Take a look, it's in a book.... (Reading Rainbow, anyone?)
Ever since I can remember, I've loved to read. I distinctly remember being six or seven years old, laying on my bed reading for hours one afternoon. And then my mom called me down for dinner, and I just so happened to be in that spot in the book, the spot where you simply can't put it down. So, being a smart and clever girl, I decided I would simply continue reading while I walked down the hallway, around the corner, and down the stairs.
That didn't work out so well.
Perhaps not my brightest moment as a child, but it does illustrate quite accurately how passionately and completely I loved reading, how easily I would find myself immersed in whatever world was written on the pages, and what a great joy a good story has always been to me.
It still holds true, and while the time I have to lose myself in a good book has become much less now that I'm a grown woman with a family and I'm the one calling the kids to dinner, I still simply can't go TOO long without reading.
This summer, I've had the opportunity to read quite a lot, actually, and it's been wonderful. Refreshing. I've rediscovered many books I haven't read in years, as well as discovered a few new ones to love.
Today, since I have books on the brain, I thought I would share with you some of the books I love the most, the ones I have read over and over again in my life, the ones that I never get tired of no matter how many time I may have already wandered through their pages.
Oh, Anne of Green Gables. She is a literary person who is near and dear to my heart. I think I've read through this series nearly ten times since I first discovered the little red-headed orphan who lived on Prince Edward Island. And every time, I find myself just as enraptured with Anne and the lovely, funny, delightfully-populated life she lives on good ol' P.E.I. Lucy Maud Montgomery has a way with words that takes my breath away, and I can just picture everything she describes. Perhaps that is why it is so easy to fall in love with Anne and all her surroundings. If I could somehow BE Anne for just a little while, I think I would.
Elnora Comstock, the girl of the Limberlost, is another heroine whom I love. This book paints such a vivid picture not only of the beautiful swamp she calls home, but of second chances and strength, of love and life. I can't help but love Elnora, to ache with her when her heart breaks, and to rejoice with her when happiness finally comes to her. Gene Stratton Porter is masterful, and I happily enter Elnora's Limberlost time and again.
I do so love a good mystery novel. And there is none who provides it better than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Homes is, in my humble opinion, one of the best characters ever created. There's no one else like him. And Watson? Watson is the perfect pairing to our beloved detective. They both stand on their own as characters, but together they are perfection, and I love all the little ins and outs of their relationship. There is so much dry humor, wit, sarcasm, and intelligence in these volumes that I discover some fresh nuance every time I read them. Not to mention the mysteries themselves are intriguing and bewildering, fascinating and complex. Sherlock never disappoints.
This is the book I am currently re-reading, for probably the fifth or sixth time. Dark secrets, interesting characters, drama, intrigue, romance, adventure, surprises at every turn... what more could one wish for in a book? I am captivated every time.
I first picked up a Harry Potter book two or three years ago. And when I was done reading about Harry and the Sorcerer's Stone, I then proceeded to read the remaining six books in a span of about two weeks, because I literally could not put them down. (My chores suffered quite sadly during that time, I'll be honest.) I've reread them all since then, and the series has become one of my favorite. I won't get all "Harry-Potter-nerd" on you right now, but suffice it to say that every single one of these books is amazing and J.K. Rowling is brilliant. If you've seen and liked the movies, but have never read the books, you MUST. Must, I tell you! The movies are good, but the books are on an entirely different level. They give you ten times more of the story to love.
My mom first had me read this book when I was about twelve. I liked it then, but now that I'm older and more mature, I appreciate it and love it so much more. Here we follow a young girl through her diary and watch her grow up, reading about her journey towards womanhood and remarkable faith. It's beautiful, inspiring, encouraging, and convincting. I'm always amazed at how much I relate to this book.
These books always give me a funny little ache, the kind that comes from something being so lovely and dear that you just feel it in your soul. Narnia is one of my favorite fictional places to visit, and I will always love these books, even when I'm old and gray.
I never read through this book all at once... but it's always right there waiting to be opened up when I need an extra dose of encouragement. Elisabeth Elliot is a beautiful person, and her writings are a great reflection of the depths of her love for God and her desire to live fully for him. The Lord has used this book so many times in my life, and as such it will always have a place on my shelf and in my heart.
Jane Austen has been a part of my life since I was a very young girl... my dear grandma has a great love for all things Jane Austen, and I remember watching some of the BBC movies of her various books with my grandma when I was probably only 6 or 7 years old. Of course, I didn't understand the complexities of the stories or characters at that age, and I was still years away from reading the books, but Jane Austen became a familiar name to me from that time on. Since then, I've of course read all of her books, and I love them all, although Pride and Prejudice remains one of my favorites. I'm pretty sure Mr. Darcy might have something to do with that!
Forgive me for making this post so long, and so wordy. (I blame the books.) Would you believe I could add even more books to this list? This is simply a smattering of the ones that I keep coming back to, and I know that the titles included among my "old friends" will only continue to grow as I keep reading and expanding my library.
How thankful I am for words written on pages, just waiting to be turned and taken in, to become a part of our memories and our very existence.
Please do tell, what are some of your all-time favorite books? Why? Did they hold any special significance in your life? I'd love a peek into your bookshelf...
...from one bookworm to another. :)