Show of hands, who here likes to read, whether it’s books, magazines, websites, or blogs? Thought so. Today’s observance is right up our alley, or at least my alley anyways: Book Lovers’ Day 2021.
As a kid, we didn’t have cable at home, and tbh, looking back, I wasn’t missing anything. We had network TV, and we didn’t get all of what we technically could get in our broadcast market. So to pass the time, I read a lot. Trips to the store were often topped off with mass-market paperbacks from the book and magazine rack toward the back of the store, and picture books for me until I graduated to the chapter books in 2nd grade.
Since the store we were going to at the time, now out of business and bought out by a chain out of state, didn’t have much in the way of chapter books appropriate for my age and reading level, my books came from trips to Tarjay. It was Baby Sitters’ Little Sister as my main go-to, along with the American Girl books, until I moved on to the Baby Sitters’ Club books.
Reading was a huge part of my life throughout elementary school, so much so that it didn’t take me long to have amassed enough reading minutes for one of those Book It! coupons for Pizza Hut. There was a location in our neighborhood at the time, and it was a dine-in location at that.
It left the neighborhood, served as something else for a state agency, before it became a local restaurant. Damn, I miss that place. To me, that place will always be a Pizza Hut, even though it doesn’t look anything like it did when it was the Pizza Hut on the inside.
In late middle school, the Harry Potter books came on to the scene, and they were popular among my classmates. I was late to the party for that reason freshman year of high school, admittedly for that very reason.
Trips to the library were few and far between until I got the agency and autonomy to go on my own, and since we didn’t have a computer at the time, that’s where I spent my time on the internet. I’d read books on particular subjects, and make it a goal to get through what that library branch had on it during the difficult summer after my first year of college.
After transferring to a four-year from the community college, my course of study required books, and lots of ’em. It was to the point where I more or less took a hiatus from reading for the first year or so afterward.
Then I got the reading mojo back, and it’s been history ever since. At the old house, my books laid around my room wherever I could find the space for it, since the bookshelf was used to store other things. For awhile, that approach worked until it didn’t, up until the move when I set books aside to either throw up on Amazon or add to Little Free Libraries around my neighborhood.
During one year in college, I tutored kids in reading from kindergarten through 4th grade. These were kids who were behind their classmates in terms of their reading levels. I found that while several of them liked reading well enough, it was something they struggled with enough to sour them from it. Totally understandable, imo. Others, it turned out they hadn’t found books they actually liked, and some of them were going through things outside of school that were negatively impacting their schoolwork, reading included.
In case anyone’s wondering, their teachers were aware of what was happening, and so was the school counselor, and they were dealing with it. I still think about those kids, and it’s been 10 years.
I was of the opinion that the kids I tutored didn’t have to be die-hard readers like yours truly. If they ended up being casual readers at the end of the day, it still counted for something as far as I was concerned. They may not like every book they’re asked to read in school, and they don’t have to like it, which is something I told them as we worked toward their goals.
Case in point: July’s People for a class I took in college. That book was a tough nut to crack, but I may revisit it and see if I feel any differently toward it.
In the pic, I’ve got a copy of a book about the List murders, which I took with me to the pool one year in the hopes of reading it, but ended up not since reading without my glasses is impossible at this point. Under that is a book by Charles Kuralt that I started reading before the move and haven’t gotten around to finishing yet, and Cupcakes and Cashmere At Home. The latter book ended up being a huge source of inspiration for decorating the old house, and this one too, btw.
If I can’t make it to the library, I’ll hit up the Internet Archive and find something there. So far, I’ve found Telford Taylor’s Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials. It’s quite the heady read, but it’s a good one.
Over to you, readers. Read any good books lately? Drop ’em like they’re hot below, and let’s talk! (BTW, it doesn’t have to be an actual book. E-books count too.)