I can’t think of anything better to do

Everyone who knows me, knows that I’m a serious reader.

I always loved reading. My sister & brother weren’t born until I was 11 & 13 yrs old, so my house was pretty quiet. I don’t know that that made reading easier, but I suspect it did! I clearly remember my Mom & aunts & grandmother discussing books. In fact, I remember what many of those books were: The Thornbirds, Sophie’s Choice, & a Michener (Alaska? Chesapeake?) (I’ve never read any of these, even though I’m pretty sure I would love The Thornbirds and Sophie’s Choice!). And another aunt gave me my first “trash” book, Flowers in the Attic (which I first read at 14 & then at least 2 dozen more times…a year or 2 ago my teenage daughter was thick into Twilight, & trying to get her away from it a got her FitA…I read it too, wondering if it could be as good at 37 as it was at 17…It was!!)

Original cover of Flowers in the Attic.

Image via Wikipedia

Besides my Mom’s example, I also remember seeing my Dad read. Once I took a book from his night table & read it, so I KNOW that he occasionally read fiction, but mostly he read/reads non-fiction. And most of it is political. One of the books on my https://peanutbutterinjerasandwiches.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/required-reading/list Endurance, is a recommendation of his.

When I was growing up reading wasn’t homework. Reading wasn’t something I “had” to do, it was something I got yelled at for doing when I was supposed to be sleeping hours ago. We went for trips to the library regularly. We’d check out used bookstores when we vacationed. When visiting people’s homes, their bookcase would be inspected. I remember babysitting for someone’s sleeping children, bored out of my mind, & not able to find anything to read in the house. I decided not to sit for them again.

Almost 4 years ago I started a reading journal. It’s a list of titles & authors, the month/year, & a short thought about the book. I just love entering books into it! It would be nice if someone occasionally gave me a sticker for how many titles I’ve finished. Or a thumb’s up on my selection of great literature. Oddly, that rarely happens. Okay. Never. Anyway, I had been reading about 55-65 books a year, but this year it has been much less. I’ve got….3? days left of 2011, I don’t think I’ll be adding more than one more.

So has all this reading benefited me? I do think I’m pretty smart! And I know about a lot of things/history/cultures I otherwise wouldn’t. AND, I had a great job running a reading supplementation program at the elementary school for several years. Oh, when I say “job”, I mean a volunteer job. But it did, eventually, (like 5 years), make me the first pick for a paying part time job as a reading aid.

Yes, I realize that some people just aren’t readers. But honestly, I don’t “get” it! They are missing out!

Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City,...

Image via Wikipedia

And, BTW, when we have out-of-town guests, I’m very likely to take (drag) them to the Salt Lake City Library.


Required Reading

Yes, I have a Required Reading List. Don’t you? These are books that I strongly believe everyone should read. If you have a suggestion of how I can enforce this, please share.

Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It, David Batsonehttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/178477.Not_for_Sale

The Lorax, Dr Seus http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7784.The_Lorax

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/191632.The_Womanly_Art_of_Breastfeeding

Eleni, Nick Gage http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/224285.Eleni

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1519922.Endurance

The Gulag Archipelego (all 3 volumes), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/914229.The_Gulag_Archipelago_1918_1956

There is No Me Without You, Melissa Faye Green http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/119729.There_Is_No_Me_Without_You

Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/385254.Fast_Food_Nation

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/152.Anna_Karenina

Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M Auel http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1295.The_Clan_of_the_Cave_Bear

ThePoisonwoodBible,BarbaraKingsolver  (*this is my FAVORITE book)http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7244.The_Poisonwood_Bible

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4395.The_Grapes_of_Wrath