Confession time, everyone: My to-be-read book pile is out of hand. Like seriously out of control. For as long as I can remember, I have loved books. All books really, no specific genre is out of the question for me. It’s a running joke amongst my friends and family, the sheer volume of reading material I posses. If the story looks good, the book comes home with me.
Or that was the case for a while. I’ve slowed myself down quite a bit (Brandy, I know you’re laughing at this, but I swear I have). Books, however, remain a weakness of mine.
To be fair, I started early.
I don’t remember how old I was. I couldn’t have been too far in to my school years before my grandmother (a retired school teacher) sat me down with the Dick & Jane early readers and patiently worked with me while I learned to read. Both she and my grandfather often would sit in their living room with a book and enjoy the quiet. They enjoyed their Reader’s Digest subscription to the fullest and when we were moving my grandmother to her apartment after my grandfather passed away (the Ice Storm of ’98 was her last straw), each of their children took a box of those Reader’s Digest anthologies to their homes. My sister still has our family’s share in a trunk somewhere.
I don’t remember much of my childhood, but I remember holding those early readers and putting the words together to form a story.
Fast forward a few years and things had taken a drastic shift. Shortly after my mom left, my dad established Tuesday night as Library night. Whether it was to give him a few minutes of peace or to give us some semblance of routine, I have no idea. Probably a bit of both.
We would all climb into the pickup truck and drive into town, library card at the ready. Our small town had an equally small library that sat above the municipal offices and fire station. Up the steps we would climb and be greeted with the smell of library books. As time wore on, it got harder to find something I hadn’t read that interested me. I worked my way through the “Choose Your Own Adventure” and “Sweet Valley High” books. “The Babysitters Club” and anything by Judy Blume kept me company for a while. As I grew older, it was Dean Koontz and Stephen King. To this day, “The Stand” remains a favorite of mine.
When I started high school, there was less need for Library night and we eventually stopped going. But there were always books. In college, there was less time for “fun” reading but I enjoyed what I was learning and read on the subjects that interested me. And I knew HockeyDad was the one when he bought me a book as part of my first Christmas gift from him, even though he is not a reader.
I still remember returning to university after winter break with a suitcase full of books a neighbor had sent me off with. The entire Anita Blake series kept me company while I was homesick finishing my bachelor’s degree. I have a soft spot for any book that is part of a series. I need more time with a set of characters than one book can give me.
With each pregnancy, I packed my hospital bag with no fewer than three books to keep me entertained between baby feedings and snuggles and visits from family. And during my mat leave, I worked my way through countless books while I fed baby in the middle of the night.
These days, the books are still within reach at all times. Cottage weekends will find me on the deck with a drink and whatever story has sucked me in. There is always a book in my purse to keep me company at the rink, whether I read or not. Never hurts to have the option available. And Christmas break? You better believe that there is an adequate stack of reading material to be consumed while I recharge my batteries.
Even at the rate I read, I have managed to accumulate a significant to-be-read pile. It is such a waste to have these beautiful stories, these amazing worlds sitting on a shelf just waiting for me to pick them up. So I’ve declared 2019 the year to tackle the to be read pile. I have an inventory of books on my shelves that I have yet to read. I’ve signed up with Novel Knight’s Beat the Backlist challenge and will be participating throughout the year on my Instagram. Got a to-be-read pile of your own? Why don’t you join me? I mean, really, there are far worse resolutions you could make.
See you at the rink,
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