All of us bookworms remember our first experiences with books and reading. We may have similar experiences or we may have differing ones but books bring us together and have helped shape the book community into what it is today. Sometimes it can be ugly, yes, but on the other hand, it can also be a great place to share our love of reading and books. I’ve decided that today, I’d like to share with you my reading story.
I’ve always enjoyed reading since I can remember. We had several picture books that I would read through and although my memory is pretty terrible, I do remember a select few books that I enjoyed. Particularly a Christmas picture book which my mum read to/with me every Christmas Eve. I was a consistent lover of World Book Day, probably because it meant that I got to dress up, but my mum always took myself and my sister to choose our World Book Day book.
Now, my favourite books for a long time were the Rainbow Magic books. They were incredibly short but I loved them. They came out in a series of 7 books and there were so many different collections. I ended up with probably 50 of these books and I remember reading the first 7 books over and over again. They also brought out these jumbo fairy books which was a longer story about one fairy and I loved them. One time I was ill and couldn’t go to ballet and my mum brought me one of these jumbo books to read in bed – that perked me up a bit! I also used to read a LOT of Cathy Cassidy. In fact, I read them all right up until I was about 14/15 because I loved her and her books so much. I used to fill in her online form to ask about writing and all sorts.
Fun fact: I also used to read Prisoner of Azkaban to my teddies and pretend I was reading it out at a school on several occasions when I was younger – probably like age 9-12.
Although I read Cathy Cassidy’s books, I sort of fell into a huge reading slump. It wasn’t even a slump, I just stopped reading altogether pretty much. Some of the things that I did in primary school, like reading and ballet, I think I ended up giving up because I guess I thought people would think I wasn’t very cool. Stupid, but when you’re younger you do think like that. I mean now, kids at the age of 8 and 9 have phones and can easily access things like instagram where they can see pictures of people reading, dancing, doing anything and everything which gives them confidence to carry on!
Anyway, so during high school, I read the odd book here and there but when I turned 13…Harry Potter hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve always loved Harry Potter since the first movie came out when I was 6. I’ve watched every Harry Potter movie in the cinema and have read every book at least 4 times over (except for Order of the Phoenix, I’ve only read that one once). I’ve read Deathly Hallows alone 6 or 7 times, where I was at a point where I could open the book to a random page and start reading from there. In Year 9 of high school, I discovered the website called fan pop. I had originally read the Twilight series when I was 12 and had loved it. A lot of my friends had read it and so I read it too. When I found fan pop, that’s when it all changed for me and I went into full on Harry Potter mode. I read all the books, I was watching the movies over and over again. Order of the Phoenix had come out around this point so I was keen to read the last two books before the last few movies came out.
Honestly, I just became obsessed. I had something to filter all my time into when I was bored and I had something that was mine. I ended up making friends through Fanpop which, although I don’t speak to them anymore, I do still have them on Facebook. This was also a time when I joined tumblr. Tumblr didn’t encourage me to read or anything, but my love for Harry Potter grew exceptionally fast due to this site as well. Harry Potter consumed me for like 3 years and honestly, it’s still such a huge part of my life. It’s my favourite series, I can never decide which is my favourite book – either the first, third or last. Honestly, I just love Harry Potter.
In 2010/2011, I was still on tumblr and that’s when everybody started talking about the Hunger Games on there. I hadn’t even heard of it and only knew of it because of Tumblr, but asked for the series for Christmas. I began reading them on Christmas day and had finished all 3 books within the first few days of January. I’ve read them so much that they look a little tattered and worn and one page in Mockingjay is coming out, but they’re loved and I loved them so much.
So yes, I briefly read while I was in High School but not much and not nearly enough as I wish I now had. I think reading would have helped me a lot back in high school, but then the range of YA books out now is staggering in comparison to how much there was 5-10 years ago.
So then college happened. I reached college and maybe started to read a little more. I made friends with a girl who also loved reading and that’s when I began to read a little more. Not much, but I did. I also began working in a library and so I started to pick up books whilst on my shift and read some of those. It wasn’t until I began working full time that I really developed a habit for reading. I guess reading was there to fill in the gaps I had in my spare time.
In 2013, I chose to work instead of go to University. In April 2014, I discovered a book blog – the Perpetual Page Turner. I saw some recommendations, one being Anna and the French Kiss, and decided to buy a few books. From the moment I found Jamie’s blog, I have been hooked on reading. I had started to get back into reading anyway, but Jamie and her blog catapulted me into the book world completely. I was bored in my job with no work to do at times so when the lady next to me would leave her desk, I would visit Jamie’s blog and have a read of it! Now, my buying rate in comparison to reading rate is through the roof and I am literally drowning in books now but I’m so happy. I basically have a teeny mini library of my own in my bedroom and I can pick whatever I want to read, whenever I want. I aspire to actually have a reading room when I move out someday.
Reading and books is a huge part of my life now and I just love snuggling down and reading a good book. Sometimes it’s overwhelming because I have so many books that I want to read, but other times I just appreciate the fact that I can read and that I can experience all of the stories that authors have created using just the 26 letters of the alphabet. Remarkable really, isn’t it?
So there you have it, that’s my reading story. I’ve always been a reader and although I dropped off somewhere in the middle, reading and books have come back to claim me. I can’t get enough and so I guess that makes me…hung up on books.