Today’s gratitude is for good books. Well-written, spell-binding, page turners that remind me with every movement of my bookmark that I love to read.
There are three general kinds of books that I like to read.
Books that teach me.
I could’ve just called these non-fiction, but, really I don’t think of myself as a fan of non-fiction per se. I don’t go to the library and peruse the non-fiction shelves for a book to call out to me. But, if I’m in a quandary, or on a mission, I often lean on the non-fiction catalog at BCPL to give me guidance. Diet/nutrition books. Books on spirituality or meditation. Books on the art of writing. Books about child-rearing or marriage. At this point, I am in the middle of reading 3 non-fiction books. I pick them up when I’m feeling studious. And I feel they make me a better person.
Books that inspire me.
Every time I pick up a new Anne Rice book, I’m inspired. Same with Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Audrey Niffenegger. I feel a kinship with them as a fellow author, and I aspire to the success and world-wide readership they enjoy. I read them and think, wow… That’s how you craft a story. That’s how you make us care about the characters, see ourselves in them, hope the best or worst for them. That’s how you build a world. I just started reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m still at the very beginning, but I’m swept in. I relate to the characters, I can see where they live, I want to know more. And I think, “Yes. THIS. I want to write like this.”
Then there are the books that I read and think, “Wow. Great story. Wonderful concept. But… I could tell it better.” Holy smokes, I’m full of myself, Peeps. Gah. Anyway, I won’t list those here, because that’s just rude and unfair. But these authors, these books are important too. There are jillions of readers out there, and there is something for everyone. And that is awesome.
Books that simply sweep me away.
Some books are simply damn good entertainment. They are quick reads, not bogged down with a lot of gingerbread, like my Grandma would say. Books like Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, or the Twilight Saga, or the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom books by Julie Kenner. I used to be very into Danielle Steele when I was in high school, and now and then I’ll pick up a Nora Roberts book when I want some romance or maybe an Emily Giffin. When I am in the mood for scary, and I don’t have the patience to read Stephen King, I’ll pick up Dean Koontz. His book What the Night Knows was one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I had to hide it from myself. No joke. And for a while there, I was reading a J.D. Robb book a week. I just adore Eve Dallas. I will probably go get one of those when I finish Gone Girl.
So, thank you publishers. Thank you libraries and Barnes & Noble. Thank you Mrs Kadar, my kindergarten teacher. Thank you Big Bird & Friends. Thank you Electric Company. Thank you Mom for reading to me, and being a reader yourself.