Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!"


One of my favorite movie heroines is Belle, from "Beauty and the Beast." I think she sticks out to me the most because of her love for reading. I could definitely relate to her, as I have always been a bookaholic.

It started when I was too young to read but not too young to memorize books. I'd sit with books on my lap and make it look like I was actually reading them. When I finally learned how to read, I relished the ability and got a thrill out of every trip to the library.

We had family friends who we would visit every once in a while. They had a huge set of bookshelves in their den with every children's book imaginable. I'd spend hours on their comfortable chair reading book after book. I looked forward to going to their house for that reason.

Meanwhile, I continued to collect books like they were going out of style. My favorite part of the mall was the bookstore and I'd get mad if we skipped going or if I was rushed while I was there. I also made sure to bring books with me wherever we went....vacations, restaurants, family gatherings, etc.

By the time I got to high school, I could never be without a book. I carried one around at all times. As I got older and continued with this habit, I'd get teased about it by my family and friends. I would have a book with me while waiting for a show to begin or during the boring parts of a baseball game. I also brought books to the gym and mastered the ability to read while on the treadmill. (That has come in handy, as we now have a treadmill in our house.) If Belle could walk through a crowded French village while buried in a book, I could do the same at a relatively quick pace on a machine!

My book tastes have ranged in genre from pre-teen/teen novels to horror and finally to chick lit. I also flock to authors like Wally Lamb, Jodi Picoult and Khaled Hosseini. I even like an autobiography on occasion ("Eat Pray Love" and "The Middle Place," just to name a couple.) If a book looks interesting enough, I'll devour it!

One of my favorite parts of "Beauty and the Beast" is when the Beast gives Belle his library. It was such a romantic gesture in the eyes of a book lover such as myself. The first time I set foot in the used book sale room at our local library, I felt like how Belle must have felt at that moment. I almost cried from elation! Adding to that mix was the (disorganized) variety of books at my favorite thrift store. I find it hard to leave either place without buying at least one book.

I feel that the interest I've developed for chick lit over the years has opened up my reading options. It's such a growing genre and I feel like it's going to continue growing in leaps and bounds. I enjoy having other people around with whom to discuss different books and authors. I like being able to share information about new books as I hear about them. I look forward to sharing discussions about all the new books that are coming out this summer and in the future.

So there you have it...My name is Melissa and I'm a bookaholic. I'd love to hear about the role that books have taken in your life. Please feel free to comment or share your own book related blog posts with me.

3 comments:

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I've always loved books and the good ones have stayed with me as I've grown from a small child to a mother and wife. They are rattling around in my head, influencing my life, and popping to the surface at the oddest of times.

I recently wrote a weeklong series on Coming of Age. Somehow in my writing, it was really unintentional, my character was reading a specific book in each chapter. When I noticed the pattern, I went back and developed the theme a little further. It really opened my eyes to the influence reading has on one's growth and maturity. If you're interested, you can read the series at: http://rachelspillowbook.blogspot.com/2010/05/coming-of-age-11.html

Meg said...

I'm with you: Belle is fantastic! I've never really thought about it, but "Beauty & The Beast" was one of my favorite films as a kid. I watched the Disney version on repeat and even re-enacted my favorite parts in the living room.

I've always loved to read, too, and Belle could have been a major inspiration for that! I'm never, ever without a book... even when I have no clue when I'd even have a chance to read, I make sure one is nearby.

Janine said...

I remember picking up a book at the school book fair when I was a little girl. I was hooked on reading then. It was my escape from the real world. To this day it is still my escape.