Reading History

Reading History

Before 10:

 Apparently I was a book dork from the start. My mother used to read me 'Mickey Mouse and the Sorcerer's Stone' whenever we went to doctors offices. She still remembers me trying to find the book when we walked through the doors for appointments. I have no clue if we owned it at home but I'm guessing not. I know we did own 'The Monster at the end of the book', and she and dad would have to read to me constantly. They thought I was reading earlier than I was, but it turned out I had memorized the story and was reciting it!

My parents aren't readers. My mother was never interested in books much, and my father has never read a book that I know of  as an adult. Still, she fostered my love of reading. When she saw I was into it she bought me the hooked on phonics set before school started, getting me geared for reading before my age group, encouraging my love of books and writing. It paid off.

I remember being a kid and playing in my closet one night. I had a small sampling of books and was pretending to be a librarian, taking it all seriously. My mother opened the door and told me it was time for bed. I looked up and said, Later, I'm doing library right now, then went back to my books and just ignored her. I think she thought it was so cute that she let me stay up a bit longer.

I loved the school book fairs and my mother would always make sure I had money to buy books every time they came around. I would go in and browse for as long as possible, fascinated by the books on the shelf, always wanting more than I was able to buy. I adored Judy Blume, The Babysitters Club, and a few Sweet Valley Highs, but my reading level quickly advanced past my age. I was always obsessed with horror stories as a kid but wasn't allowed to see the movies yet, and I made up what I could with books. I became addicted to R.L. Stine's Fear Street series and Christopher Pike.

Fifth grade announced a turning point in my reading level. On a trip during the summer prior, I was at my sister's house for a visit and saw she had VC Andrews, the Dollanganger series. Fascinated by the book covers and the plots, and having seen the (admittably awful) movie Flowers in the Attic, I was soon able to get the series and start reading "adult books." I became fascinated with the writing style, the series, and the characters. I picked up some Stephen Kings and read them early (The Shining and Pet Sematary in fifth grade). I remember one day I was reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and my teacher came up to me, relieved, saying I usually didn't read books like this and she was happy to see me reading this kind instead.

I think reading really grabbed me around this age even more so because I had a lot of personal issues and changes going on. It was hard for me to deal with emotionally, so books were a great escape.

Teenage Years:

Sixth grade resulted in more reading and book buying. I remember for the 6th grade we had the reading pizza contest and I was being stubborn, not wanting to list the books I read "just because." The students in my class knew I was the one who always had a book and read the most, so they made a list of books they knew I had read and entered it anyway. My teacher called home and told my mother I wasn't participating. Then another time she called my mother and said I "read' too much" and wasn't being social enough. Hah!

I was still into VC Andrews and young adult books, but I was taking off big time with my love of horror and, slowly, romance. At 12 I was on a trip to my aunts in North Carolina and remember getting to read the two romance books she had there, my first Historical romances. I remember loving them even if I didn't fully understand them.

Book shopping at Goodwill became my goal, as for that age it was a huge section, a mini used bookstore. Since then the building has moved and they got rid of it, but back then it was amazingly large with plenty of books to get. I bought horror, romance, finally got into Harlequins, and Young Adults. I was a bit limited in my genre compared to now. I would get 20 dollars for babysitting and used most of this money for books.

I continued to read for years, and I remember a favorite hobby was laying out the books on the floor side by side just to stare at the covers. I think this is where the bibliophilia comes in, not just the love of reading itself.

My bedroom was a converted room from our old garage, and my mother made this incredible bookshelf - she took bricks and 2x4s. On the far end of the right and left sides, there was one brick, and in the middle another set of bricks. The bottom board held two bricks to raise it up. It did not reach the ceiling by far, but covered most of the wall. Each board was painted a different color, as were the bricks, so they were creatively matched. The bookshelf worked well and looked great. With the bricks being the support it was exceptionally sturdy. I used this bookshelf from around age 13 to 20, finding many years of use and love out of it.

I read 100s of cheesy horror, serious horror, romances, Harlequins, young adults, Archies, Garfields and all sorts growing up as a teenager. I doubt I'll ever remember them all. I also remember falling in love at this age with Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series.

In My 20's:

I made a huge mistake in my early 20's - I moved into a place with my boyfriend got rid of almost all my books. Yes, the horror of this still haunts me. What I'd to to be able to get ahold of those books again.

I was still reading horror quite a bit and trying to get my boyfriend into reading - I only accomplished getting him to read Phantoms by Dean Koontz. As for myself, I discovered a wonderful thing, even if I didn't know it at the time: Urban Fantasy. I read Tanya Huff's Blood lines series and fell completely in love. From there I asked an online group for other stuff like it - they then directed me to the Anita Blake Series, which I fell madly in love with. About 10 books at that time had been published I believe. I read the series three times in a row straight. From there I went to the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.

I also grew in love with mysteries big time. I started reading Agatha Christie, cozy thrillers, and paranormal mysteries. For the first time ever I became acquainted with Paranormal Romance. My 20's marked a time in my life when I stepped away from Horror novels and into mainly other genres for the first time.

I joined the Leisure book clubs and grew addicted to getting monthly shipments. Then, one day, for some reason, I stopped reading for a few years. :( I have no idea why. I would read perhaps 3 books a year and infrequently.

I moved into my own apartment and had a bookshelf built. I started reviewing for a website, Castle Dracula, with my best friend John Gugie. Then I started reviewing for another website. Finally, in that apartment this book site, The Paperback Stash, was born. The first post was February 8th, 2007.

When I was in my early twenties I started studying herbalism for a time, so collected and reviewed a decent amount of herbals and natural healing books for Amazon.

20's were years full of changes, finding new books and genres, and taking my first breaks and slowing down in reading.

In My 30's

This site has been around for quite awhile now, and I have been reading more than ever, matching the teenage years now that the 20's have passed. 

I am much wider in genre than ever. I decided at around 30 I would start reading the classics for the first time, dramas, and try other genres not tried before, including biographies and science fiction. I still read horror but it takes a back seat to other genres which are my first loves now, Urban Fantasy and mysteries. 

Also, from watching the show Smallville, I became a Superman  nerd and have gotten into graphic novels and comics slowly in my adult years, when usually that enthusiasm starts in childhood instead.

I became active at 31 into the Goodreads community, and now I own more books than ever, and my bookshelf has went from books on the floor, to the wooden/brick shelf, to the apartment custom shelf, to a book room where the room is completely dedicated to just books.