I don't remember how I learned to read. Mostly, I think, because I have no memory of a time before reading was a huge part of our lives. My parents, especially Mum, always read to us. Me reading on my own happened organically and as a way to just devour more books. But even when I was reading a lot independently, we always had a family book going. Sometimes it was a classic, or historical fiction and related to our schoolwork. Other times, it was pure fun. We would read for 3+ hours a day when I was little. I couldn't even guess I many books we read as a grade schooler, but here are some I've always remembered:
Fun With Dick And Jane by Pearson Scott Foresman. One of the earliest picture books read to me by my parents. By default, one of the first books I read myself. And the book I taught my cousin to read with.
Frog and Toad and Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel. Both make the list of books checked out of the library nearly every week. Sweet, kind stories about the little things in life. And reading them older, tearjerkers (tear water tea, anyone?).
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The first of our 'big' books, and definitely the most beloved. I don't know how many times we've re-read The Hobbit, but I know I/we've read The Fellowship of the Ring at least five times, The Two Towers 3-4, and The Return of the King twice.
From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Road trip audiobook of choice, eight years strong. As kids, we always loved this book because Claudia and Jamie are sooo AJ and I. Only thing is, we have to have the audiobook. So much better with the voices.
Throughout high school, through now, I've dipped in and out of lots of genres. Classics have always been a major point in what I read, but the past couple years I've started to love genres I previously never gave chances to, like contemporary and non-fiction. Here are some memorable books as a young adult:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. No shame, I count myself among the Lizzy-worshippers and Darcy obsessed. But with good reason! If there's one heroine to base your life around, it should be Lizzy.
Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence. Yes, an author's biography might be a slightly strange addition to this list, but this book really was impact-full to me. I finished feeling so much respect for Jane...and with an intense desire to be as independent, quick, and individual. Her life story really is a great lesson in loyalty, doing what's right even when it's hard, and always following your heart.
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. Originally read in my quest for classy chick-lit, this book has become my life story in my head. Our heroine, Franny, is living in NYC as a struggling actress (it's not as corny as it sounds!). This book follows her ups and downs as she works hard, and doubts, and questions everything about herself, and figures out what love is. SO MUCH of what I've felt concerning skating and the legitimate-ness of doing it as a career was echoed in this book. And because of that it's been a huge encouragement.
Oscar Wilde said, "What you read when you don't have to determines what you will be when you can't help it." Words have power. And I am so blessed to have been shaped by books.
What books have been influential in your life? Share your thoughts in a blog post, comment, or on tumblr, instagram, or twitter using the hashtat #everydaygeekjuly. And don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 4, Everyday Geekyness.
Happy Friday! xoxo