I’m a bookworm. I literally looked like one when I was younger too – thick, black glasses and all. I love to read. I could spend all day with a good book.
I grew up watching Reading Rainbow (and sang the theme like it was a hit R&B song). It fostered my love for reading. I also participated in all of the literacy programs at school, especially Book It. It was a contest and each person that reached a certain level of books read, received a gift certificate to Pizza Hut. Well, you ain’t got to tell me twice! I read so many books and ate so many personal pan pizzas in one school year, that both my brain and my belly grew exponentially.
One of the most influential times of my life was when a family friend came to live with us for a while. She loved to read as well. She often shared books with me that she thought I would enjoy. Books like, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Sounder. She was right, I cherished those books. But I was also intrigued by the other books she had…
She was an avid romance novel reader and kept a huge box of them in our attic. I was mesmerized by the pictures on the covers and soon my 13 year old curiosity took over me. I read one of her beloved books and was hooked. I went through the whole box that summer! My mother was concerned as to why I spent so much time indoors and not out playing with friends (ok, the one friend that I had). I assured her that I was not bored at all and was finding quality ways to spend my time (wink).
I got my first job the next summer. Guess where? The library! I was in Heaven! I got to re-shelve books, help patrons look for books, repair old ones and process new ones. Sure we had a few weird (and smelly) patrons and going into the dark archives room was a little scary, but overall it was one of my favorite jobs to date. I worked there until I went away to college.
In college, I only had time to read what was assigned in class. That soured reading for me and I eventually stopped reading books for pleasure altogether. Needless to say, it wasn’t one of the happiest times of my life.
Luckily, a few years ago, my sister (from another mister) started a book club. It has rekindled my love for reading. We meet about every six to eight weeks. We take turns suggesting books and we vote on which book to read. We then discuss it at a new restaurant chosen by whomever’s book it was. We’ve often eaten at restaurants based on the theme of the book. After we read Americanah, we ate at a Nigerian restaurant. When it was a British book, we ate at a pub, and so on. I adore our book club and the amazing women in it.
I recently got a virtual internship at a literary agency. I get to read manuscripts and write reader’s report on each one. I share my opinion of the book and whether the agents should represent the author. I also get to attend workshops on topics like publishing and book to TV/Film deals. It’s really cool.
FYI, I prefer an actual book as opposed to an ebook. The only plus to an ebook, to me, is the dictionary. Other than that, I love holding a book in my hand. I was on the train once when I opened a hardcover book and the woman next to me commented on the sound. She said that she hadn’t heard a book open in a while. We laughed about it and agreed that books were amazing and that library books were especially relevant.
There is something about opening a book for the first time that still gives me goosebumps. I just feel like I am starting a new adventure every time. The other day someone said that they enjoy “the hospitality of a book.” I like that. It’s so true. Books invite you into their homes, tell you to have a seat and offer you a drink. I want to keep drinking in each story for decades to come. I look forward to the day that I can invite you into my own books as well.