Friday, September 21, 2007

What I Read

Candace Salima has suggested we write about what we read and why.

A few years ago, after adding a larger living room to our house, we decided to rearrange some of the other rooms. Since we had books stashed in kids' rooms, in the basement, in our bedroom, in a bookcase in the living room, in boxes in the garage, and under couches and beds, we decided to build shelves and make our original living into our library and house all of the books in one place. Of course, I fantasized that the books would be organized similar to real libraries--silly me--at least most of the books are in a central location.

My kids love books. One of their favorite "rewards" is to go to the thrift store and fill a bag with "previously loved" books. I love books, too. I buy books through the book clubs at my kids' school, from Amazon, at bookstores, at Walmart, and wherever I can find books I want to read. I love to go to the bookstore and just "smell" all the books. I love to handle them in my hands and touch the pages. I recently walked through a bookstore in Denver, CO that's 3 stories high and filled with so many books my eyes popped out of my head. Yes, we love books.

Since my library is filled with picture books (I've read at least a million picture books through the years), easy readers, chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels, that's what I read a lot. I loved Princess Academy (Shannon Hale) and Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli).

We do have a section in the library dedicated to my husband's passion--LDS doctrinal books--but I don't select books from that section as often as I should. However, I am currently reading The Third Thousand Years (Cleon Skousen) as an accompaniment to my Old Testament study and have found this series to be quite enlightening and helpful as I attempt to digest the stories of the ancient prophets. But, I still gravitate toward fiction.

I also have shelves for my adult fiction choices which tend to be LDS fiction. I'm currently reading Ghost of a Chance (Kerry Lynn Blair) and am loving it. I love the voice of the main character, Samantha Shade. Blair's humor is woven throughout the story and it makes me want to meet the author in person because she must be one funny woman. I am enjoying this book very much.

I read LDS fiction because I do not want to wade through trash and profanity to try to find the story. I want to be entertained. I want to learn. I want to see characters with my values. I want to feel the spiritual growth of the characters. I want to think about something differently. I generally feel "safe" in choosing an LDS fiction book. I have come to expect certain standards from the publishers of LDS books and I know what I'm getting. I don't have to worry that I'll be spiritually offended.

I believe the quality of LDS fiction has increased greatly and we will continue to see more growth from LDS authors. I love to read books by people I "know" and admire. I also want to see the market grow and flourish.

I read LDS fiction for many reasons, but the main reason is because I enjoy it.


G. Parker said...

Well said...I'm with you. I love walking into a book store and simply seeing all the books! My family and I could spend HOURS at a book store. We have to limit ourselves -- we only go at Christmas and usually spend over $100 of the Christmas money on books, but that's all we can afford. I splurged at the ldsstorywriters conference and got some more wonderful ones, but sigh...the buy and trade stores are my salvation.

Kerry Blair said...

Wow, Rebecca! You're my new best friend! (Possibly, we were separated at birth.) I love Princess Academy, but Stargirl is one of my all-time favorite books!

There is a bookstore in my hometown that is the most eclectic mess you've ever seen. The books are so crammed on groaning shelves that some of them actually fall on your head while you're edging sideways down the impossibly narrow aisles. Obviously, visiting here is my idea of a day in paradise!

Thanks for the kind words about the book. You've made my day. Week. (Okay, so you've probably made my whole year!)

Rachelle said...

I'd love to see a picture of all of your shelves. That is a dream of mine.
You've been tagged!

Josi said...

My husband often jokes that he has no fear of sending me to the mall with his credit card so long as there isn't a bookstore in it.

and JUST this weekend I completed my honest-to-goodness bookshelves. They are soooooooo nice and I just love love love that I have them. Maybe I'll take a picture and post it on my blog.

super fun post. I love hearing about other people's book-passions

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Rebecca you spoke the words of my heart when you said you loved to smell books, hold books, turn the pages. I am the same way! I want one of those old-fashioned British libraries. You know, the ones with the ladders that slide on a rail? How incredibly cool would that be?

Thanks for blogging about this. I think you conveyed the thoughts of many very well.

Karlene said...

I love books too. I have gobs of bookshelves but I'm running out of space--even after recently clearing out a bunch of them.

I'm in KY now helping my parents move to a much smaller home. One of the things they can't take with them is their book collection. We're sending a lot to Goodwill, but I'm taking over half home. So far I'm up to 10 boxes--and we've only gone through two rooms!