Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Once Upon a Time… My First Love.

I realize this will probably take my reputation from slightly dorky to Super Nerd, but I am going to share anyway.

My first love was simply…


As soon as I learned how to read, I became an avid lover of words... I read anything and everything in sight.

As a kid, I could not wait for my mom to take me to the library. I was this short, pudgy-faced little girl with thick round glasses and a blond side-ponytail, carrying out a teetering stack of books as tall as I was. I read every single one of them and begged to go back for more. When I got old enough to realize there was a "teen" section, I remember sticking R.L. Stine's "Fear Street" series in between my Babysitter's Club books to check out so Mom wouldn't see. She didn't want me reading anything too "racy" (yet she obviously trusted me enough to not check my stack. Ha!)

I was always the first to finish my 500 reading minutes in school and get my free Pizza Hut pan pizza (did y’all have that Book It program? I loved it! …but that’s probably what attributed to the pudginess =) Sometimes I even read my brother’s assigned books and then told him what they were about so he didn't have to! (he was in the grade above me)

Writing is so much fun, but I fell in love with reading because it is effortless, and back then, it gave me the perfect distraction. When my home-life was upside down, I was able to dive into someone else’s thoughts and imagination and completely escape my world.

As an adult, I am still in love.

I have had a lot of people say, “oh you should totally get a kindle!” and yes, a kindle would probably save a few trees and some space on my book shelf… but I am just not interested.

It wouldn’t be the same. I like the feeling of a book in my hands: turning the pages, slipping in a bookmark when I come to a stopping point... sometimes highlighting or folding a corner down when there is something particularly thought-provoking. I kind of think of a Kindle as electronic drums… sure, they serve their purpose, but they don’t come close to the sound and experience of the real thing. No offense to Kindles of course- I just obviously have a little sentimental attachment to books ;)

Besides, bookstores are one of my “happy places”. The smell of freshly-printed paper and ink, usually mixed in with some fresh-brewed coffee; it’s intoxicating… Seeing all the “New Release” tables, looking at all the authors’ hard-work and dedication paying off… it gives me this weird sense of contentment and longing. It feels like a second home. I am guessing it would be the same feeling a craft-lover would get walking into Hobby Lobby, or a tech geek might get at Micro Center (ehhemm. Goose.)

I am sure the bookstore owners around here think I am a total freak because if I have the time (which is rare these days) I go to a store and can spend hours walking around, looking at everything…. every genre, every title, picking up books and reading the first 6 chapters back-covers... sometimes dreaming of my bio gracing the inside cover of a best-seller ;)

That’s why I have to cut myself off from the internet sometimes. There are so many amazing writers out there. I can spend hours reading all of their stories. Seriously, I am amazed some of my friends don’t have a professional column or book out right now (y’all get on that, and maybe it will motivate me to do it too =).

So what about you~ do you have a first love? a "happy place"?