So today, let's imagine that we are all sitting at the Barnes & Noble Cafe, low-cal beverages in hand, while sharing the most decadent of desserts. Pull up your chair and get Holly's thoughts on finding a great read...
#1--What are your memories of becoming a "reader"? Were you a bookworm from childhood or did one certain book or author convert you later in life?
I don't have a clear memory of becoming a reader, once I learned to read, it was just what I did. My mom was a bookworm and nurtured my interest. I recently read A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel and totally related to how she described her mother attached to their couch, surrounded by books. That was my mom too, except with a glass of Coke beside her.
I remember always having books around me when I was little and my mom reading to me. Going to the library, either at school or our local library, was such a thrill. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books, Nancy Drew, Beverly Cleary...eventually Judy Blume.
#2--I know it's hard to choose favorites, but if you could only pick five books to take to that infamous "deserted island"...which would they be?
Does this deserted island have comfy lounge chairs, tall glasses of iced tea and waiters that resemble Patrick Dempsey? I am so there. I think I would bring To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. You were right, that was hard to choose. Now I'm second guessing myself...
#3--Where are your favorite comfortable reading spots? How do you organize your library?
I love to read snuggled in bed, propped up with pillows and a mug of coffee on my nightstand. Ideally, there would also be a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. A girl can dream, right? Really though, I'm not too picky. I always bring my book of the moment any place there might be time to kill, like my daughter's ballet class or gymnastics. I do try to look up every now and then with a smile and a "Good job, sweetie!"
Organize my library?? Seriously?? People do that? Well, we have bookshelves upstairs on our landing that I have tried to arrange from time to time and keep certain authors or styles together. Dewey Decimal I am not, though. Don't forget about my nightstand "area".
#4--Tell us about your online bookclub. How can we participate?
I know a lot of people are involved in book clubs that get together regularly at each other's homes. I think that is wonderful, but am not a part of one. In an effort to spread a little book love and blog love I started the Bodacious Bloggity Book Club. We read a different book each month, each write his or her own blog post, then link the posts at my blog (like a blog carnival). Anyone interested is welcome to participate, the more the merrier!
#5--How do you go about selecting good reading material? Do you buy or borrow? Any favorite stores or websites?
I am always on the prowl for books. I love getting recommendations from friends. I always want to know what people are reading (it's my bandwagon personality--I don't want to miss out on anything, even though I know I'll probably never have the time to read everything that I would like to). I have enjoyed Goodreads.com so much and have discovered lots of books I may never have stumbled across.
Much to my wallet's dismay, I buy most of my books. When the book bug bites, I have a hard time resisting. I usually order from Amazon or go to Barnes and Noble. My favorite bookstore is Half Price Books, since the prices are good and they buy back books.
I do visit the library too and borrow from friends. I enjoy passing my books along to friends and love to share.
#6--What are you doing to help your daughter develop a lifelong love of reading? Any suggestions for other moms out there?
I guess I have kept her pretty much surrounded by books since we brought her home from Moscow. Read, read, read! We try to read together during the day and at bedtime. She has easy access to her books not only in her room, but throughout our home, and enjoys "reading" them when the mood strikes her. We also visit the library every few weeks. We progressed from reading aloud board books, to picture books, and now chapter books. She has loved listening to the Little House series.
I think it's important that she sees me read, too. She knows that I love to read, but not just because I have told her.
What is so wonderful about books is that there are so many different types and subjects. Find out what your child is interested in and look for a variety of books on that topic. Keep looking for the one that creates a spark. Do an activity that relates to the book with your child. So many authors have websites, maybe have your child send an email or a letter to the author. Imagine their excitement when the author responds! After a book has been read, then watch the movie together and talk about both. Don't forget about audiobooks too--great for car trips.
#7--What about your friends who are "non-readers"? How would you encourage them to start enjoying the printed page? Any titles you would suggest for those who think reading is boring?
I know that everyone is different, but it seriously hurts my heart when someone says they don't like to read or haven't read a book since school. I could not imagine NOT reading. I talk about some of the books I read with my friends, I thrust books upon them, I heap praise and encouragement on their heads when they read. I hold out hope that they will convert.
A friend of mine recently discovered Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series and was instantly hooked. She has always said she is not a reader, but now she is making time to do it and enjoying herself. My heart is full.
Good books and good advice! Thanks so much, Holly!
Visit Holly @ her MarathonBird blog. It is worth the trip.