I decided to focus on book-related things that I’m thankful for this year; trust me, there are plenty of other, non-book-related things!
I’ll start off with this one: I am so thankful for all the people who read my blog! Whether you come here from links for Top Ten Tuesday and don’t stick around for anything else or read anything I write, I’m thankful! I have a small readership, and while sometimes I’m sad about that, mostly I’m happy because I’m more likely to notice when people are coming back and am able to keep up with comments without feeling overwhelmed! Would I like to have dozens of people visit my blog every day? Sure, but even if that doesn’t happy, I’m just so, so grateful for the people who do come! If I were rich, I would buy you all books, but instead you can have the pretty picture above! 😀
As I just mentioned, I don’t have nearly enough money to throw at books as I’d like, so I love getting gift cards for holidays or my birthday, as well as various coupons (earlier this month I had a 50% off coupon for Half Price Books – that made me a very happy camper, even though I spent it on a DVD instead of a book (but it was Anastasia, so I think that’s more than good enough!)). And, if they’re giftcards, I’m less tempted to just spend the money on something else because they’re for a specific store! Good planning on the part of the gift-givers who know me well.
People who say libraries are dying or not relevent or whatever make me really mad. Libraries are about so much more than just checking out books. My local library has books, movies, CDs, playaways, video games, computer games, magazines, newspapers, books about local genealogy, books about our state, a children’s play area, computers, audiobooks, VHSs (although I don’t know how much longer they’ll last), study rooms, meeting rooms, librarians who can notarize things for you, and is a voting station during various elections. Those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head, and you want to know two things they have in common: they’re at the library, and they’re all free. Libraries can bring people together and really help people out – they are not irrelevant.
We don’t really do this anymore, but when my sister and I were little, we would have family books that we all read at night. Well, I can only think of Harry Potter at the moment, but there were probably more. We would read them before bed or listen to them on audiobook in the car on trips. The older I got, the more I read the books on my own and just tried not to reveal what happened when they were reading it, but I still like the family aspect of it. Now I’ll sometimes talk to my mom or sister about books we’ve read in common, but we don’t have any distinct family books. Maybe I should change that…
It’s so great to log onto my computer and read all these blogs talking about books I love, or books I hope to love, or books I’ve never even heard of and might come to love. I’m not as active in the community as some people, but I’m happy pretty much being a lurker for now. I have some friends in real life who like to read, but they either go to different schools than I do at the moment or, more likely, they just aren’t reading the same books I am. They’re either not reading YA or reading YA books that I don’t read. I really want to become part of a real life book club or something, but until that happens, I’m very happy just dipping my toe into the online book community.
Of course, a family that reads together is going to understand my love of reading, right? My parents never cared when I spent large chunks of my own money on books (although they did prefer when it was actually mine), and library visits were a regular part of our week (or weeks, depending on how busy we got). I also have other, more distant (in miles) relatives who also enjoyed reading and would sometimes question me about it. When I brought a big (and very heavy) box of books with me to school this year, no one questioned whether that was a good idea.
They did make me carry the box, though.
I know this is slightly repetitive, but I thought specifics were worth mentioning again! Most of the bookstore giftcards I receive do come from my family, because they know me so well. I always look forward to smaller holidays because my family is nice enough to give my sister and I iTunes and bookstore giftcards. We’ll never be the family that gives elaborate gifts on Easter or something, but I am more than happy with my giftcards and candy!
I like just browsing for books on my own, but I do like it when my family also tags along (as long as they leave me alone while browsing – just, lovely sister of mine, I know you’re ready to go, but I’m still looking!), if only so I can look at my books on the ride home instead of, you know, the road.
I don’t remember specifically being encouraged, but I must have been. I was always reading when I was young, and when my mom spent a few summers tutoring children struggling with reading at our local library (again, libraries = awesome!), I remember often being a better reader than some of the slightly older kids she was tutoring. I loved our weekly trips to the school library in elementary school, and I love the book catalogues we got in the earlier grades, and I loved getting new books, whether from the bookstore or the library. So, my parents probably encouraged me to read in a way that some of my friends weren’t, but it was so normal to me that I didn’t even notice it.
This might seem like a silly thing to include, but I am so thankful for this. You hear so many people, even big readers, who say they can’t bear to read in the car because it makes them sick. I was never fortune enough to have a little TV in our car for long trips (a fact that I found very unjust when I was little and could now care less about, but that’s life for you), so once I was able to read, I normally passed the time stuck in the car reading. I don’t do naps in the car. Even when I was little, I was apparently awake the whole time. Sometimes I rest in the car now, but I rarely fall asleep. Not being able to take naps means that you are awake for the whole trip, and our trips were rarely less than a couple hours, and normally more like 6 and up, so I needed something to occupy my time. This is why I am just so freaking thankful that I can read all I want in the without getting sick. Now I just need to figure out a way to write in the car without my handwriting becoming illegible…