I have an addiction.
My drug of choice (besides ice cream and Seinfeld marathons of course): Books.
To say that I am a book-worm would be an understatement. I am a book snake, a python if you will. Three. That’s how old I was when it first hit me, the love of books.Three. It was a Berenstain Bears book that my mom and dad had given me for my birthday. I used to look at the pictures, flipping from page to page, making up stories which I thought coincided with the images I was viewing–of course I thought I was reading when in all actuality, I was making things up as I went along. After a while however, I began to recognize letters and words and soon enough, I was reading the Berenstain Bears to my parents before bed instead of the other way around. I am proud to say I have graduated to more intellectual and captivating books since then but I will always have a soft spot for Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister Bear.
It may seem strange at first that I was passionate about anything other than my Cabbage Patch Doll, or how incredibly amusing banging a couple of pots and pans with a spoon could be at that age, but this is where you would be mistaken. Some of this love, you could say, is the simple effect of genetics. You see, my grandma shared that very same intense passion for reading and writing; she would go through novel after novel, just as easily as someone would a magazine or newspaper. She even had a mini library in one of her spare bedrooms which held multiple bookshelves stocked to the brim with paperbacks and hard covers of all sorts. One of my fondest memories was cuddling up with her on her big, blue chair. She always let me pick out the book we were gong to read together (usually it was something by Dr. Seuss– I was a HUGE fan of the doc). Together with a blanket and a bag of giant malted milk balls, we would spend hours just reading the day away. I sincerely believe that she passed on to me the “book chromosome” and am grateful for her instilling in me a passion of the written word.
Is there really such a thing as a “book chromosome you ask? And if there is, what in the world is it? Well my friends, I am here to say that it is real; as real as the sky is blue, the ocean is deep, and the fact that Seinfeld is THE greatest show there ever was and will be—it’s just the facts.
This realer than real figment of the imagination (that is not so imagined) is the unique and specific gene (and I’m not talking about your favorite pair of Levi’s here) found in some people, which causes them to live, breath, and eat literature. I wasn’t formally tested but I have pretty conclusive evidence that I bear the aforementioned gene. Such evidence includes—and you can use this highly valuable information if you want to do a self-diagnosis in the near future—having your own parking spot at the library where, just like Cheers, everyone knows your name, the ability to read multiple books at once, a room in your apartment or house totally dedicated to books (because you have so many, they couldn’t just occupy a measly bookshelf in your living room), the tendency to fall asleep mid-read and wake up with print on your face, knowing the exact pages and the exact lines of favorite quotes found in your favorite books, and of course, using novel verbiage in everyday conversation.
Unfortunately, this gene is becoming more and more scarce, being heavily replaced with the “Video game gene”, the “DVD chromosome” and of course the ever popular “Facebook gene”—thank you Mark Zuckerburg. I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have sustained this genetic mutation for so long. There is just something about getting lost in a book; the plot, the characters, the place and setting, all coming together to create a story that plays out before you like a movie. Reading allows you to lose yourself in another time and place, if only for an hour or so. There is nothing that I enjoy more than curling up with a good book, sitting by a roaring fire or sa-winging in a hammock (when I am not trying to stay in the darn thing–does anyone else have a hard time remaining in the actual tree-hugging seat for longer than ten seconds without flailing about or spinning around like a nerd?)
In second grade, as the rest of the class gathered around Mrs. Louis during story time, I was the girl who made sure to get up front and center–despite the fact that my teacher had a habit of slipping her shoes off releasing a permeating foot stench.
All throughout my third-fifth grade years, I skipped recesses and stayed after school three days a week to help my team prepare for Academic Book Bowl domination (which we SO did…no elementary school within the district could touch us).
In middle school and high school, I LOVED and looked forward to the days when my english and literature classes would discuss such amazing works from amazing authors like Steinbeck, Twain, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Bronte.
In college, I (gasp) actually read my assigned text-book readings. For fun.
I tell you all of this because my addiction, for the most part, is a very healthy one and I would encourage anyone to try to take it up. It has never caused any major world wars or hurt anybody (except for maybe that time I was readwalking downtown during my lunch break and embarrassingly bumped into a light pole–note to self and my fellow readwalkers: look up). It opens up your imagination, it allows you to travel to places you wouldn’t normally travel to, see things you wouldn’t normally see and experience things you may not normally experience. Reading expands your views on the world around you, opens your mind to new and exciting ideas and builds your skills in grammar, writing and communication (beyond just the 140 characters you are apt to be privy to via Twitter).
I also tell you all of this positive addiction to books and reading because Christmas is just around the corner and I can’t think of a better gift to give someone you love and care (*cough cough* did I mention I love a good book? *cough cough*) about than a good page-turner. Whether you ’Nook’ or ‘book’, great pieces of literature are timeless and can fit anyone’s budget, preferences and likings. You don’t have to worry about whether ‘batteries are included or not’, if it is compatible with Mac or HP, or what size or color it comes in.
Look for my great Christmas Gift giving Guide coming soon (which will include many a book idea)!
But in the mean time, do me (and yourself) a favor and put down the i-phone, turn off your computer, pause (or DVR if you have to) the latest episode of Modern Family and pick up a book! You might be surprised at how much fun it actually is
Have a great night my friends!!
Question of the Day: What are some of your favorite books?
Some of my favorites include: The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Harry Potter and Twilight series, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, In Her Shoes, P.S. I Love You, If You Could See Me Now, Pride & Prejudice, The Canturburry Tales, The Da Vinci Code, Something Borrowed, Broken and One Day…among sooooooo many others.