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I am an avid reader.
No, avid can’t be the right word. Zealous? Fervent. Vehement! Call it what you will, I am a person who reads. A Lot.
There was a time (in the not so distant past) where I read exclusively fiction books. I don’t know what it was, but I was just powerless to the pull of getting lost in a good novel. Forgetting all about my problems or worries and allowing myself to get sucked into those of these beautiful made up characters.
That thirst for fiction is still there, alive and well, (trust me) but I’ve introduced a sort of game to my reading life. I decided that every other book I read would be a non-fiction book.
All my fiction friends out there might be balking at this statement, but hear me out! A while back I picked up Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and man, oh man. I was fascinated by the presentation of facts and the realization that these things had actually happened and that the information presented within it’s pages had helped people. And it could help me!
Now, I know there are a lot of people out there that only read non-fiction. Those people are probably learning an awful lot and feeling like they’re making good use of their time. Good for you guys!
And I know there are people out there that want to only read fiction. Those people are probably experiencing joy and relaxation on a level the non-fictioners only dream of. Also I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that people who read fiction are more empathetic and creative than those who don’t.
And… :cringe: there are undoubtedly people out there who don’t read anything at all, save for billboards and the cable guide. Let me first say that I do not condone this type of lifestyle! But I’m sure, however impossible it may seem, that they are happy with their choices. What’s that old saying about ignorance being bliss?
I’m not here to judge (publicly) the non-readers of the world. I’ll simply say that this page, this whole blog probably, may not be for them.
My love affair with books has been going on a while now. Something like twenty five years, I’m sure (when do kids learn to read?). Unfortunately I’m cursed with a terrible memory, so while I wish I could wax poetic about the first time I learned to string letters into words and words into sentences, sadly… I cannot remember that time.
I do remember finding The Giver by Lois Lowry in my elementary school library and falling in love with it. And later, having to write a book report about a biography of my choosing – Annie Oakley thank you very much! – and being equally enthralled by the non-fiction account of her incredible life.
And even though life sometimes gets in the way, as life tends to do, no matter how long of a break I’m forced to take, my love of reading never goes away. It’s always there, like an addiction I’ve never been able – or willing – to recover from.
How to Win Friends and Influence People has been around for a very long time – since the thirties, I believe – a fact I was a little surprised to read when I first started the book. But it’s really not that surprising once you get into it. The tips, facts, strategies, etc, that he presents are so easy to understand, so calming to read, and so obviously important that it’s really a wonder it’s not required reading in high schools. I myself started reading it when my boss (my mother) pointed out that I’m sometimes not very easy to work with…. :insert embarrassed, sideways glance here: Anyways. Get a copy. Read it. Take notes. You wont regret it.
Pretty Girls is not the first book of Slaughter’s that I’ve picked up. I first found her in a book store in Greece actually, while I was traveling with a bunch of Australians (more on that later), and a friend said “Yeah mate, she’s good. I reckon you’ll like ‘er!” That book turned out to be one in a series of seven or eight books involving a likable dyslexic detective. It was only a month or so after reading all those that all my friends – who I guess get all their books at the same place, Target probably – started reading and raving about Pretty Girls. I’m a little late getting to it, but boy, were they right! It is good! Just as good, if not better than her other ones I read. I’ll worn you though, it is a murder mystery and it. is. GRAPHIC! But if you’re into easy, descriptive writing and a good twisting mystery, I’m certain you’ll like it.
Well there you have it – I love reading, I’m currently reading some pretty sweet gems, and I’m gonna go ahead and stop typing so I can get back to that. Thanks for humoring me for so long.
Have you read either of these books? What are you reading now?