From the age of six, I have loved to read. I remember the day reading clicked for me. I was in first grade at Collierville Elementary school, the one year I attended that school, in Mrs. Shaw's class, and she had me read an easy to read book about Garfield. Remember that cartoon and those old books? Ever since that day, I have been a fast reader.
Fast forward to my teenage years. My dad used to drop me off at this little used bookstore in Germantown called The Book Depot, and hours later, he would come back to pick me up. Imagine my sadness when, last Thursday, Mom and I were driving by it, and I discovered it had finally shut its doors, after who knows how many years of being open. I seriously could have cried over that discovery. I am a character of habit, and I don't like change at all. I know, I know...that's unhealthy, but it's just how I'm wired.
That could have been me as a teenager, y'all. See how glorious this place was? (Thanks, Google, for your pictures.) The books were stacked from the floor all the way to the ceiling, and usually two deep. I would take down ALL THE BOOKS from their places and go through and read the covers one at a time. I am not kidding when I say that I loved this place. I especially loved it because the books were about a third of the cover price. Because of how fast I could fly through a book, you can imagine all the money that was spent on my love of reading. It was best when I could get them at a discounted price.
Sidenote: for you local people, I also used to love the Kroger over on Sanderlin when I was a teenager. They had the BEST book section out of any other grocery store around. Back then there was no such thing as Barnes and Noble, and honestly, after such quaint and adorable book shops like The Book Depot and another favorite, Davis-Kidd booksellers (later renamed the Laurelwood Booksellers), who has time for giant book superstores with absolutely zero charm and very little knowledge? I have never liked Barnes and Noble.
But, I digress.
Here's what the outside of my favorite spot on earth looked like.
It was so cute and charming.
I miss it already.
I would still go there even as an adult, with the last time being less than a year ago. I just recommended it to a friend last week, and I need to go back and let her know that it's closed now. There's another shop similar to this outside our town library, but it's not nearly as adorable and charming.
I guess I need to give it a try, though.
Because of my love of reading, I can too easily be sucked into reading what everyone else is reading. I have to be careful in this. It's gotten me into reading books that are not at all glorifying to God, and I need to read only the books that would honor Him. I know not everyone feels this way, but this is my personal conviction that I battle every single day of my life. It might not seem like a huge deal to you, but to me, it is, and I have to pray over this area of my life.
Anyway, I also love to re-read books that are my favorite. There are several series I've loved for years now, and it's because of that fact that I love to buy some books written by certain authors. Authors like Robin Jones Gunn, Karen Kingsbury, and Neta Jackson. Those are my top three favorite authors, and I've exchanged correspondence with two of the three. (Robin Jones Gunn and Karen Kingsbury.) Two of them had assistants that reached out to me to either be on launch teams on new books coming out, or to read and review books on my blog. I don't really know how they got my name and information, but I considered it a God-thing, and thanked the Lord for providing me with that opportunity and did what they asked of me. And in return, I got cool emails from my favorite authors and free books. Bonus!
If they come out with a new book, I can read it in way less than twenty four hours. I've been known to receive a book in the mail and finish it about four hours later. Todd LOVES it when that happens. (Sarcasm.)
Recently, I've been re-reading my favorite series of all time (I think).
It is so, so good. I had a friend try to read one and she couldn't get past the fact that it was written in the early 2000's, though. It's not modern, though the more that were written, the more modern they become. This was the first of the series, then there were three more series that stemmed from this one, and I own three of them. I couldn't get into the fourth series, but may try again someday.
I said that I thought this was my favorite series, but truthfully, I'm not sure if I love this one anymore than a few others that I re-read.
Robin Jones Gunn was an author I first started reading in my teenage years. She wrote a series of books called the Christy Miller series, and I outgrew them before she finished writing about her. As a married adult, one Christmas when I got a lot of money as a gift, I went and bought all of those books and re-read them. I had the thought that I should buy them and then pass them along to other teenage girls who might enjoy them. I have done just that and have shared them with several teenage girls over the years. I always get them back, and God will lay another girl on my heart for me to share them with.
That being said, The Sisterchicks series are another favorite series of mine.
I re-read them at least every two years. These are books about women and the friendships that God gives them. Sometimes the women are facing hard marriage situations, or illness, or death, and these friendships and God are how they muddle through tough times.
Another favorite series is the Redemption series by Karen Kingsbury.
These books are called Life Changing Fiction for a reason. God used these books in my life when I first turned back to Him, and they got me in His word. I love these books and this author for that very reason, and I know they'll always hold a special place in my heart.
I have this dream of someday opening up a little bookstore on our town square. Years ago there was one such store, but it closed down. It was called Springs of Life and you could buy pastries and coffee drinks in it, as well. On Friday nights, live bands would play, and the music was similar to what you would listen to on K Love.
I loved this store and only found it for a short while, then they closed their doors. I would love to open up a similar little shop someday. I have no idea if that will ever happen, but if it's something God has in mind for me and my life, then He will see to it that it happens. I trust Him and His plan for my life. It seems like that is my life motto lately, because I say it all the time. Maybe I have to, to remind myself of this fact.
I love to read books, I love to write about books, and I love to share my books, BUT ONLY IF I GET THEM BACK. Because of this, I don't like to loan them to just anyone, and I need to know that I'm going to get them back in a reasonable amount of time. I have lost books over the years and have had to buy some for a second time, because I cannot stand missing a book in a series. Even as I write that, I know that I am missing the first book out of one series by Neta Jackson, and I want to buy it soon.
I know. I know. You don't have to say anything.
Can you even imagine being in one such place as in this picture below?
I'd have to camp out and have someone come find me days later.
I love books. And only the kind I can hold in my hand. I asked for a tablet a few years ago, because silly me thought I could borrow or rent or buy books to read on it electronically, but I don't use the tablet for that. I use it for watching Netflix.
I'm not even kidding.
I need a good, weighty book that I can hold with my hands and maybe even sniff the pages of.
(Is that weird?)
Don't answer that.
Anyway, hopefully this post has inspired you to go pick up a good book to read. Let me know some of your favorites by Christian authors. I've also read Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, and Francine Rivers.
I love any and all suggestions.
Thanks for reading! Love to all.