Books…and Growing up

I’ve always been a Reader. Honestly, I can’t remember not reading. Babysitter Club, Ramona and Beezus, Henry Huggins, etc. Adolescence brought JRR Tolkien, Robin McKinley, Patricia Wrede and HARRY POTTER. I devoured Harry Potter for years. Just re-read Harry Potter over and over again all through High School. (By the way, my mom read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings out loud to me and my brother when I was in middle school. I still have the fondest memories of that)

Thus entered my Fantasy phase. Tamora Pierce, Percy Jackson, Septimus Heap all into my early twenties. Stuck in this phase, I got a little lost. I avoided the Twilight epidemic (I read them, no fandom), mostly stuck with the authors I already knew, reading all their new stuff.

Old Mysteries also became another release. Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers etc. I LOVE mystery novels, the wrong being righted, and the build-up to the chase. Especially Lord Peter Whimsy and Harriet Vane.

Books have always been an outlet for me. An escape. A warm quilt to hide under to block out the world. It gave me things to think about other than my life. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t run away from my life, but I would run to books when life became overwhelming.

After marriage and children I began to have the opposite problem. Instead of my life being overwhelming, it became monotonous. I love my children, but their needs were very simple and my life became full of laundry and dishes and dinner. The fantasy became less of an escape and more of an unreachable dream. I craved LIFE, REALITY.

Last week our Library had a book sale. It is for donation only, so I ended up with 20 books for very little money. I started reading the Life of Pi, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Water for Elephants, The Paris Wife. Different books. Books about Life. LIFE. (the only book I didn’t really care for was Water for Elephants…it was mostly about a guy trying to lose his virginity…or so I thought BORING.)

I especially loved The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Oh it was beautiful. It sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go without turning me inside out. I could relate to the life that Hadley Hemingway had, the desire for normalcy while being surrounded by genius. (No Hubby isn’t a philanderer, I just related to her married life in some ways, that desire to be defined for being ME, somehow)

I think I finally grew up. At least in book selections. If nothing else what I read defines what struggles I am currently going through. Motherhood, becoming a woman, being 29, Marriage, relationships, finding ways to live a meaningful life. Somehow reading about lusty adolescents who had two boyfriends/girlfriends to chose from became less and less appealing. Oh, I hate love triangles. No one is every happy. I’d rather read about a teenage girl in Brooklyn who struggled to survive and to have a happy life, regardless of finding a boyfriend. Or about Pi who struggled just to survive and to live with the decisions he made to survive.

Have you ever read Man’s Search for Meaning? It is a story about a psychologist who survived the Holocaust during WWII. He talks about terrible circumstances, struggling for the right to live. That is when we discover what is truly important to us. What is truly important to you?

Perhaps I am redefining what is important to me. The same things as before but in sharper clarity. I no longer wish to take for granted that which is important to me. I’d like to share those things with others. A purpose to life. Not adolescent horny vampires. Blargh.

What have you been reading? I need more ideas….


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