Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I have or have had a lot of different interests, activities, or hobbies over the course of my lifetime, everything from Acting to Zoos.  Many have lasted quite a while, like music, singing, games.  Others have come....and the flash of an needlework, and crafts of all sorts.  But there has been one constant that never has gone away and I seriously doubt it ever will.  Reading! 

Books are kind of the "bookends" of my life.  I cannot remember ever not being able to read.  There is some speculation that I might very well have been born with a book in my hand!  The consensus is that while I might not have been actually born with a book in hand... I probably picked one up on the way to the newborn nursery!

At the opposite end of life, if I were to die having just finished a wonderful book, I would die a happy woman.  See?  "Bookends!"  And if there is some kind of afterlife, if there aren't books and reading, I'm not going!

Everywhere I go, I have a book with me....either in my purse or somewhere close at hand.  If I go out to eat, I take a book.  If I have a doctor or dental appointment, I take a book.  Hairdresser??  I take a book.  Babysitting???  I've got a book.  Vacation or business trip???   SEVERAL books!!

If I don't have a book or something else to read, I don't know what to do with my hands or where to look.  Books are my escape, my refuge, my best friends!  I LOVE books. 

Writers of books are like idols to me.  I can put a sentence or a paragraph or two together, but write a 400 page novel or a biography or whatever?  I could never do that!  Ever!  The people who have the ability write must have an extra chromosome or something that the rest of us don't have.  And there are hundreds of thousands of people who are (or were) considered AUTHORS.

Of course, there are many levels to writing.  Not everyone has the same ability or style or command of language.  There are poor writers who nonetheless have managed to put together a book and convince somebody to publish it!  Actually, poor writers who have enough concentration or talent or whatever it is, to string enough words together to end up with a "book", albeit a poor one, still amaze me. 

And then there are the plots (I'm speaking about fiction now).  Great ideas that get fleshed out with  fully-developed characters that are believable and that you end up caring about.  Words that not only tell a story, but give a message or a moral, or make you laugh.  That's why books are so powerful!    It's what makes the difference between a Bronte and a Bozo!  

Most of the time when I read, I don't do a bunch of analysis on the message or the moral.  I have no interest in taking a book apart like they do in book clubs.  I read for enjoyment, not to critique.   I don't read anything heavy (either in weight or content).  I don't particularly like short stories or novellas either.  I will read one or two in a pinch, but I read very fast and I just go through them like the wind!  Besides, you are just beginning to be interested in the characters or the story and, BAM, its over.  I find that very unsatisfying.  I've gone through mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction phases.  After a while those genres get tedious, predictable, unbelievable or sometimes all three!

For the last several years I have been reading "womens' fiction".  Authors of this type of book are overwhelmingly female (is that a given??) who are exploring the relationships women have with their spouse, their mothers, their children, their friends.  They can be written humorously or deadly seriously.  They can have a little love or romance. They can be deeply moving or superficial.  They can have happy endings or not and that's okay. 

There are some wonderful authors writing in this genre.  There are the masters:  Nora Roberts, Judith Kranz, Maeve Binchy, Danielle Steel, Sandra Brown, Debbie Macomber, and the Queen of them all, Anne Rivers Siddons.  There are also the newcomers (at least new to me):  Dorothea Benton Frank, Sheryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Marion Keyes, Emilie Richards.  And in a special group, my favorites!  These are the ones that I will run to buy their new hardcovers as soon as they are published:  Susan Wiggs, Barbara Bretton, Barbara Delinsky, Jennifer Cruisie, Kristin Hannah.  And in a class by herself, the hysterical and masterful  and incomperable Susan Elizabeth Phillips!  For my money, she's the best of the best!

 I love reading these ladies' work.  Some I have read again and again. There are many, many more writers, of course, that I haven't discovered yet.  Not to worry, I'll get to them.  These days I have lots of time to read and that's a dream come true!   So, I'll keep reading until the other end of the "bookends" crops up and there's no more time.   

It's not original to me, of course, but an appropriate epitaph for me just might be:

"So many books, so little time"  


  1. Oh Mellodee... but you are an author. You are DOING IT. You are an author because you write and publish your work every time you write. You write frequently, which is the key to getting good at anything. Practice makes perfect.

    You are a fun writer, I love reading what you write.

    Do you know about Kindles? They are amazing devices. There are free books EVERYWHERE, ones that are legal to download. You can do it all wirelessly through the tablet. It's a dream come true for me. I get to carry my ENTIRE library of books with me.

    When I'm anywhere that I have to wait, I pull out my kindle and read whatever gets my fancy. I can even read my favorite blogs from afar.

    Anyway... my kindle changed my life. I'm HAPPY as a clam.

  2. Fantastic post!!

    And... I happen to have 2 books in my purse right now. I'll read a page or 2 at any given opportunity!

    I'm currently reading Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm into book 3- Club Dead. Also in my purse is "The Christmas Box" which a friend loaned to me.

  3. Susan, you almost made me cry! Such a lovely thing to say.

    I was dead set against electronic books for years! Of course, I had never seen one, it was just the concept I was against. Not having the actual book in hand so I could curl up in my favorite chair with a glass of tea and just lose myself in a book???? Not me!

    And then the Kindle appeared and I realized I could carry around my whole library where ever I went. No more dashing to the library because I realized I still had 3 books that were overdue! So, I'm re-thinking my position. I haven't decided yet (it's so hard for us dinosaurs to change!!) Still, I have a feeling that it won't be long till I give in and get myself!

  4. My husband bought me a Kindle last year. I have loaded a lot of books, but not read them yet. Still have so many "real" books to finish. But it's going to be great when we travel. Like you, I must always have a book with me. And a backup. I almost had a panic attack when we were in Portugal last Spring and I finished my book. Hard to find English books in Portugal. I finally found one - it stunk. But it was a book! My daughter is the same way.


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's really nice knowing what you think!! Besides, comments keep me from feeling like I'm here all by myself!! :)

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