Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

I love to read. I live to read. I read to live. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

When I was a youngster, reading was how I escaped from the sadness of being me, the kid who lived in the glass house, the kid who hated the way she looked, the kid who felt less than her peers. Being a preacher’s daughter on the bigger, taller, bustier side was not a role I wanted to play. But just like family, you can’t choose who you start out being in the world. I didn’t know how to counteract my sadness, and in fact, truth be told, I didn’t understand all the reasons why I was sad, or that it was about more than being the fat girl, or the foreigner, or the ‘pahsen pickney’ (preacher’s kid).

All I understood was the palliative, restorative, healing power of the word. And I gobbled up my medicine hungrily, whenever I could, wherever I could.

I read everything except horror…it is a genre I still do not read. Science fiction, fantasy, romance, westerns, spy thrillers, detective stories, war stories…nothing was outside the scope of my desire and my need. And all that in addition to reading everything in school…my history textbooks contained the kinds of stories that made the historical novels I enjoyed that much more meaningful. My science textbooks were the source of mystery and wonder to me. Mathematics was the secret garden I couldn’t enter because I didn’t know all the codes. Its language and symbols fascinated me though, and somewhere in my less-than-confident soul, I knew that if someone were to spend the time helping me to figure out how not to be afraid of the symbols and what they meant, I could be passing fair at math, too. The languages I studied all gave me words I could use to speak my truth, not only for oral examinations but also for communicating with people whose language I wanted to master. And English…English was the joy of my life. Nothing was too hard in English.

All these subjects had one thing in common…words. Words that people put in books. Big, ridiculously heavy books, small paperbacks, and everything in between. I loved books. I loved how they smelled, what they looked like when they were new, how they aged. I read voraciously without spending a dime until I was at university. Thank God for the school library. I gobbled up every free book that the school or public library gave away. And by the time I had exhausted their offerings, I was a freshman at university, with that whole library at my disposal, and money that I could spend either on books or on food. I still wonder why I never lost weight in all my undergraduate years given how much money I spent on books instead of food.

Which brings me, at last, to the point of this post. Today, for the first time in a long time, I held a book again. An honest-to-God, in-the-paperback, real-life print book! The memories overwhelmed me. It was a new book, a slender paperback M/M romance, and as I read, I was careful not to bend the covers, and I worked so hard not to dog-ear the pages or wrinkle them. It all came back to me…this was how it used to be way back when. I treated the books like I treat my friends, with care and concern, with love. My books were always pristine, whether old or new, even when I wrote in them. (A pen in hand while reading was something I learned as a child and have never let go of. But that’s another story.) And I was very leery of lending them to others because I knew no one else would take care of my treasures the way I did.

Wow! I was such a nerd!  I still am!

Thank God for Kindles and Nooks. I don’t have to worry about my treasures being bent or broken or torn. I don’t have to worry about not getting them back if I lend them to others. I don’t have to worry about losing them — what an epic disaster that would be!

Still, as I finish up the book I’m reading now, I realize how much I miss the physical book. It’s part of a past I can’t escape…the part that helped me make it to where I am today. I’ll have to find a way to keep my e-readers and still get my hands back on books.


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Autumn-themed Books

Searching through Goodreads to find ideas for this post, I noticed a trend.  There were horror stories, and then there was everything else.  Par for the course, I suppose, since this is the season of Halloween, with all its attendant ghouls, ghosts, and ghastly stories.  I was hard pressed to decide what to write about, or how, and finally, in an inspired moment, I decided that nine was a good, round, witchly (yes, I made that word up just this second!) number of books to share with you, in a mixture of horror and other, and in typical fashion, to make some kind of poem of them.  It’ll be silly, even stupid, at times…rhyming invariably brings out the wacko in me.  And my ideas of what constitutes “horror” are decidedly skewed, as you’ll see.  Wish me luck…and see if you can match the descriptions in the poem to the nine novels listed below.


September brings much more, you know,
than cooling Autumn breezes.
There’s Labor Day, and barbecues,
and final summer sneezes.

To keep your mind on other things
than the approaching Winter,
mayhap you should distract it with
light reading — get your printer!

A young boy learned to wield his wand,
two others saved their city;
an ancient vampire sought fresh blood;
a Creature’s not made pretty.

A woman loved a priest who left her
with a darling infant.
A vain young man did sell his soul
to keep old age well distant.

Ambition drove a warrior
to murder and deception.
A great physician “played with fire” —
it changed his whole reception.

There’s just one more — and different,
in quality and content –
A brighter color might have made
her stay, and give consent.


Copyright 2015

1.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2.  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
3.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
4.  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
5.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
6.  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
7.  Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
8.  Macbeth by William Shakespeare
9.  Dracula by Bram Stoker

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