I’m a reader of fiction, contemporary, historical, science fiction, action adventure, and mystery. I’m avid. Have a book going constantly…can’t stand to be without one. I have one entire set of books by the same author I’ve reread umpteen times over the past thirty plus years. Have another set from an author I’ve reread dozens of time over twenty years. I’m always looking for new authors and when I find those I like, I collect all of their books to read, and reread. These books live on one of the many sets of bookshelves in my home. They are shelved for a reason…I know I will go back and revisit them, not just once but again and again. And each time I will find something I missed, see something from a different perspective, have an aha moment or two, and appreciate even more that after the first reading it was shelved for another time and a new revelation.
I know some who can’t bear to read the same book again. There are many I can’t even get through. If I’m not there by page 1, I’m not going further. For that reason, I read page 1 at the bookstore. The back cover tells me what the story is about…page 1 tells me if I’m going to like how the writer tells the story. I need to know the author’s voice from the beginning to see if I’m going to have buy-in. Without that, the book won’t be shelved. It’ll be bagged and out of my house.
Right the middle of my bookshelf is a book written by someone near and dear to me…my nephew. He has the gift of capturing the reader from the first sentence, and one is compelled to read on. His The Path to Destiny (Alex, I’m still waiting for the sequel!) was one of those books I could not put down…not because he wrote it but because it really was that good! Every sentence pulled the reader deeper into the characters, into their problems, their world, their choices and decisions, joys and sorrows. It was an incredible read and I am in awe that my sister’s son wrote it! And, he wrote it while still in high school and finished it just afterward! His gift is writing, and I hope he will finish that sequel and take us back to that time and place soon!
Flanking The Path To Destiny are some of my favorite authors. Francine Rivers’ Scarlet Thread helped me see that even in the worst of times when I don’t feel his presence, God is there. I have all of her books and each one affirms my faith. Cindy Martinusen’s Orchid House let me escape my own problems to be involved in someone else’s and have hope in God bringing things together for good. Julie Carobini gives me a light, fun read with a deep sense of purpose. My daughter has the Justice collection by Karen Ball on her bookshelves; she claimed them the moment she read them and because they are that good, that heart warming, and that real when it comes to life, I let her. Lisa Wingate gives me honest reasons to cry, and mourn, and grieve, and then subtly puts it all into God’s perspective. Kristin Hannah takes me on relationship adventures. Dr. Camuti makes the cat-lover me giggle with his All My Patients Are Under the Bed. Cliver Cussler is my favorite action-adventure author because he knows how to write cliff-hanging action combined with old-fashioned romance and not a dirty word used, and I’m totally in love with the honest chivalry of Dirk Pitt. Dick Frances gives me chills with his race-horse mysteries and after one of them I’ve never been able to look at kidney beans the same. Ann McCaffrey takes me far away to the world of Pern where I can live with dragons and wherries and other make-believe creatures. Georgette Heyer takes me into the haute ton of Regency London, laughing and hopeful that the hero and heroine in a chaste love-hate relationship will become true love forever.
These books are my well-worn friends that I turn to over and over. Old or new, their messages speak to my heart, tickle my funny bone, allow me to run away for a time from the worries of my own world. In their characters I seem to find some part of myself, a thought, a perspective, a solution, or a deeper faith to deal with my own issues.
When I find that in a book, it’s immediately shelved after reading. I pray my house never catches fire because after getting my daughter and cats out, I’d probably try to make a run for my books. I feel I’d be a little lost without them.
I saw the Kristin Hannah book in the pic before I read the post. I love her too. Almost every book I’ve read of hers makes me sob when it ends!