Book 'Em Danno - 08.17.98

I can't remember the first book that I read all by myself as a child, but I'm sure that it was something rather silly. It was somewhere not so long after that point, though, that I actually got really hooked on reading (yeah, I sound like a cheesy commercial or something).

At some point when I was still very young, I went through my first big reading phase. Our family never was big into television (at that time we owned a whopping 12" black and white set), and so it was then that I discovered I enjoyed reading more anyway.

During this first phase of reading, I went through all of the classic books that I think most kids read when they're young. I read the entire Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe series, as well as A Wrinkle In Time and other various titles.

For some reason or another, I also got off on a huge tangent of books about boys and their pets. Our family never owned a dog, and I didn't particularly like them, but one of my favorite series of books were different stories about boys and their dogs. There was a book for almost every breed of large, hunting type dog, and I tried to read them all at one point. I read about golden retrievers, black labs, and probably even a dalmation (even though their brains are the size of walnuts).

Although they don't really count as full-fledged books, I went through a period soon after that where I really enjoyed reading choose-your-own-adventures. At first, I was a good kid, making my choices, and accepting my fate as I went along. Soon, I found out that I could make it through the book faster if I held the page where the decision was, and if it caused the book to end, go back and make the other choice. I think that everyone did this at some point.

My next big reading phase started taking place about the time I went into junior high. I had went through my mothers old books, and picked out Night Shift by Stephen King and started plowing through it. She wasn't sure if I should be reading his material yet, but decided to let me, and I finished the whole book and was eager for more.

This was the start of my second phase, and it was almost completely dominated by books written by Steven King. In a period of 2 years, I read everything he had written up to IT, minus The Stand. I also managed to read a couple collaborations and a few other random titles before I settled into my rather large period where I didn't read hardly anything, save what I was assigned for school.

In high-school, I managed a few titles, but they were all for classes, and I found that I was too busy (or else not wanting to) to read anything beyond that.

When I went on to college, it was unfortunately the same way. I read a couple titles for some classes I was in, but for the most part, I stayed away from reading an entire book on my own. I did get big into periodicals at one point, but that doesn't really count.

After getting out of college and moving in on my own, I slowly eased myself back into things. I discovered that I had plenty of time on my hands for reading (isn't it obvious I don't put much time into this site?), I picked up a couple titles that people had recommened to me, and finished them up without really getting too hooked on it.

Right after the first of the year, this all changed. I bought some titles using gift certificates that I had gotten for Christmas, and after finishing the three, I could feel myself getting pulled back into it all (which is not a bad thing, mind you). A good friend of mine pointed out an excellent used book store to me, and I started making purchases almost every week.

Now, I have a stack of books on my coffee table that is simply known as the "to read" pile in my head. The stack varies in height from about 4 to 12, and usually manages to get knocked over by someone at least once a month. To this point, I've finished just over 40 books for the year, and I still have a lot left that I really want to tackle. The authors I've chosen have almost all been recommendations by peers, and I enjoy reading new work and deciding whether I want to read any other work by that particular person.

So, in addition to my movie and music addictions, this year I've officially added books again as something I'm hooked on. I'll have a list of the titles after the first of the year, when I write the follow-up to my piece on New Years resolutions. Until then, suggest a title to me, and I'll try to check it out.