Friday, December 5, 2014

Reading Counts

Like most writers, my love of books began at an early age. When I was small, my mother read to me. Constantly. Once I was old enough to read by myself, I read anything I could get my hands on. In my room, I had a small walk-in closet that housed a white bookshelf. This bookshelf was filled with my favorite books and my favorite book series. I remember hiding out in my closet for hours, surrounded by books and words and stories. Stories that took me to faraway places and into the lives of characters I loved.

I remember this book! source
Loved this series. source

I spent many hot summer afternoons curled up on my blue comforter, reading Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins, and the Babysitters Club. But once I hit high school, the reading stopped. For some reason, I became too busy to read. Too busy with things like cheerleading, soccer, show choir, honor society, class offices, and other clubs. The only reading I did was for English classes, and then I devoured the Shakespeare plays and The Grapes of Wrath. Others complained about reading and bought the cliff notes, but not me. (Okay, maybe I did get the cliff notes once or twice, but ONLY because I wanted a BETTER understanding.)

Needless to say, college wasn't much better as far as "finding the time." And then I was married and had small children. When you're wiping poopy bottoms and cleaning up slop off the floor, there isn't too much time for reading. But when my husband was in law school, there was a group of women who had a book club and that got me back into reading. Then more children came (and more children came) and all the while I WAS reading. To my children every day and every night. Books like Goodnight Moon and DinoTrux and Where the Wild Things Are as I raise my own little "wild things."

And then I heard the truth. If I want to be a better writer, then I HAVE to read. What a great excuse to pick up a book and immerse myself. And when my husband comes home from work, I get to have a conversation like this:

Hubby looks around the untidy house. "What did you do today?"

I hold up the book I've been reading. "Research!"

Can't get better than that!

What were some of YOUR favorite books as a kid?


  1. Looking at this blog brought back ALL THE MEMORIES. Because Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins were my top favorites. I was such an Elizabeth Wakefield (though I desperately wanted to be more like Jessica. I wanted to be a Unicorn so badly). I loved Nancy Drews (my grandma gave me the originals and I still have them!) and when I was really little I loved the Babysitter's Club little Sister series with Karen (Kristy's step sister)

  2. I slowed down a bit in college, but only because I was really busy. My favorite book as a kid was The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

  3. I liked the Nancy Drew books, too. I loved the Little House books, the Betsy Tacy books, the Anne of Green Gables books, plus all the Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary ones, too.

  4. I loved Ellen Conford. I think that's her name.

  5. That is the best reason ever for not doing the laundry! ;) I didn't read a lot of Baby-Sitters when I was younger, but I did Sweet Valley High. I was more of an Elizabeth girl. =)

  6. That actually is true. When I wrote romance, I felt like watching romantic movies was research. I actually was inspired MANY times from watching them. Now that happens often while I'm reading children's books.

  7. I love it-hahahaaa Research and you are right!! I read the Little House on the Prairie books, Call of the Wild, Mysteries involving kids(Mystery of the Green Ghost is one I think). I kept reading through high school and University but went into non-fiction from film, art to history. I should say I am researching but my hubby won't buy it

  8. I grew up loving books, too! My reading never slowed down in high school or college, but it's definitely slowed down this past year, for some reason. (Really need to figure out how to make it a habit again!) And LOL, reading as research is such a great excuse, for sure! ;)

  9. I was an early, avid reader also. I never read the girl books. I don't know why. I went from Judy Blume to VC Andrews. I read quite a bit in high school, but that fell apart in college. Now I'm like you- I boldly read and call it work ;)

  10. I too was an avid reader, read the same books like you: Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley, etc. Though now I am reading a little less than earlier, I make it a point of reading atleast a book or two every month.


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