I posted this to facebook the other day. I've revised it and thought I'd share it here:
I don't entirely trust folks who say they don't read.
The first thing I gravitate towards in someone's home is their stacks of books. I ♥ book p * r n (for those of you not in the know, book p * r n=shots of people's books.) I have been known to enlarge photos to see titles. I also have no qualms about whipping out a magnifying glass to inspect photos of other people's books. I often will buy books or magazines depending upon the amount of shots of their libraries. I get excited if a favorite author, artist, filmmaker, etc... has the same taste in books as I do (meaning I see my favorites on their shelves.)
I have been found reading at all hours of the day. It started when I was very little. All throughout my early years and well into my late teens, I would read any and everything I could get my hands on including the breakfast cereal box if it was the only thing within my reach. I read practically every bit of the newspaper (the exception being the sports pages and the car ads.) I have been known to read while cooking, doing dishes, laundry, etc... I do not leave the house without something to read.
I didn't excel in school at all. I was more interested in spending every bit of my free time reading and writing than I was in being forced to read what others thought I should read. I hated having to memorize things that I wasn't interested in at the time. It was extremely difficult for me. I'll never forget my Algebra teacher in freshman year of high school. I had finished taking my test and pulled out a book to read. She screamed at me and ripped the book out of my hands. Later on I was given a lecture about how I should have spent my extra class time going over the test when I finished. This only made me hate school even more. School took away from my time to read and I was reading everything that I could get my hands on.
I spent many after school hours at the library pouring over the different sections. When I fell in love with an author, I fell hard. I read everything as a kid from Judy Blume (I'm not just talking about her books for kids and teens) to John Steinbeck to Madeline L'Engle to Peter Beagle to V.C. Andrews to Stephen King to Archie Comics. My favorites were horror, fantasy and science fiction. I may not have always understood what I was reading but I devoured every word.
As a teen and in my early twenties, I could be found taking the train into downtown Boston or Harvard Square in Cambridge on a weekly basis to visit the used bookstores. If I wasn't at a bookstore (or record store), I was at the Boston Public Library. Many of my friends couldn't believe that my parents let me take the T into Boston alone. My parents trusted me and knew that while I may have lacked school smarts, I had a lot of common sense. This was before cellphones. They knew where I could be found and that usually I was alone.
December 31, 1995 arrived and I married someone who shared my interests and passions of many things including books. While some couples enjoy going to fancy restaurants, sporting events, concerts, etc... we like going to bookstores. We have our favorites that we both like and many stories to tell about the shops that have come, gone and stayed over the years. We often reminisce about stores long gone while browsing our shelves. Our shelves are so full that we often joke about renting out our neighbor's apartment and turning it into our own personal extended library. We shudder at the thought of getting rid of our books and turning exclusively towards e-books.
My family and I visit our local bookstores on a weekly basis. Even when we're broke we like to browse. We are regulars at many of our favorite used and indie bookstores. We know shop owner and employee names even if they don't know ours. I can take you on a tour of our favorite shops and point out exactly where everything is shelved. We hit the library every other week.
We have books in every room of our home (except the bathroom because we take very good care of our books.) Our books are actually kept in acid free, archival bags. I will buy books before food, clothes and art supplies. I have an ever changing pile of books next to my bed. I give copies of favorite books to good friends.
I have an ever growing and changing list of most wanted books. I have been known to find one book and then spend hours online referencing similar books. My want lists are eclectic to some but specific to my tastes. Like my bulging bookshelves at home, my want lists tell my interests, my passions and my dreams. They tell my story.
If you truly want to know me, look at my books. Each one speaks volumes about me.
My Favorite Art Books
My Amazon Wish List
My Favorite Places to Shop in L.A. (includes bookstores)
My Husband's Favorite Film, Comic and All Time Favorite Books (I have plans to create similar online lists at some point.)