May 18, 2007

Where do you find the books?

It started as a question from Chris to JenClaire and has quickly turned into a meme of sorts. The question was, "Where do you find the books that you read?" Along with probably a dozen other folk I have given this some thought and come up with my own answer.

I spent a few years going through the library shelves and picking a book based on the title, cover art, or if it was an Oprah pick. I got a lot of garbage that way. After a while I was completely sick of it. Like eating hot dogs and soda everyday for months on end, it was leaving a bile-like flavor in the back of my throat. I do still go through the New section at the library once in a while but it's not a habit and more of a treat if I find something I just can't let pass.

When I started homeschooling the kiddos I started picking up the old children's classics that everyone is supposed to have read and loved. I wasn't a reader as a child so I missed out on so much. So I started reading these classics and falling in love. I quickly learned why these titles have endured for decades.

Homeschooling had another influence on my reading. I was using The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Bauer for our curriculum choices, so when I heard that Mrs. Bauer had come out with a book for adults called The Well-Educated Mind I had to have it. It took me 3 years to get through the novel list. It was like pouring lighter fluid on that initial spark. I developed a taste for classic literature that is still going strong. I am currently working through the poetry list.

Other lists that keep me busy are the 1000 Good Books List and Dear Reader. The former is for children and the latter sends a 2-3 snippet of a classic to my email once a month. After sampling it I choose if I want to read it or not.

I absolutely love used book stores. My local library has a used book store that I visit about once a month. I find more books there than I can read in a month for both me and my kiddos. I love the hunting down of the jewel in the rough. That's why I also visit the Salvation Army stores to see what treasures I can find. I have amassed quite a stock of books from these type of organizations alone.

Since being involved in the world of book blogs my TBR list has grown by leaps and bounds. At first I wanted to read everything that I read a good review of but I have been disappointed a few times in my reading material so I now follow the advice of a few kindred spirits who share my worldview and taste in reading.

I want to mention that because of a few reading challenges I have read titles I probably wouldn't have discovered otherwise so I am branching out. These challenges give my reading a focus it's never had before.

And lastly, my Chocolate authors; those authors who are a guilty pleasure but are not what one would call great literature. I have a strong liking for Nicholas Sparks. After being swept off my feet by the movies The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, I have found I can put up with a lesser inspired writing style if I can have that romantic touch in the end.

I think that about covers it. Classics, kiddie lit, a few used book stores, a couple of lists, and my blogging buddies, that's what reading lists are made of.


Amy said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I have read both Bauer Books and enjoyed them. I also enjoyed Honey for a Child's Heart and Honey for a Woman's Heart.

Happy Reading!

Petunia said...

Glad you enjoyed the post. I have Honey for a Child's Heart. I'll look out for a Woman's Heart.