So, I wanted to tell my reading journey for many reasons: 1. being that I think knowing my story will let you peek a little into my life and 2. if my story can relate to anyone else’s then I feel like I have connected with that person.
Where It All Began
Growing up my dad would always read me stories every night before bed. I know this, not because I can remember it, but because I have been told. He says that would bring him as many books as I could carry, which for a two year old that is about 10-15 Dr. Suess books. I loved to hear my dad read to me even as I got older. Now, I can’t recall ever seeing my dad read other than to me and my brother. I don’t know if he enjoys reading for himself or he just enjoyed reading to his two children. My mom; however, was always reading something. Most of the time is was romance novels and novels to this day I couldn’t dream of reading without blushing, but she always brought a book with her every where. So, because of this I think that is where I got my love of books. My favorites growing up were Wacky Wednesday and Go Dogs, Go.
Growing Up With Books
As I got older and more mature in my reading, I started venturing into chapter books. Now, as an adolescent I loved two things: books and horses. So, when I started getting into chapter books I found the book series of all book series that really solidified my reading, The Thoroughbred Series by Joanna Campbell. To this day, I love going back and reading this series and getting lost in the memories of reading it on my grandma’s farm between chores and horse lessons. For those that don’t know or have never heard of this series, it follows a young girl named Ashleigh and her family as they move from a thoroughbred breeding farm to a horse racing farm where her parents are in charge of the breeding side of the horses. Ashleigh, in the first book, falls in love with a thoroughbred mare named Holly and her foal Wonder. The series follows Ashleigh’s life as she moves from the child of the head of the breeding, to a jockey, and on into adulthood. It then starts following Samantha, who is introduced later in the series as Ashleigh’s story begins to wind down. I loved and still love these books but I never got to finish the series. By book 43, I think, Mrs. Campbell has stopped writing and other authors have started writing the books and I got lost in where they took the series. Also, the series went out of print and stores stopped selling the books so I now am missing a bunch of the later novels.
Getting On Into the Teen Years
After, the Thoroughbred series I found a love for HUGE books and all the magic they had to offer. I stumbled from Thoroughbred and onto the Harry Potter series. These books are the epitome of my middle school years. The fourth book came out when I was in the third or fourth grade and I begged my parents to let me read it. (I am from the south and a religious family.) My mom agreed as long as she could read them first to see if they were appropriate or if I was mature enough to separate the two worlds. I was and she let me read them. I LOVE Harry Potter, like LOVE it. I even went on my honeymoon to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios in Orlando. Harry Potter and the magical world are the reason I stuck with reading while in middle and high school. In high school, though, I found a love for contemporary books along with fantasy. I read all the It Girl novels and all the Nicholas Sparks novels that were out at the time. Also, Sarah Dessan was one of my favorite authors in high school, and still is.
My Reading Now
So fast forward through college and onto now. I still love reading, obviously, or I wouldn’t have this blog. But my reading has changed. I am not able to read as much as I once was and I am struggling to find books that I am in love with like when I was a child. I have found my go to series, Fablehaven and The Land of Stories but my reading life has changed. I am a wife, mom, and career woman. I have to intentionally set aside time to read or else I just don’t . This is alot different than back in the day because back then I had to force myself to stop reading. I don’t know if i would classify this as a reading slump or just a growing period or a period of change where I need to adapt and then read. I still read often, my go to genre is middle grade fantasy. I am trying to jump back into young adult books while trying to also develop a love for adult fiction but the middle grade is where it is at. They are easier reads as well as faster paced but also more whimsical and light hearted. I will never stop reading. I love to read. I identify as a reader but I just need to find my outright love for it again.