I’ve been thinking about how my reading tastes have changed over the years beginning from my childhood love of books. We had only three television stations where/when I grew up in Western Colorado. We didn’t spend a lot of time in front of the television, so did games, played outside, and read.

The first time I remember falling in love with words and books was in fourth grade. My teacher, Mrs. Foster, used the entire last three months of the school year reading us books. I remember the wonderful stress-free time, gazing out the window, listening to her calm melodious voice reading from L’Engle (The Wrinkle in Time, Dr. Doolittle, Little Women & and couple for the boys (something about pirates). Mrs. Foster died that summer and the parents talked about it in hushed tones–something about cancer–and I never forgot her and never got over my love of books.

I graduated to books I found in the school and city library; Nancy Drew and then the Hardy boys; numerous other series and random books. During this time, it never occurred to me that there was a person behind these books–an author or authors.

Later on I moved on to more moody types of books; Edgar Allen Poe; Dickinson; Little Women, and yes–series romance books (although it didn’t take–I’m not very romantic).

I moved on to poetry, Sylvia Plath (although I was disappointed in her end and saddened by her depression), Virginia Woolf and various other rather moody female authors.

These days I like series mysteries as they are predictable and easy-to-read (not so easy to write, I’m finding). I love non-fiction too and especially biographies (mostly auto-bios–I like to hear it from the horse’s mouth). 

There is nothing like a book to carry you away–a movie might do it, but reading allows you to put your own images beside the words.


Susan Sontag on Her Advice to Writers

“Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world.”