Get Your Bookworm On

The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays

Erica and her boo were talking about their reading habits, how it developed, what they’re reading now and the obstacles to a more robust bibliophilic life. They’ve also taken up a reading challenge which I think is a cool way to push yourself.

I developed the reading habit early on, praised for my abilities in first grade, that compliment fueled an above average vocabulary and a voracious appetite for books. My room as a teenager would be pretty spotless, but if you looked under my bed…dozens of books. My favorites were Judy Blume, Madeline L’Engle and then Stephen King. But I read almost anything, trashy romances, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, whatever.

I never developed much of a TV habit, even now I haven’t seen my favorite shows (Grey’s Anatomy or 30 Rock) in weeks but I almost always have a book going. I just finished Tourist Season: Stories by Enid Shomer, which I’d recommend if you are into short, character driven stories. I liked it but probably won’t read it again. Prior to that I was reading The Between Boyfriends Book (hilarious!) and Female Chauvanist Pigs (hilarious but smart!) at the same time, which I tend to do, read a “light” tome and something “heavier” at the same time. Sometimes I’ll have 3 books going at once.

Like most readers I have both a physical pile of “To Be Read” and an Amazon Wishlist full of dream books. I’m starting Kickboxing Geishas tonight which I’m looking forward to and I owe a copy of FCP to a friend who is in grad school, but I might have to buy her her own copy because I CAN see reading this one again.

Some of my favorite books of all time:

The World According To Garp, A Prayer For Owen Meany, IT, The Secret History, The Vintner’s Luck, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Honeymoon With My Brother, PUSH, Holidays On Ice, A Memory of Running, Children of Ham, The Alchemist, Vagabonding, The Power of One, The Bible (seriously) and The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart.

One book I’ve tried to read twice and just give up on: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Book Bandwagon that I haven’t jumped on: Harry Potter.

Let’s hear some of yours…

Oh and also, if you are a reader have you ever seriously dated a non-reader or someone with lopsided reading habits from your own? For example, one of my exes didn’t read alot of books but was a ravenous newspaper nerd, another ex doesn’t read alot of fiction but is into finance, real estate and personal development stuff. I was joking with a friend recently and we both agreed that we have fallen a little bit in lurve with someone based solely on their bookshelf. I know, I’m so shallow!


12 thoughts on “Get Your Bookworm On”

  1. I’m right there with you on the Harry Potter bandwagon. I can’t get into it. I don’t get the craze.

    I recently read a brilliant graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi called “Persepolis” which I learned is also now a film with a release date in December in U.S. theaters. Mainly L.A. and NY, but I’m hoping it gets to Florida! 🙁 I’m working on the autobiographies of Maya Angelou now. I’m a sucker for memoirs, what can I tell ya….

  2. I read any fiction that is on the new book shelves at the Library.
    I love James Patterson and love to read about real life women with a mission (mystery, detective, romance, end of romances revenge….etc).
    I read alot…..toooo much for entertainment probably.

  3. I just finished reading “Never Let Me Go” for my book club and it was really an interesting read. i have recently started reading a bit more, however, I love the classics ! I haven’t read extensively enough to develop a favorite author list but the books that have made an impression on me are:

    Catcher in the Rye
    Things Fall Apart
    Song of Solomon
    The Bluest Eye
    Sons and Lovers

    There’s more . . . but those are the ones that come to mind.

    Dia, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. I just picked up Owen Meany at the thrift store the other day. I really loved “The Brothers K”…maybe because my Dad played minor league ball like the Dad character. I love Bill Bryson. He and Sedaris are pretty much guaranteed to make me laugh. I read so eclecticly (that’s probably not even a word)…always have a stack next to the bed. But, like you, I’ve never read any of the Potter books. Then again, I’ve never seen the Potter movies either…nor any of those dreary-looking “Lord of the Rings” films. 🙂

  5. No HP for me, either.

    I need to stop buying books that look interesting in my head, and read more that feel interesting in my gut. Which means more fiction than non-fiction, but I have a hard time sussing out good fiction, and I refuse to bow to the publisher’s marketing practices. Which means I go on recommendations instead of store displays. Of course if I went solely on recommendations, I’d have read all that Harry Potter stuff, so I guess that system is flawed. Book recommendations are about as good as music and wine recommendations, because everybody has totally different taste. So it’s a matter of finding out who has similar tastes as me and seeking out their recommendations.

    See, all this thinking is why I haven’t read much in the last few years (prior to this month).

  6. Ok, so you need to add Running With Scissors to your list of must reads – it’ll make you laugh, gasp and wince. As for the Alchemist, I think it’s one of those books you have to read at different stages in your life as i think it will hold different meaning.

    So many books to read – so many files waiting to be read….

  7. I have some favorites–

    Honeymoon with my Brother
    Chinua Achebe–ALL of his books for their common sense nuggets of wisdom
    Ethan Frome–I love a tale of revenge
    Grapes of Wrath –poverty and suffering is not limited to a specific ethnic group
    Do You! –Russell Simmons

  8. Sula
    The Color Purple
    The Alchemist
    Another Country
    Up From Slavery (seriously… truly inspirational)
    A Home at the End of the World
    The Tao of Pooh
    The Little Prince
    The Very Hungry Caterpiller

    … and i can admit to reading all seven harry potters.

  9. blink
    The Poisonwood Bible
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Karma and Other Stories
    The Princess Bride
    The Death of Vishnu

    Most of Stephen King and yes I too will admit to all seven of the HP books.

  10. Power of One is my all time favorite – was so thrilled to see it on your list because I feel like many people, even avid readers, have never heard of it. A teacher assigned it to me as “special summer reading” – aka – everyone else got two books to read over the summer, but she assigned me 10 because, well, she thought I would enjoy the challenge. Love her for that.

    As for funny dating/reading stories, I haven’t had too many lopsided reading relationships, but one funny anecdote… I got set up on a blind date with a girl once who is probably the smartest, geekiest (in a good way) girl I’ve ever met. Just prior to the set up, she happened to google me, found my blog, and exclaimed to our mutual friend, “she reads…. BOOKS!” Apparently her last gf wasn’t much of a reader.

  11. I avoided the Harry Potter craze until last year. With the announcement of the 7th and final installment…I had to see what all of the hoopla was about. I’m so glad I did. I was hooked halfway through the first book. I’m a slow reader, not to mention, I’ve been reading other things simultaneously, but I’m halfway through book 5 and looking forward to the last two. The series is so much more than I had expected and can be a powerful way of teaching kids important life lessons and enjoyment for reading. I can see myself one day reading the series again with my kids, should I have any.

    Some of my favorites books are:

    Getting Mothers Body
    Betsey Brown
    The Bluest Eye
    Lovely Bones
    Tiger Eyes
    Breath Eyes Memory
    The Tipping Point

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