When I was a kid, I pretty much lived with my nose in a book. My Mom read to me all the time when I was little and I can't remember a time before I could pick up a book and thumb through it on my own. I still have all of my books from childhood- Little Golden books, a huge Disney reader, the complete Little House and Anne of Green Gables series' and many many more. My parents would buy me new books, of course, but they also took me scouring flea markets and second hand shops for books, too. I got a first edition set of the original House on Pooh Corner series from doing that. And, of course, there was many the Saturday trip to the library. I used to get as many books as I could carry. It really thrills me to see children doing that in the library now.
I can't wait to read to my kids.
I started using Goodreads to track what I'd read a few years ago, but recently a friend turned me onto Shelfari. I really like the way it's formatted. So, now I'm spending an obscene amount of time manually transferring my books over. It's sad, I know, but it's also the organization freak that I am. PaperBackSwap has also become my best friend. I only swap books that I truly detest or had to read for class or something, but it's a great way to pick up books I'm feeling so-so about without having to shell out the cash for them.
I've always been a really quick reader- I can totally devour a 300 page book in a single sitting if it's good enough. I read anything and everything- contemporary lit, young adult lit, chick lit, trashy romance novels, sci fi, classics, post-modernism. If I think it'll be interesting, I'll pick it up. And sometimes I totally judge by a cover. Which doesn't always end well. It led me to pick up The Gathering last summer (which somehow one the Man Booker prize in 2007). Ugh. There's just no telling which books will leave me cold and which ones will stay with me. I have books I've read dozens of times and books I can't bear to pick up again because they were so haunting. Every single one is an adventure. And even though I read a lot of crap, my friends seem to think I'm a pretty good judge of books- because they actually ask me what I've been reading. Maybe some of you will find it mildly interesting too.
By far, the best novel I've read recently is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. (I heard the movie is really good, too.) It manages to be really suspenseful without utilizing a bunch of typical murder mystery cliches. It also successfully jumps back and forth between two main protagonists and weaves together several story lines without being confusing or boring. There were some parts that were a bit graphic, but they were handled in a realistic manner- it wasn't sensationalism, which I appreciated. I am really looking forward to reading the other books in this series and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of mysteries or thrillers.
I've also been wanting escapism reading lately. J started reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Lightening Thief) series and I've followed suit. It's definitely young adult literature, but it's really entertaining and well written. If you liked any of the following, I think you would enjoy it- Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series (love), Harry Potter, or any of Rick Riordan's adult novels. I loved the Greek Mythology tie in and thought that it was handled really well (and accurately) and it was a super fast and easy read. A fair warning though: do not, I repeat, DO NOT see the movie that just came out. It was so terrible (and so far off from the plot of the book) that J and I walked out of the theatre before the end.