House series. My grandmother gave me the series, one at a time, for every Christmas and birthday for about three years. I still have my Little House books. Somewhere, I saw someone sign the front of a book, so I wrote a note to myself in one of the first ones My grandmother saw it, and she started signing them for me after that.
4. As a reader, I loved, loved, loved riding my bike to the bookmobile. I still remember the sweet, slightly flowery smell of Mrs. Holly's perfume. After the library, we would always go to the drugstore for penny candy. That was my sisters' favorite part, but I couldn't wait to get home and start reading my newest treasures.
5. My sons are not readers. I adopted them when they were seven and nine. I read to them every single night, and we had family reading time where everyone had a book or magazine, until they were in high school. I still leave things laying around for them to read. Despite all of this, they do not like to read, almost never pick up a book or magazine, and it breaks my heart.
6. I have been in the same adult book club for about 25 years. There are six of us. We used to meet consistently every single month. Now it's more like every six or eight weeks, which makes me a little sad, because those are some of my best friends, and I enjoy being with them. Right now we are reading The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe. We are going to see Helen Thorpe next Monday.
7. I don't like fantasy. At all. Not dystopian literature. Not science fiction. Not even talking animals. OK, an occasional talking animal, but not many. I have never made it through the Harry Potter books, although I did see most of the movies.
8. Right now, I read mostly YA. That's because I am teaching a seventh grade reading class and I feel like I always need to be ready to recommend a book to a kid. Yesterday I finished Sunny, the newest book in the Jason Reynolds' Track series. I liked it, but I think Ghost is still my favorite. I'm currently reading Takedown by Laura Shovan, about a girl that wants to be on a boys' wrestling team.
9. Even though I loved series books as a kid, I don't read very many now. I do, however, go on an occasional author binge, usually with children's books or YA. In the last year, I have read almost all of Jason Reynolds books. I buy anything Barbara O'Connor writes (How to Steal a Dog is my favorite). Recently, I've been reading a lot of Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire). Next up is Ruta Sepetys. I heard her talk at a luncheon and she was fabulous!
10. I love narrative nonfiction. Last year, my book club read Boys in the Boat, about a rowing team from the University of Washington. I loved it. Everyone else thought it was really long! I also love historical fiction. World War II seems to be the period I gravitate toward most. My favorite book in the last two years is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
11. I've recently become a fan of audiobooks. I almost always keep one in the car. Audiobooks keep me sane in Denver traffic. They also are a good companion when I'm driving back and forth to Colorado Springs every weekend. I haven't had time to go to the library the last couple of weekends, so I don't have one right now. I really needed one last weekend, when I drove back and forth to Colorado Springs twice.
12. I love independent bookstores. I live in Denver, the home of Tattered Cover, and there's nothing I like better than spending an afternoon drinking coffee and reading. Their oatmeal cookies are also really yummy, but please don't tell my Weight Watcher leader I said that!)
13. I also love the public library. I had the same card for 25 years. Every time I would get it out, the librarians would ask me if I wanted to replace it. Even so, I hung onto it until it finally cracked in half from old age. The Denver Public Library is amazing, and I go pretty much every other Saturday. I also go there to grade papers-- it's just noisy enough to focus.