November 2017
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identifying as a reader, growing up


When I was a kid I identified as a 'reader.' I think above anything else that was my self-image. From the time I started reading, every word that came within sight was fascinating: I read the toothpaste tube, sounding out the ridiculous ingredients. I tore through the beginner reading books my school made my parents get with wild delight and then, once I moved to a place with a library nearby, OH my world was changed. I always borrowed the maximum number of books and then ran out of them before the two weeks was up when my mom would take me back. I participated in Pizza Hut's BookIt program but I enjoyed eating my reading prize even more than the personal pan pizza, because it marked me as a reader. I carried books on my person at all times, at least one if not two or three (I usually read more than one at a time and switched based on my mood -- worked fine except for Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, which were a bit too formulaic); I had a black leatherish purse I got at the thriftstore that was just the right size to carry them. I don't have many memories from my youth but one of my best ones is when my Aunt Mary took me to a used bookstore for the first time -- and ze had credit, and ze told me I could USE IT UP. I think that was the most exciting experience of my life up to that point. I wasn't that picky back then; I would read pretty much anything (as evidenced by my willingness to read Nancy Drew), but the longer the better. I always hated when a book ended, so when I got into a long one or a long series I loved it.

That reading streak was paused when I moved out of my parents house and did not have access to a library or money for used books, started again when I began self-educating in 2007, and was paused again at the end of 2009 when my life got too busy, and it finally started up again last October, when I was not too busy or depressed and had a stack of reliably good books. I reread a bunch of Joan Slonczewski and Torey Hayden's books and I've been reading a lot of Sheri S. Tepper. Also the amazing Ascension and an interesting stand-alone called "Walking The Tree." I've been sharing my favorite bits of them via my cell phone. I have been carrying a book around everywhere again, and I realized that it made me feel proud and self-secure, like I was as a kid (I was remarkably secure in many ways, considering). It also makes me feel safe, somehow, like I have a measure of control over how invested I have to be in my surroundings.

I really want to write some reviews -- it's been on my to-do list for about 18 ages. Hopefully I'll get to it soon.

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Comments
ineverycolor ══╣╠══
I was the same way with books. OMG I used to LOOOVe the babysitters club, the sweet valley series, the fear street, goosebumps and then I would tear through stephen king, john grisham, mary higgins clark.... it's funny i slowed down my voracious reading once i like got past the age of fifteen because then i thought i should be reading more mature stuff and i would try to tackle the classics but i just didn't devour them the same way with the same speed as a good 'story'.

This year I dedicated to 'allow' myself to spend all of 2014 reading only bestseller novels. And I just want to see how many I can read in a year if I just indulge in good stories. :-P
ashmedai ══╣Books stacked╠══
Books were my favorite companions as a kid (and not much has changed). I was fortunate the schools I went to all had school libraries, and the librarian arranged for me to have access to the "older kids'" section when I'd plowed through all the kiddie books.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.