06 Dec A Once Upon A Time Or Two Was All It Took, Forever A Bookworm
This is a snapshot of my brain.
In just about every corner and crevice there is something book-related going on. The post-it’s are of all the other stuff I need to remember to do. And yes, a random cat is in there too. But only because she cries incessantly to be fed—that, and I kind of like her.
Not that I needed an excuse to think about reading, but writing this blog has kept my mind all the more focused on what I want to write about.
Books and reading have been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember.
The earliest reading memory I have is “reading” the Mercer Mayer book, Just For You to my preschool class.
Reading is in quotations because I have no idea if I was actually reading it or just reciting it from it being read to me so many times. Either way, I can’t believe I actually stood up in front of people at that age to do anything because I was the shyest person that probably existed anywhereOnce. I guess that just goes to show the power behind words and the excitement they can bring 📚
Elementary School was a time when I devoured these two series. I’ll just go ahead and fully admit I was jealous of how cool all these girls were. How did the Babysitters have their own club that actually produced money? The organization, their style, cool bedrooms with snacks hidden everywhere—they had it all.
Then the Sweet Valley Twins. Enough said. Y’all know. The Wakefield girls were IT, which only led, inevitably to:
There was not a better series for junior high/high school girls. The delicious, soap-opera-y drama was top notch.
I can look at any of the Sweet Valley High books and instantly be transported back in time. I lived vicariously through Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. I wanted to be them. Sometimes Jessica, sometimes Elizabeth, but would’ve traded places with either at any time. Even the design of the front covers sucked me in to their world. Poor Jessica in Runaway, why was she running away, that expression, I simply had to know, and P.S., I still want her sweatshirt.
Those Super-Edition books, which meant an extra long book! Paris for spring break? Are you kidding moi? These girls. You couldn’t hate them, they were just too perfect. Teach me your secrets. I could barely speak in public, yet I was traveling to Paris (in my mind) with the coolest girls ever. I apologize for using the word “moi,” but I just couldn’t help myself 🇫🇷
The next stop on memory lane belongs to Christopher Pike.
I read his books in high school as well. They centered around high school-aged kids, but they were a little darker in nature. These books quite possibly were my gateway books to horror. These kids and the misadventures they got in to were a different kind of cool than the Wakefield twins, but I think that is what I loved most. The two series couldn’t have contrasted each other more, which only served to highlight their strength so incredibly well. Each of these series felt a little wild and risky to me. They each represented a world I wasn’t a part of in real life, yet each invited me in to theirs without thinking twice.
Last, but certainly not least in my high school reading was Danielle Steel.
I was introduced to her books because my mom read them all the time. I remember looking at the familiar font used on all of her covers and just thinking how grown up they looked.
And grown up they were. Her worlds and characters were often so opulent, which allowed my imagination to constantly run wild. I’m sure her books were the first books that had sex scenes that probably made my innocent eyeballs pop, but I don’t remember them being over the top. I would’ve been too embarrassed to read them if they were. Looking back, I’m glad my mom didn’t care that I read them because Steel’s books were a decent introduction in to not only books, but also life that was to come (not that I began living opulently, but I think you get my drift.)
Since then I’ve been a firm believer of letting children read books that feature situations a little above their maturity. As a parent I want to guide my children, but I’m not so arrogant to think that others cannot help in the process. An author has a talent for words and they may be able to say something, which may paint a better picture in the whole scheme of things. Ultimately my hope is that reading “up” will provoke questions that we can talk about together.
If you are still reading this, thanks. I didn’t mean for it to be so long-winded. Once I started reminiscing about my favorite books over the years, one book just kept leading to the next.
Books have always been my “most constant and quietest friend,” in large part because I was so shy and quiet, even amongst my few, close friends. It wasn’t until college and after that I started to come out of my shell. I still like to hang with just a few, very dear friends most of the time, and not surprisingly, I still haven’t shut up about books 📚
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles W. Eliot