Ever since I learned how to read, I have always had my nose buried in a book. I started out with comics, then later, fairy tales, moving on to Sweet Valley and Sweet Dreams (I miss them), R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, later to Mills and Boon, historical and then the thicker suspense thrillers from a wide variety of authors.
The other day, I read on freshly pressed a blog about being OCD about books, and it was like reading my own thoughts. I used to be OCD about books, being careful not to line its spine or cause creases that would alter its look from when I originally bought it. I remember how furious I was at a friend who returned one of my books in less than perfect condition when I was in grade school. I must’ve had smoke shooting out of my ears. Anyways, I’m glad to report that I’ve mellowed somewhat and now purchase some of my literary materials from surplus bookstores — yes, even those that would not have passed muster during my earlier OCD days, and some of my best buys are actually from there.
I’ve read E-books time and again but I really haven’t found quite the taste for it as the real deal. Books really aren’t that environment friendly (I’m sorry). It’s bulky and after a while it accumulates and sort of takes over your room, but I love turning the pages, absorbing every word, especially if the author is good and just getting lost in whatever shenanigan the lead character is in at the moment. And that new book smell that permeats my senses everytime I step into a bookstore? It’s better than any perfume. Reels me in every single time. My wallet, and sometimes credit card, hates it. It’s my guilty pleasure and makes up most of my impulse buys.
Some of my best vocabulary, and writing style, I must admit came from the vast amounts of time I clocked in reading. While I read mostly for entertainment rather than technique, I appreciate literary works that surprise me, challenge me into thinking and introduce me to a different time, a different place and a different way of life from what I am accustomed. When I read a really good book, I think to myself that someday, I would like to be that good, think of the same brilliant idea for a plot, and execute the story in the same compelling way. It actually challenges me to become a better writer.
Its funny because I remember when I started to read, my mom was fully supportive of me. When she realized that I had become a bookworm, it was too late. She would sneak into my room if I was still reading at 1 am, and shut the lights on me, forcing me to let go of the chapter and go to sleep. After she leaves, I get up and go to toilet to secretly continue reading. Sure, it isn’t the most conducive reading location but hey, when I’m in the zone, its still better than letting go. After some time, my mom finally gave up and left me to my reading. Years later, I have bad eyesight, steadily growing worse over the years, but it hasn’t stopped me from my habit. When I’m 80, I think I may still want to read.
I love purchasing books by the bundle during booksales and stacking them in my to be read (TBR) pile. I sometimes lose track of them because my room is so messy but it actually heightens my excitement to start on them when I rediscover them after a week, a month or two 😉 I love collecting series but I’ve kind of refrained from it of late because its kind of taxing on the finances. I only give in when its on sale. Reading is magical, and I’m not only talking about Harry Potter sort of magic. It opens doors to endless possibilities and gives the imagination the license to go wild, and every book is a new experience — sometimes good, sometimes bad but then again, who can win ’em all?
Here’s a list of my favorite authors. You might want to check out some of their titles.
1. Susan Elizabeth Phillips (I’m linking you to her page cos I think all her books are great, click here)
2. J.K. Rowling (duh!) (Harry Potter series)
3. Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, check out my review here)
4. Dan Brown (I actually thought that his other books, Deception Point, Digital Fortress and Angels and Demons were better than his megahit The Da Vinci Code)
5. JRR Tolkien (I’ve only read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy but it blew me away)
6. Gregory Maguire (I love Wicked! Still reading Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister)
7. Stephen King (The Running Man, The Stand)
8. Julia Quinn (The Bridgerton series, and other historical romances)
9. Judith McNaught (Something Wonderful, Almost Perfect)
10. Christopher Pike (Master of Murder, The Last Vampire reprinted as Thirst .. take note that this was way before Twilight came out)
11. Meg Cabot (She Came All the Way, Every Boy Has One)
12. Francine Pascal (creator of the Sweet Valley franchise)
So, what about you? What’s your favorite thing about books? Feel free to share 🙂