For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. In fact, I love books in general – old books, new books, hard covers, paperbacks, and more recently, electronic books. I love reading magazines (for those of you who don’t have the Next Issue app and love magazines, get it now!), newspapers, and blog posts too.
I have loved reading since I was a young child with some of my earliest favourites being classics from Dr. Seuss. My little brother and I begged our babysitter to read And To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street so many times, she eventually had it memorized. When I got a little older, I loved to change the story line in my favourite picture books to one of my own. My parents often tell how I’d read these “stories” aloud (to an imaginary audience, I presume) which after a time, would drive them crazy. “Read to yourself!” they’d remind me again and again.
Eventually, I did. I started to consumer chapter books – first, much-loved ones such as Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona and, within a few years, series like The Babysitter’s Club, Sleepover Friends, and Sweet Valley Twins. My best friend and I even had dreams of starting our own babysitting business based on our beloved series. I was definitely that kid that got excited when the teacher said it was “independent reading” time, and was known to miss a math lesson or two due to having my nose stuck in a book.
Not only that, but while most kids spent their allowance at the corner store on candy, I couldn’t wait to get to our local mall to check out Cole’s bookstore. I’d stand there gazing at the neat, beautiful rows of books lined up perfectly according to their number in the series, and ponder forever at which one I was going to buy. To this very day, I can still spend hours in a book store if you let me!
The only thing that was more exciting than a visit to Cole’s was when our school hosted a Scholastic Book Fair. Tables upon tables with shiny new books all lined up and a crisp five-dollar bill clenched in my hand. I remember practically having a panic attack from worrying that the book I wanted would no longer be there by the time my class got our turn to visit, and the overwhelming joy I’d feel when I finally held it in my hands. In addition to their book fairs, Scholastic also sent out monthly flyers full of their books. While I don’t remember ordering from these much as a child, I re-discovered them as a teacher, and most any teacher will tell you there’s not much more exciting than a cardboard box with Scholastic printed on the side and your name on the label, arriving at your school!
As a child, I also loved visiting the local library. Back then, the library was an old building in our town that seemed so mysterious and charming to me at the time. I vividly remember that old book smell that I still love (fellow readers, you know what I’m talking about!) and the silent hush of the carpet as I perused the aisles. I remember being thrilled that I could choose to take home any book in that entire building for free. To this day, I love the library. I love browsing up and down each aisle, my head tilted, scanning the titles on the spines of the books. I love selecting books that have grabbed my attention and building a stack that’s ready for me to take home and devour.
That’s another thing – I always have a stack of books on the go. Some are new and waiting to be read, some are ones I’ve already started but haven’t yet finished, and there are always a few that are old favourites waiting to be read again. I love owning books and if I could my house would be full of bookshelves stacked full of books of all shapes, sizes, and varieties (I currently only have two shelves- both of which I have to share with my husband’s DVD and video game collections. Although I have mentioned to him more than once that we should get more bookshelves for our house).
It was rifling through one of those bookshelves tonight that inspired me to write this post. For awhile now I have thought of compiling a list of my favourites, but have always hesitated because of the fear that I might forget to include one of my beloveds. But thanks to apps like Goodreads which allows you to catalogue books you’ve read and books you want to read (among many other features), I’ve been able to keep track of at least some of my favourites. So although this list is flawed, not nearly as comprehensive as I’d like, and completely incomplete, here it is…
My Completely Incomplete List of Favourite Books
- North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person
- Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
- A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- The Birth House by Ami McKay
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
- The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill
- Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- The Night Circus by Erin Mortgenstern
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
- Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig
- The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
Oh and by the way, I am always looking for new book recommendations! Please leave your suggestions in the comments!