The Books That Started It All: What Made Me The Reader That I Am Today

Like so many other readers around the world, I can’t point to a single book and say, “This was the one! The ONE book that made me fall in love with reading.” Instead, my love of books has been a life-long affair; beginning when I was a child and still going strong!

Here’s a look at my history of being a bibliophile.

I was a lucky child—my parents filled my early years with shelves of children’s books. Some of my favorites included: If You Give a Pig a Pancake (and later, If You Give a Moose a Muffin), Are You My Mother?, The Bernstein Bears, and my mom’s favorite: Five Minutes Peace (which I only truly appreciated once I had children of my own).

It was in my later years of elementary school when I was allowed in the “other” side of the library, and discovered that books also told facts, not just stories. Within those shelves I discovered books on every species of animals around the world. I had at least one Zoobooks magazine in my backpack at all times, and loved learning about Earth. For a while I even thought that I’d become a zoologist. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t still love a good fiction book. My favorite series were The Boxcar Children, and Goosebumps (even though that last one may have been the cause of my childhood fear of porcelain dolls and going into my basement).

I’m sad to report that I didn’t read for pleasure while in high school. I’m not sure if that’s because I began to see reading as a chore and homework-related, or if I was too focused on my friends. I’m sure the fact that my parents got our family’s first computer with internet access during those years, contributed to my lack of reading. Being able to suddenly enter chatrooms and talk with other teens from around the world took up a lot of my time. (I’m totally showing my age with that admission!)

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I began to read for fun again.

My roommate was constantly reading paperbacks. She let me borrow one by her favorite author, Nora Roberts, and I was instantly in LOVE with romance novels. Together, my roommate and I scoured every Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores we could find to buy used books that fit our non-existent budget (I was in college and dirt poor!). Nora Roberts and Catherine Coulter were my favorites, but I did try other authors and genres. I always came back to romance. Mainly because my life was stressful, and if I was going to get invested in a novel’s characters, I wanted them to have a happy ending. I NEEDED that high! I’ve stayed with the romance genre ever since.

Catherine Coulter gave me my love for historical romance. It wasn’t until Twilight came out that I began reading paranormal. I don’t remember what my first sci-fi romance novel was… I think it was one of those, “I love paranormal, so I bet I’ll like this too!” kind of moments.

Of course things are vastly different now. I have a Kindle (a gift from my husband back in 2008), which stores most of my hundreds of books (cough… probably a couple thousand books… cough!). I have read dozens of authors, fell in love with some and deleted a few others, but my love of books remains. I still can’t pass up a romance paperback in the bin at my local Goodwill. 🙂

Whether it be paperback, hard cover, ebook, or audiobook… I am a proud bibliophile!

What about you guys? Leave a comment and let me know which book (or books) kindled your love for reading!



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