When I was a young girl, hearing my daddy tell me a bedtime story was the highlight of any evening. My daddy would read any story I asked him to, even if it was the same story he’d read me every single night for a month straight. I could hear him read me “Where the Wild Things Are” every single night, eventually have it memorized, and still never ever find it dull or routine. Eventually I’d find a new book for him to read, but mostly because he got tired of the story – I could tell.
I believe this was an early sign of my identity as a reader. Once I began to read books on my own, I began to realize that I loved to read. I especially loved to read books that I was comfortable with and had read many times before. For me, rereading a book is hardly rereading at all; it’s a different message every single time. I learned that I love to read to gain perspective. I read to challenge my personal belief system and the core of my morals. I read to grow.
Reading fiction literature was my forte for a long time in my life, probably up until I was a freshmen. I loved to immerse myself into the lives of these characters, and feeling like I was their best friend. It intrigued me to read stories of what the future may be like or fantasy ideas about “what if.” Reading about the unknown and pretending I was a part of it as reality was fascinating. Examples of this in my life are the fad series like The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games Trilogy, and the ever-famous Harry Potter Series. While reading these, I would truly engage with the characters, and feel like I became one myself. It would challenge how I thought about the world and people around me. I have read each of those series at least 3 times and would read them again if I allowed myself the time; I love to engage with those characters and rereading them is like reconnecting with an old friend.
Throughout the last few years, my reading interests have shifted to non-fiction, often times memoirs or various theological theories. I enjoy learning about other’s lives and hearing their stories. It’s interesting to attempt to understand someone’s life, and learn lessons from the lessons they’ve learned. These books challenge me in a way that I enjoy because they challenge my perspective and my beliefs. Some of my all-time favorite examples of these books are Love Wins by Rob Bell, or Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (both great reads, if you feel so inclined! 😉 ).
I find it very important to read with a purpose and to know what that purpose is. If I ever feel like there is no point in reading something, then you can bet I won’t be reading it. I read to enjoy, learn, and grow. If I am not enjoying what I am reading, learning from it, or growing in some way, then it is a waste of my time, which is very valuable to me. In fact, this has always been true. When I was a young girl and my daddy would read to me, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was always gaining new insight from reading and rereading anything; this is the truth in my identity as a reader today.
P.S. Jodi Picolt is my favorite author, because her books cut down to core moral issues, and display all sides of it. Her books are exactly what I love; that stirred-up feeling of mixed emotions and internal conflict. Mmm, tasty!