I love books—just ask anyone who knows me.
When I was younger, the library was one of my favorite places to go. I would emerge with a stack that could only stretch from my hands to my chin. Any further, said my mom, and it was too many. Nevertheless, one of my Boxcar Children or Nancy Drew mysteries would be almost finished by the time we got home. Our house was always silent after a trip to the library—my three brothers and I would find our spots and devour our new books. “Just one more chapter, Mom!” we’d cry if she asked us to help set the table or get ready for school.
Books were also at the heart of some sneaky behavior as I grew up. I never wanted to put a book down, and consequently, I was the girl who read by the nightlight instead of going to sleep. My parents caught onto my habit when I was probably 7. They found me huddled next to my ceramic angel nightlight, trying to read Little House in the Big Woods without letting the pages creak (I still remember attempting to carefully turn the pages without making a sound!). That was only the start of my pattern. They’d take the book away, but somehow, I always had another one to take its place. Now we laugh about it. “Wow, I wish my daughter would get in trouble for reading,” others remark.
I was the girl who was left in the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver as an eight-year-old because I was curled up on a couch, reading the latest Josefina book, oblivious to the fact that my family had already purchased their books and had headed back to the parking garage. Thankfully, they found me, but I wasn’t very happy to leave the book before reaching the end!
We were the family who brought stacks of books on road trips and usually would run out of our own books and have to swap with one another for the way back home.
In college, I had a stash of “for fun” books (mostly young adult fiction) beside my bed. After my studying and textbook reading was finished for the night, I’d pull out another book and escape to the world of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Shadow Children or spend time with the girls in the Mother-Daughter Book Club. My friends would shake their heads at me, marveling at my willingness to lose precious hours of sleep for the sake of a book.
Yesterday, I went to a local used bookstore to search through the children’s book section. A family friend had given me some of her store credit, and I was more than happy to spend it. What was supposed to be a quick stop turned into an hour or more of book shopping. I love looking for books with my students in mind, considering their various tastes and reading identities. Eventually, I walked out with bags of books in hand, ready to share the new worlds and new adventures waiting inside with my students on Monday.
Like I said, I love books—just ask anyone who knows me.
Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana, and Betsy at Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!