I'm Cinnamon (yes, it's my real name), the main author of this blog. What you're looking at here is a place where I can share my thoughts on the books I've been reading.
A Little History
I grew up as an Air Force brat. My mom was in the service and every three years or so we would travel to a new state or country to live. Some people think that it's a tough life for a kid and at times it was, but I have so many fond memories of that time that they outweigh any of the negatives. One of the best parts about living in so many different places was the love for books I developed.
In some of the countries we lived in we had no access to English television programming. It was either watch the local T.V. which I couldn't understand, or recorded movies. Let me tell you, once you've seen Harry and the Hendersons for the 17th time, it gets a little boring. Lucky for me my mom was an avid reader. I can even still remember her old bookcase. It was one of those old fashioned ones with the glass paneled glass doors that closed in front. It was made of thick, heavy wood; good quality. I would sit and look at the bookcase, wishing I could pull down one of the many books but knowing that it would probably be wiser if I didn't. My mother was very protective of her books; they were some of her prized possessions. I had a spot on the lowest shelf with my books, but her books were strictly off limits. Unless she was reading them with me that is.
That's probably where I learned my love for books and reading. In our household books were sacred. You didn't bend the cover, roll the spine and for heaven's sake you did not dog-ear the pages! That's a lot like how I treat my books now. They are still sacred to me; a collection of someone else's thoughts and dreams that countless hours of work went into. The only real difference is that now my books sit on multiple cheaper bookshelves. They don't really make them like they used to.
One of the first books I remember reading is the all time favorite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After that it was the Anne of Avonlea series. Now, I'm sure that there must have been books in between, I just don't remember. I know that Anne of Avonlea was one of the first "real" books that I read at the young old age of 6 or 7 (based on the location I was living in). I loved those books. I wonder, if my mother had known what she was starting, would she have still encouraged my passion for read? Probably. Living in countries where the number of people you can actually understand is very limited, books were a good escape for me. From that point on, I was rarely without a book.
You Read Too Quickly!
I cannot tell you how many times I heard that statement. I guess it was justified though as I did go through books quite quickly in my teen years. First it was the Thoroughbred Series, Nancy Drew and the Magic the Gathering books. Yeah I know, the last one is a little dorky. What can I say, I was an only child and, well, a dork!
My mother loved going to the bookstore most weekends. We'd hang out, people watch, skim through various books and often she'd grab a book and curl up in a chair for a bit. Back then, being the bratty teen I was, all I wanted to do was go home. Now, living in a small town, I wish I had made better use of my time. Oh how I would love to have a cozy little bookstore around here! Anyway, the point was that during most visits I would leave with another book in whatever series I happened to be reading. I'd read it in the car and then once we got home I would plop down on my bed with the sun shining through the blinds and read, read, read. Usually, by the next day I'd be running to my mom pleading for another book. Often she'd oblige, but not without the lecture of how I was wasting my books by reading them too quickly. What can I say, I'm a fast reader. I don't skim, I just read quickly.
Isn't That Expensive?
My friends now say the same things my mother said back then. She doesn't bring it up as often as she used to because it's not her dollar funding my obsession now. I pay for the books myself, which is part of what people don't understand. "Well, why don't you go to the library? Isn't it cheaper?" Yes, I imagine the library is cheaper, unless you always forget to return your books. Then the fines start racking up. Plus, I never have good luck with the library. Usually, whenever I want to start a new series or am dying to find out what happens to our hero or heroine the library never has the right book. I'm not a patient person and I usually end up all twitchy until I found out what happens next.
There are very few things I like more than the look of all my books stacked up neatly on their shelves looking pretty. Contrary to popular belief, I do go back and reread my books. If it is something I would want to read again and again I wouldn't keep the book. It's possible that I'm just easy to please because I can't remember the last time I let anyone make off with one of my books. I'm sure many can relate to that. You're sitting at home reading a fantastic paperback, but it's cold and dreary outside and what you're really in the mood for is one of the sappy romances you have stashed upstairs. You go grab the book and the day is brighter. Perhaps I'm a pack rat. Maybe I have separation anxiety. Who knows. Either way, I love my books and I love to have my books. For keeps.
Why the Sudden Surge in Reading?
It's actually quite simple really. I read all the time as a kid. Toward the end of my high school experience it dropped off slightly as I got caught up in after school activities, but I can still remember reading Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series over and over again. In fact, they are still some of my favorite stories. My reading really dropped off once I moved to college. You know, it's really not easy to read for pleasure when your professors demand that you read 200 pages a night for their classes (slight exaggeration). I frowned, sucked it up and got on with life. My books continued to hold a treasured place on their respective shelves, but remained main untouched while I progressed through 5 years of schooling including switching my major three times and then going for an additional teaching endorsement.
With graduation in sight I was all geared up to begin reading again. "Free time," my mind shouter in elation. Well, as fate would have it, free time just wasn't in the books. Nobody explained that after college I would have to start becoming a part of the "real world." That meant a job, which oddly enough, took up as much of my time as school did! Couple that with the fact that I found myself pregnant with our first child, my dreams of free time went soaring right out the window and splatted on the sidewalk.
Now, years after graduation and with a toddler who is at the manageable age of predictable naps and sleeping through the night, I again have the time to read. I picked up a pleasure book for the first time in years in January and made it my resolution to give in to my need for reading. So far I've done fairly well. With 30+ books under my belt as of April, I've kept my word to myself. For me, reading is more than just pleasure or obsession; it's my escape. With so much that's going on in the world - so much stress, violence, negativity - it's nice to be able to just sit back and wander off into someone else's world for a while. My brain has a little creative edge to it and although I don't quite know how to use that creativity to make anything that doesn't resemble a third grade art project, reading helps to stimulate it and use it.
What's A Journey of Books About?
Around the beginning of 2009 I began to think that I should do something with all the time I spend reading. I haven't changed much from when I was a child. I continue to read constantly and quickly. If I actually use the 3-4 hours per day I have to read, I can finish an average length book in a couple of days. I was spending roughly $6-$8 per book for 2 days of enjoyment and then I'd be on to the next book (at least until my rereads). I would usually go into to work and ramble on about my thoughts on the latest story to those that would listen, watching as their eyes glazed over and they started dreaming about playing in traffic instead of listening to me anymore. Really, I can't blame them. I don't actually know people outside of the Internet that share my interests in reading.
A Journey of Books is my journey to discover more about myself throughout the year. I still hold the belief that books change lives and I think that by examining our thoughts on what we read and our reactions, we can learn a lot about ourselves.
So that's about it. If you want to know more about me, you're welcome to shoot me an email at ajourneyofbooks-at-gmail-dot-com. You can also click the contact tab at the top of the blog. If you want to know more about my various reading piles, feel free to look me up and even add me as a friend on GoodReads.
For now I'm out. Hope your day is lovely and the stories good.