31 Things – Read

Prompt 3 in Ali’s 31 Things class is about reading. I was again surprised at how much I wrote about it! Instead of taking new pictures this time, I’ve used some old ones again, but will probably add in some newer ones over the weekend. I’m still really enjoying recording these aspects of my life in such detail though!

I love to read! Always have, always will. Never at any point in my life have I struggled with delving into a good book! I used to read much more when I was a kid than I do now, but I still love it all the same. I read to relax and to learn mostly, and enjoy every moment of it usually. There is something about getting lost in a good book that is so enticing. It’s like entering a whole other world. You can tell when I most enjoy a book, because I can’t put it down, and will stay up most of the night reading it. It usually means that I finish a book in a couple of days.

Even when I was little I was a strong reader. I used to read above my age group, and when I was about 8, I read a book called the 9 Days Queen (which I still have today!) that is aimed at 15 year olds. I loved that book! I’ve probably read it about a dozen times over the years!

One of my favourite things about primary school was the Scholastic book club. They used to send out mini catalogues with lots of books listed, for us kids to take home, choose what we wanted and take back to school to make the order. The books would then be delivered a couple of weeks later. I always loved pouring over these catalogues and trying to work out the best books that I could buy, the ones that would be the most intriguing or the best value. I think Mum liked the fact that I read so much, because she never seemed to have too much of a problem with letting me get one most times!

I completed the MS Readathon a couple of times, which was a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis. I didn’t really know much about the issue, and still don’t, but I didn’t mind raising money for it, because I was doing something I enjoyed so much and would be doing anyway, so I figured why not raise some money to help others out. I loved trying to read as many books as I could to try and raise as much money as possible. This was back when I was starting out reading chapter books, and it was not unusual for me to read around the 50 book mark, which isn’t bad really. The way the sponsorship worked is that people sponsored you for how many books you read.

Growing up, I used to stay up way past my bed time reading most nights. Mum used to come in and tell me it was bed time and to turn off the lights, and I’d tell her I would at the end of the chapter, but would then read for quite awhile longer until she came back in or I got tired. Even now when I read, I stay up way past my bed time when I’m reading a good book. I find they always sucker me in and I want to keep reading. It’s like being in a whole other world!

When Samantha was little, I used to read to her most nights. I’ve never been the greatest at reading out loud, but I used to enjoy it. We would sit on her bottom bunk bed, where it was way too dark to read properly, and I’d go through lots of different books. Sometimes Bec would join in too. I miss that… We used to be so close! When Bec was in Kindy, one of her reading books was called Each Peach Pear Plum, and I read this to them. To this day, I can still recite it word for word… Not bad when that was about 20 years ago!

Towards the end of primary school, I even managed to go to 2 different book signings. At one, I met the author Margaret Clarke, who signed a copy of her book, Fat Chance, for me. I also met the illustrator of the Tashi books, Kim Gamble. He came to my primary school at one stage too, and I remember watching him draw a picture of Tashi in pastels on black board, which was framed in the school library right up until after I left. My love of bright colours on black grew from there!

I was in love with books enough that I was even library monitor for the last 2 years of primary school. It was basically one of my jobs to help put books away, to check books out for people, and to help keep the place in order. I also spent a fair bit of time in the library in high school, although they don’t have as many interesting books in a high school library. I spent a lot more time on the computers there.

Some of my favourite books as a kid were Goosebumps and the Babysitters Club books. I read and reread them a lot. I even owned the entire first series of the Goosebumps books, which I think Mum might still have at her place. I was so in love with that collection, although I was rather disappointed that there were about 8 or so books that were too big for one bookshelf shelf! Even now, I still like my books to look super neat on the shelf, all matching sizes and grouped together in order for the series! I also like all the books in series to match. It drives me crazy when they have different covers, like my Eragon book! I’m missing one book from the True Blood series, and haven’t started reading any because of it, since I can’t find a matching one with red writing on the spine anywhere so far!

I like having my books covered before I read them, so they don’t get damaged. I can’t stand when people fold down pages and crack the spines of books either, whether they are my books or someone else’s. I really do not like people damaging them at all and find it rather sad. Often I can be too lazy to cover books through, and that puts me off starting to read sometimes. I’m having this problem with the Hunger Games books at the moment, so I’m determined to do it this weekend so I can start reading them.

These days, I find the most enjoyable books to be young adult ones. Some favourite ones include Harry Potter, Twilight, Eragon, Melissa Marr’s books, and all of the Dan Brown books. I think these authors are extremely talented and creative. This is especially true for the writer of the Eragon books, Christopher Paolini, who was only like 16 when he wrote the first one, which then turned in to 4 books. I also love travel books, especially the Lonely Planet guides, and buy them for each place I visit. My next one to buy is the Thailand one.

One of my goals for this year is to read at least one book every month for the year, so a minimum of 12 books throughout. So far this year, I’ve read all 4 Eragon books, Crafternoon, Between and a book with 2 short stories called Dark Lies, and it’s only the start of June. I plan on reading the 3 Hunger Games books, and the Tomorrow series as well, along with my NZ Lonely Planets Guide, and I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Management, as well. I’m yet to decide what other books to read though, but I think I’ll exceed the 12 books this year, which is more than I’ve done in some recent years.

I love buying new books. I once went to a Big W book sale and spent $200 laybying books, and haven’t even read a lot of them. They seems like a good idea at the time though! Now when I choose books, I’m more picky. I tend to get most of them from Kmart as impulse buys. I look through the shelves at the store and find books that catch my eye. I’m drawn to interesting covers firstly, but I’ll usually read the back to see how it sounds, then choose the most interesting sounding one. I try to only buy one or 2 at a time as well, although if it’s a series, then I’ll buy all of them at once, like I did with Hunger Games. On a random note, I only paid $10 each for my Hunger Games books, which made me happy. I’ve spent way more on books in the past!

Lately, I’ve taken to buying the books from Book Depository instead of from bookshops. It’s cheaper for me to buy them there and have them sent to me in Australia than to buy from most places in Australia. They offer free shipping worldwide too. I usually have to wait 2-3 weeks longer, but it seems to be worth it so far. My last order was 4 Lonely Planets guides that cost me about $80 in total from there, but would have been around $130 in Australia, which is a huge saving!

To help free up some bookshelf space, I’ve taken to passing on books to Mum and the girls that I have no intention of rereading again It gives them something new to read, and gives me room for more books! I think I need to upgrade my bookshelf though, since it’s still getting too small… I’ve already moved out all of my craft books to the craft room, and cook books to another bookshelf in the loungeroom!

Michael’s not a huge reader at all, but so far this year he’s read Between, the 3 Hunger Games books over Easter long weekend, and he’s on to the 4th Eragon book as of this evening as well. I’m quite impressed that he’s taken to it so well. He actually has some similar tastes to me, which works well for him, since I have so many other books he can read!

There is something about real books that is so much more intriguing to me than reading them on an ereader. I’m not sure why that is though. I guess it must be the texture and smell of the real books? I am contemplating getting an ereader though, since I can fill it with books, which are usually way cheaper than real books, and it takes up way less space. This sounds especially helpful for while I’m travelling. I’m not sure how I’d like it though. Maybe just getting a small tablet PC will be enough for me though, since I’m looking at getting one anyway. I don’t like reading books on the computer much though, I find it much harder to be drawn in to the story. I sometimes use the kindle app on my iPhone, but Michael hates when I do that, and keeps telling me how bad it is for my eyes, but they’re already bad anyway.

I download a lot of ebooks. I tend not to read all the many though. I have taken them to work to read a few times, which works well enough, but it can get distracting with calls coming in all the time. I tend to spend more time at work reading blogs and writing diary entries or blog posts, so I can come home at night and not have to think about them.

I sometimes read magazines, especially when it’s quiet at work. I used to read them a lot when I was a teen, starting out with Dolly and Girlfriend, then moving on to Cleo and Cosmopolitan. I used to keep most of them and had A LOT, but not so much now. I tend to buy them and not read all the way through, so I don’t buy them very often at all. At work, there is usually a stash to read, since everyone brings them in, although they’re usually the gossip magazines, which I don’t find all that interesting.

I really enjoy reading the Body and Soul section from the Sunday Telegraph too. I used to steal this from Mum’s paper when she brought it and read it before she could, and she hated me pulling the paper apart to get to it! I don’t buy the paper, but when we take Michael’s work car to the car wash, I tend to pull it out and read it, and I’m loving that tradition!

I have a lot of cookbooks. I don’t tend to use them that often, and really should either start using them more, or pass them on. When I look through them,  I tend to see lots of recipes that look amazing, but to be honest, half of them are too complicated to make on a regular basic, and I prefer cooking good staple meals that are quick and easy to make, rather than fussy.

Where I read tends to change pretty regularly. Often, I’ll be lounging in bed, on the lounge, or curled up in my computer chair at the table. I tend not to read much when I’m out though, because I get distracted too easily. I love curling up in Mum’s recliner chair to read as well, and can’t wait to get one when we buy a place! I’ve already decided it will live in my craft room, so I may yet end up with 2 so I can have one in the lounge room too!

If you want to see the earlier prompts, you can check out Jewellery here, and Morning here.


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