Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Pretend I Did This Two Weeks Ago...

So this Top Ten topic, Top Ten Best Bookish Memories, was from two weeks ago and I really wanted to participate because I LOVED everyone's answers, but just didn't get myself motivated enough then.  So now, I'm going to take that plunge and write about some of my favorite bookish memories. 

1 - One of my earliest is not a one time memory, but more of a combination of several.  I remember reading The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner and just adoring the idea of being a runaway kid and living in a boxcar (this was fueled by the creepy and very dirty boxcar parked in the fields of my grandmother's house).  Mixed with that was one of my other early favorite books with a similar runaway kid theme - Enchantress of Crumbledown by Donald R. Marshall, now out of print. There was just something about runaways that sounded so glamorous and exciting, but in real life would definitely NOT have been.  

2 - A number of years later, I recall discovering (and devouring) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  I think this book impacted me so much because it was my first introduction to a story that did not have a happy ending!  I couldn't believe how much more I thought about and wondered about the characters when I didn't know exactly what happened.  This was my first book/movie obsession and it was pretty obsessive (I've spared you the pain of seeing evidence, mostly because I'm not sure where all my GWTW paraphernalia went).

3 - Around the same time, when I was 14, I remember discovering Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte accidentally in the school library.  I was sucked into the story and first felt the power of romantic classics.  I adored Mr. Rochester and Jane with my simplistic understanding of their relationship.  This also happened to encourage my desire to find and watch every Jane Eyre movie made at the time.  And there were a lot even back then!

4 - One of my earliest favorites, and still a favorite, is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (what happened to my classics obsession?!?).  I can't even recall the first time I picked it up, but I remember reading and rereading that big (although, I discovered later it was abridged), battered paperback that was handed down from older siblings.  I couldn't believe Dumas could write such a complex story with so many characters and still make it exciting enough that I wanted to plow through it again and again.  Still one of my favorite stories and I've yet to find a movie that does it justice.

5 - I remember being completely engulfed in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien the first time I read it in high school (pre-movies) and being totally blown away with the complexity and just epic nature of the story.  I have since become rather fanatic in my love for LOTR, though that has cooled somewhat.  It still stands as one of my all-time favorite fantasy series and it is just incomparable in my opinion.

6 - Again, not a one-time memory, but when I first started meeting authors it felt like a dream come true!  I remember hearing some young tweens comment at a Brandon Mull event that people were acting like he was a rock star.  And then saying that he kind of was like a rock star.  That is how I feel pretty much every time I meet an author. I've had favorite events, but each one has been such a treat for me.

7 - Along those same lines, meeting bloggers for the first time has definitely been a highlight in my reading life.  Since that first Utah Blogger social I attended, I have really enjoyed every chance I get to hang out with my fellow book-obsessed friends and it made me so happy to realize just how fun it is to hang out with like-minded folks.  

8 - Finally joining a book group!  I can't believe how long it took me to come out of my shell and find (and then start) a book group.  I adore the chance I get every month to chat about books with people who just love to read.  There's something about your bookish friends that just makes you feel at home.  

9 - I loved the few times I've managed to "make" readers out of those in my family who are not readers.  For a long time, this was mostly my sister, who suddenly began reading books I suggested and found she loved it.  But the ultimate achievement for me was when I finally got my husband (who had never liked reading) to pick up the Harry Potter books and he just ripped through them. While he doesn't have much time for it while he's in school, it's always so fun to introduce him to a new series (Maze Runner or Hunger Games) that he just can't put down.  One of the most rewarding experiences in a readers life, I think.

10 - This last memory is from this summer when I finally got to attend an ALA conference.  Despite not being able to afford going to any events or panels, it was so fantastic to just go and feel the excitement.  Even if I never get a chance to attend another bookish conference like this, I will consider that dream as fulfilled and count myself fortunate.

Any bookish memories you want to share? 

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  1. Ah, the boxcar kids were great --- something about keeping your own house, and finding ways to survive and be comfortable all by yourself. I also remember reading quite a few Louis Lamour's, Agatha Christie's, The Three Investigators, and Tarzan of the Apes. (Anything with a series?)

    1. I loved series - Nancy Drew was a favorite, though I didn't include that one here. I think I liked the idea of surviving on my own, but not actually doing it :)

  2. I love that you decided to do this one. I had a great time reading about all your favorite memories. I love that so many surrounded books that you enjoyed reading when you were younger. I wish I had those types of memories. Alas, I didn't read.

    1. Good thing you can make lots of new reading memories - don't feel bad for not being a reader when you were younger. I loved reading everyone else's memories two weeks ago :)

  3. Discovering Pride and Prejudice this summer. I'm now completely obsessed. I love Gone With the Wind and Jane Eyre too!

    1. Ah, I didn't have room to mention my P&P obsessive stage - there are just too many lovely book memories!

  4. All great memories! Especially getting nonreaders to read. I love that too.

  5. I felt the exact same way about The Boxcar Children!


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