I can't remember a time in my life that I wasn't nose-deep in a book, save for those few years between the time my daughter was born & became a toddler. It's not easy to read when you've got a little one crawling & walking around, getting into everything. It's even harder to read those first few months when sleep is such a rarity that the idea of staying awake any longer than you have to isn't the slightest bit appealing.
I have a few favorite authors that I read the most, but it's not uncommon for me to just scan the shelves of the library & picking out books that look appealing. Occasionally I'll look up the New York Times Bestseller list & read the descriptions of some of the books to see if they sound interesting. There is also a website that allows you to type in a book or author that you enjoy & it will generate a list of other authors/books you might like. Pretty handy tool, I must say. I'm certainly no book snob. I read books from a lot of different authors & genres, even ones it's not necessarily "cool" to admit I like. (My guilty pleasure is Terry McMillian. Yes, I've read "Waiting To Exhale" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back". Judge away; I'm not ashamed.)
The book I'm currently reading is PS I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. I've heard the movie is sucktastic, but the book so far is pretty good. It's difficult to read b/c it's about a woman who loses her husband suddenly & the way the author describes her grief makes me wonder how I would feel in her shoes. I couldn't even imagine the devastation. It's also a bajillion pages long, so this one is going to take me awhile to get through. So far, so good, though.
Before that, I read A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard. I love biographies & autobiographies, though I tend to stick more to fiction. That being said, A Stolen Life was VERY good!! Like most people, I followed the news about Jaycee Dugard from the moment I read that she had been found alive 18 years after she was kidnapped. I wondered how she stayed sane through all that she had to endure and how her children came through it, too. There are parts toward the beginning of her captivity where she goes into detail about how she was raped. That was extremely hard to get through b/c it was quite graphic & I have a daughter who isn't much younger than she was at the time this happened to her. I admit, it turned my stomach to read. That is just a small part of the whole story, though, and I'm glad I kept reading b/c it was well worth it in the end.
A few years ago, I volunteered for an organization called SMART (Start Making A Reader Today). I went to a local school & read to 2 students for an hour. I really love SMART, but it was too difficult for me to leave work for a couple hours in the middle of the day, even though it was only once a week. I was extremely disappointed when the school year ended & I couldn't sign up for the next year. I'm happy to now have the opportunity to volunteer at Rogue Book Exchange b/c I get to spend several hours each week surrounded by books galore. It's pretty much a dream come true, even though I'm not reading these books, I'm mostly just shelving & organizing them. I feel kind of like a ghetto librarian, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me! The folks who started the book exchange recently turned it over to a new Executive Director & board b/c they were ready to move on. At a meeting the founders held a few weeks ago, someone suggested that volunteers deliver books to local nursing homes. This idea has been popping into my mind a lot recently & I'm kind of hoping to be a part of that if/when it comes to fruition. I also signed up to be a book-giver for World Book Night, which is pretty exciting!
There is just something I love about the smell, feel, and sound of a book. As a kid and throughout my teenage years, the library was my haven. Everything in my life was tumultuous & rocky, but the library offered refuge from all of that. As an adult, it's less about escapism and more about entertainment, but the feeling is still strong. I appreciate books, even the ones I don't have an interest in reading. My kiddo is also quite the bookworm. Her reading level is above average and has been since Kindergarten. (Instilling a love of reading is probably the only thing I'll ever admit I've done right as a parent. Everything else is just dumb luck.) I never knew where my passion for books would take me, but so far I'm liking the direction.