bib•lio•phile noun \ˈbi-blē-ə-ˌfī(-ə)l\
: a lover of books especially for qualities of format
Books. I adore them. The smell. The feel of the paper as it rustles beneath your fingers. Deckled edges. Oh! The rough cut of deckled edges makes me smile.
Exquisite cover art beckons to me in the bookstore. I have no qualms in judging a book by its cover. Some of the best titles I’ve ever read were purchased because of inviting cover art.
There’s a certain thrill in opening an unread book and scanning the table of contents before diving inside a new adventure. It’s immensely satisfying once you close the back cover and mentally add the story to the growing collection inside your mind.
Since early childhood, there has never been a time when I haven’t had a book in my hands. My parents often forced me to put my book aside and go outdoors to play like the rest of my siblings. A rule was created at my home specifically for me: No books allowed at the dinner table.
When I was injured in grade school and required to stay in bed for several days, my mother bought me L.M. Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables. In middle school, I discovered Lloyd Alexander and The Black Cauldron. High school introduced me to such greats as George Orwell who opened my eyes to a totalitarian dystopia with Nineteen Eighty-Four. A job as a bookseller led me to contemporary favorites such as Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule, and friendships with people far more intelligent than I made me aware of Ian McEwan’s exceptional novel Saturday.
In short: I breathe, therefore I read.
Several years ago, I joined an online community called 50BookChallenge. Between college and work, my reading had declined more than I liked, so the idea was to join a group that would challenge me to read more. Fifty books a year averaged out to approximately four books a month. An avid reader such as me didn’t see that as much of a challenge, but it ended up being trickier than I thought. One book a week is easy enough when you have plenty of free time; however when you couple that book with late-night reports, trips ferrying animals across town for veterinary visits and playtime, client dinners and the like, one book a week becomes difficult.
Although it has been challenging, I relish the goal I set for myself each year. It forces me outside my reading comfort zone. Book recommendations from friends and the online community introduce me to new authors and genres I might not have chosen on my own.
Oftentimes, the best book recommendation doesn’t come from a literary critic. It comes from a passionate reader – hence, this blog. I will not claim to be knowledgeable about what makes a book a bestseller. I read books for pleasure, not because it’s a literary masterpiece. My reviews touch upon what makes me laugh, think, or cry – a good book will accomplish at least some of these things.
Hopefully, you’re able to find something valuable in each review. Some of them will be short. Some will be lengthy. If you think I should read a certain title, by all means, let me know. You’re here for the same reason I write this. You love to read. Therefore, I value your opinions and suggestions.
It’s my desire that you enjoy these titles as much as I have. Enjoy!