I've always loved to read. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are getting off the bus on Wednesday afternoons to find the bookmobile parked across the street from our apartment. I'd run inside to grab my books, then run back to return them and find new ones. I loved the main library, too, and we would sometimes stop there on the way to pick up my father from the Staten Island ferry terminal. He worked in Manhattan and took the ferry every day. I'm sure he read a lot, too, on those long trips back and forth.

I was a tomboy and my favorite place to read was up in a tree. I had two favorites - both with branches that formed comfortable seats - and I'd climb up and settle in for an hour or so. I was hidden from view but close enough to catch any action on the street. I loved folk and fairy tales and the Little House on the Prairie books. Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew, Island of the Blue Dolphins - anything with strong and spunky girl characters.

When I got to college, I even worked in the library—that's how much I loved books. Plus it really helped when I needed to track down books for research papers :) Actually, it's a wonder that I didn't become a librarian. Obviously, I didn't.

But, I still tried to find time for reading every day. With the pressure and demands of a full-time job (and one where I frequently worked 60+ hours a week), I found it harder and harder to fit it in. The most I could manage was a few minutes before falling asleep at night. My greatest joy since leaving the corporate world behind is having time for reading again. I missed it - a lot.

So, what do I like to read? A little of everything, really. I like biographies of people I admire, and I've been reading a lot of books on politics since the last election. I love cookbooks and historical fiction and even the occasional trashy novel. I love beautifully-illustrated children's books and beautifully-photographed craft books. And I still like spunky female characters.

I usually read in the late afternoons while waiting for that second wave of energy to kick in - the one that carries me into the studio after dinner. In the winter it's in a comfy chair near the woodstove with a cup of tea. In summer it's in the hammock that looks out over the back yard and woods behind my house. And I read in bed, too, though nothing too exciting or I'll stay up half the night.

Right now I'm reading Knitting Lessons: Tales From the Knitting Path by Lela Nargi and The Third Child by Marge Piercy. Yes, I read more than one book at a time. Sara Nelson, in her book So Many Books, So Little Time calls this double-booking. Maybe it's because there are so many books I want to read. Or that my interests are so varied.

What's next? I recently rented Capote (Phillip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant in this movie) and it reminded me how much I love Truman Capote's writing. And I don't mean "In Cold Blood" either. So, I have Breakfast at Tiffany's (also not a bad movie, but the book is better) which I read years ago and a collection of his short stories.

So, what do you like to read? Any favorites you'd like to recommend? Do share!

And thanks to everyone for their good wishes while I've been recovering from my sinus infection. I'm happy to report that the antibiotics are working...finally. And I hope to be back to normal soon. I haven't been getting much work done, not a good thing when you work for yourself!


Unknown said...

Little House on the Prairie is my favorite--I've read and reread those books so many times. It's on my to do list to buy a set of hardcovers of the series.

I wish I had more time to read--right now I'm so distracted, the best I can do is to flip through a magazine. Ah, life with two kids!

tlchang said...

Hope you continue to recover quickly! I also read all of those same books as a kid. Along with Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, CS Lewis, Edward Eager, and Madeliene L'Engle. 'Read all of those (series mostly) to my kids as well, so I got to re-read them as an adult. Well worth it! My current favorite authors are Charles de Lint (if you haven't read him but are interested in urban fantasy, start with his short stories), and Patricia McKillip. Terri Windling's Fairy Tale series are all very good if you like re-tellings. I'm also addicted to gardening books, herbals, and design magazines.

janet said...

Oh, I love Terri Windling but haven't read anything recent. And I read one Charles de Lint book but can't remember which one. I guess I'm just an occasional fantasy reader.

I like the idea of rediscovering books by reading them to kids. So, Donna, you'll come back around to reading eventually :)