Friday, June 12, 2015

The Curse of Being a Voracious Reader

From as early on as I can remember I have devoured books like chocolate chip cookies. They are one of my favorite things and I simply can’t get enough! My parents used to tease me by saying that along with teaching me about life, they had to train me in “book manners.” It was common to hear them say “Julianne, put your book down and talk to the other people in the car!” Or, “No, you may not bring a book into the restaurant.”

Normally I’m extremely grateful for this gift and my love of books, but I’ve recently realized there are numerous downsides as well…

1. My favorite authors can’t keep up with me.

When I find an author I love I will obsessively read through every book they’ve ever written, and then anxiously stalk their website to determine when their next release is scheduled. This is particularly frustrating if the author is writing a consecutive series.

2. Going on vacation is a heavy burden.

It’s not vacation for me if I don’t have a few good books to read. And by few, I mean a lot. Growing up, I was the youngest of 3 and a lot of vacations in my middle/high school years were just my parents and me. We would head to the beach, up north, or a lake and they would plop me down by the water with a stack of books – I was happy for hours. Of course, this also meant trekking along enough books to keep me occupied. Thankfully, having a kindle has made my traveling load a little lighter.

3. Library fines.

Typically I am a fairly punctual person, but when it comes to using the library, I have an inability to return things on time. When it’s one or two books at a time it’s no big deal, but there was that time I had 30 books over 2 weeks late…

4.There aren’t enough good books in the world.

You may call me a cynic, or claim that I simply haven’t broadened my horizons enough, but for all the books that have been written, there are some pretty bad ones out there. I read through the goods ones so fast, that it seems like I spend the majority of my time scraping the bottom of the barrel. Last night I was asking my mom for suggestions, but I’d already read the 8 she came up with. The flip-side is that I love to re-read books. Brandon thinks this is incredibly strange, particularly since I rarely like to re-watch a movie that I’ve seen before, but I never mind spending time reconnecting with characters I’ve fallen in love with. Plus, I read so much that if I wait long enough, I generally forget the ending J

And for all of you who are wondering at this point, no I don’t just skim or speed read, I do retain what I actually read…in fact I always scored the highest on the reading comprehension parts of standardized tests.

But while there are downfalls, I’m grateful for my parents for instilling this love of reading in me from such an early age – and yes, I’m already scouring my childhood library, garage sales, and amazon to build up our little one’s library!

So - do you have any recommendations??


  1. I totally agree! I consume books so quickly, although it has calmed down quite a bit since I had the baby, as I just don't have the free time I once had. But when I am reading I am constantly looking for pockets of time in my day when I can read another chapter or two. Would love to hear some author and title recommendations. I am always looking for something new to read

    1. I'm sure! With the morning sickness I had during my first trimester I didn't do much EXCEPT read, I figure I better enjoy it now :) Lets see, some of my more recent favorites are Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers), anything by Kristin Hannah, The Help, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Jamie Ford), and All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr).

  2. I hear ya! I borrow books on my Kindle sometimes. The benefit of that is I get to keep the books longer by turning off the wifi. The book goes back at the end of the lending period but stays on your device until you turn the wifi back on again. I've definitely had times when I have too many books but not enough time. Also, I re-read Rebecca every year. I've read it countless times but I still love it each time. What have you read/type books do you like to read?

    1. That's so convenient! I've tried it a few times, but have been having some Kindle problems lately so it might be time for an update. As much as I love my kindle though, its just still not the same as a book :) I really love all genes, although I probably read mostly fiction - my favorite era is probably any kindof of fiction (or non-fiction) set during WWII.

    2. Have you read Unbroken? If you're up for a good cry read Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah and then the sequel. I didn't really cry reading it but it is sad and you are pregnant ;-). Sarah Addison Allen is another good one, she writes fictions with a little bit of magic in every story. They make this New England girl wish she was a Southern. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult left me surprised by the ending. Oh and Diane Chamberlain, I find her similar to Kristen Hannah

    3. I have read Unbroken and Firefly Lane - both made me cry! I'll have to check out Sarah Addison Allen and Diane Chamberlain! Thanks for the recommendations. Normally I'm a big Jodi Picoult fan, but the ending of Leaving Time threw me way off!

  3. Yes, yes, yes! Girl, it's like we could be sisters...but we already knew that. :) I hear you on number one! So frustrating when an author leaves you hanging! And number two! Traveling with eleven people makes luggage space tight...but I will gladly give up a few outfits and pairs of shoes for extra book space! Ouch library fines...thankfully our library system has a $10 fine limit. My greatest problem is being a slow reader (although I have gotten much faster in the past few years!)...which does have it's perks because, like you, I remember ever little detail but it also means I always have a rather long list of books to read and rarely reread my favorites because it seems wrong when there are so many books I have to read. As far as suggestions, last summer Mom and I read several of the Aunt Dimity books. They are kinda kooky but really just fun, cozy reads. Have you read Fighting for Dear Life? Super serious but an amazing story. You might enjoy The Pact...really incredible true story. I just finished reading Americanah which was just okay and I don't know if I would really recommend but definitely makes you reconsider race in America. My Mom keeps telling me I need to read Raising Henry...I'm just waiting for one of the many people she's lent it out to to return it and hopefully I can nab it before it's off to someone else. :) Robert Witlow has some not epic but entertaining legal thrillers you might enjoy. I just started a book today Bruno, Chief of was recommended by my librarian and seems like it will be fun. I can't remember...have you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Just amazing, life changing, awesome. Oh, and This Side of Paradise...F. Scott's a book you love for the meaning. Seriously, Fitzgerald is the best. And there you have it! :)

    1. You are brilliant. I always love your suggestions - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favorites. Can't wait to add some of these to my library list!

  4. Ditto, here. You know we are all major readers. Even Carmella walks around with chapter books telling me not to put it back in the library because she hasn't finished reading it. She will sit for an hour looking at a book with no pictures. Yeah, travel is tough. I can take 1 pair of jeans and two shirts and be happy for a month but don't ask me to decide which book to leave behind. One year Allen bought all of us kindles thinking it would help. It didn't really. The next vacation he attempted to say we couldn't take any books that weren't on Kindle. We almost had a mutiny on our hands. Last year the boys were trying to get all their clothes into two suitcases so they could have an entire suitcase to take for books. And they make deals like, no one read this book because I am going to take it on vacation so we can all read it then. That triples their book quota. Nine months out of the year I stick to deep reading but when summer comes give me some fluff and a poolside chair and I will be happy for three months. Mysteries are always my favorite but I will read just about anything that isn't too insightful during the summer. This year our family is reading through the works of Charles Dickens. I am way behind the rest of the gang. Probably my favorite fluff book I've read this year so far was the Monogram Murders... I was shocked by what a great job the author did of imitating Agatha Christie's Poirot. Over the Christmas holidays we all tore through the Greatest Hits series... a family of hit men. Kooky. Not great literature but fun and mindless.

  5. YES!! Alan Bradley: If you are reading this, WRITE FASTER! I've read everything by him that is available from our library. His Flavia de Luce series is fantastic. (and they're coming out with a BBC series this year!)

    Also, read 3 surprisingly incredible books:
    1- Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton. Mystery, based on true events. Fantastically and cleverly written. Entertaining, fluffy and I learned a surprisingly good sized bit of art-and France-related history.

    2- The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin. Picked up because it looked cute. Kinda lags in the middle, but supposed to be, I think. The ending is SO worth the reading. Surprisingly open about born-again Christianity.

    3- A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship & the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz (you're on you own on how to pronounce his last name) The title on this one is self-explanatory. He made me re-thing Austen in a very good way. And not nearly as heavy as it sounds...

    oh, and K by Mary Roberts Rhinehart. An old book. A great story. Literally picked this for the title... How could one resist a book titled with their own nickname? Obviously not me... :)

    Hope these can keep you occupied for a bit... :D