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, 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.


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:

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.