First of all, I love to read. I used to read 3 or 4 books a week, but that was BK (before kids). Taking care of small kids, my reading time was limited. I'd often fall asleep after reading only a few pages of a book. Then came household computers and the internet. I found myself reading message boards and chat rooms, rather than books. For a lot of years, I was lucky to read 3 or 4 books a year, rather than 3 or 4 books a week! I kept buying books, especially when Borders or Barnes and Noble had buy 3, get 1 free, or buy 1, get a 2nd one for half price. I'm a sucker for books and sales.
I was reading books on Oprah's Book Club, but so many of her books were SO DEEP, or books about women triumphing over adversity. They are all well and good, but every now and then, you just need a good trashy novel! I did find a few real gems in her books club though. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, Midwives by Chris Bohjalian, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve (this book had me hooked from page 1) were the few books that I simply loved.
I discovered that the Good Morning America Book Club was even better! I found so many other books that I was more interested in reading! Books like The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Three Junes by Julia Glass, The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer (this book was sooo good!)
A couple of years ago, I made a deal with myself to try to read a book a month. I had a huge pile of books (50 or more), many from some of my favorite authors (Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Dan Brown, James Patterson, Jennifer Weiner to name a few) I was really surprised to realize that I read 23 books in 2009!
John gave me a Kindle for Christmas in 2009 (just months before the price dropped drastically!) I started buying books for my Kindle, even though I still had a good 30 or more print books at home, waiting to be read. I learned how to search for free books and the newest books were considerably less than the hard-cover versions in the store! (My Kindle has more than paid for itself this past year)
I also bought a Blackberry from a co-worker who just HAD to get the Droid as soon as it came out, even though he bought the Blackberry only 3 months before. I found out that I could download audio books from my local library to my computer and transfer them to my BB! So instead of having music on the MP3 player part of my phone, I have BOOKS!! And I listen to them in my car when I'm driving for 30 minutes or more. The best $10 I ever spent was for a Jupiter Jack. It works like a charm! (Thanks Billy Mays, wherever you are!) Plug that baby into my Blackberry, tune my car radio to channel 99.3 FM, and I hear my books clear as a bell (most of the time... it doesn' t like the mountains on the PA Turnpike and parts of Wilmington, DE)
So I now have 3 different ways to get my book loving in. The print books I keep in my work bag. I'm afraid to bring my Kindle into work. All I need is someone to spill a drink on it and it's ruined. I keep my Kindle in my regular bag or in my netbook bag. I often read that when I'm at John's. I bet I have 35 books on my Kindle right now. Some were freebies that are only so-so. Others are books by my favorite authors and I have some new favorite authors now.
I have happily discovered Elin Hilderbrand, whose books all take place on Nantucket. Janet Evanovich, who has me laughing out loud with the antics of her Trenton, NJ heroine, Stephanie Plum. Lisa Scottoline, who writes a series of book about an all-women law firm, as well as other books. Maryann McFadden who has 2 excellent books under her belt. Sarah Pekkanen whose 2 books I simply could not put down until they were finished. Tamera Lawrence,a local writer (I wait on her at Fridays all the time) who has one book published (The Pond.. it's spooky and really good!) and has another that will be out by the end of the year. And Paul Levine, who has a series of books I'm reading about an attorney in Miami. And I keep discovering new authors all the time!
In 2010, I'm happy and surprised to report that I've read 65 books!!
For 2011, I signed up for a few reading challenges and my goal is to read 100 books (or as close to that as I can get!)
I'm reading all of Nicolas Sparks' books. I have 2 (of the 15) finished so far.
I'm doing a James Patterson challenge that ends at the end of August (it started in September.) I'm hoping to read more than 10 of his books. I have 3 finished and 1 nearly finished. I mostly listen to his books on audio.
Then there is a general reading challenge. I keep track of all the books I'm reading on that blog. I have 6 books finished so far this year. I do keep track of all my reading on my sidebar. You can see what I'm currently reading and what I've finished so far this year. Check them out! Maybe you'll find a book or two that you might be interested in checking out!