Why I Like Reading Books
Honestly, I am truly perplexed by people who say they do not like to read, or that some best seller is the only book they have been compelled to read in years. I could not imagine a life without reading, and it is a way to learn about new subjects, and travel to new places.Many years ago I used to have an addiction to buying mass quantities of books. Going to the book store and ordering books online was my passion, but this was during a time when I was making more money and the economy was much better. I still have a large personal library and have not even read every volume in my collection, but these days I have learned to satiate my craving for a new book by checking these out from the library. The library can be one of the best places in the world because it is free to check out books, movies, and other items if you are a resident, and non-residents can usually do the same for around twenty-five dollars. This is a steal for the latter group because many book stores charge around the same price just to be members of their book clubs, which only give you discounts on purchases within the store. Libraries are humanitarian and ecologically friendly because people read and recycle books. I am heart broken when I see people throw perfectly good books away, so if you are contemplating doing so please consider donating books to the library instead. Donated books are either put in a library's collection, or sold at library bookstores to help generate more revenue for these public branches. With the troubled economy you can really support a local library by keeping circulation numbers up, and also donating any unwanted books, CDs, and DVD's. To me libraries are exquisite because these give the masses access to knowledge, which is the true power force of the mind and the heart.
Reading Is Like Watching A Movie
Some of the less avid readers in my life balk that reading is not very entertaining because they would rather watch the action on a flat screen tv, but I find this humorous since I do not even own one of those devices. Do not get me wrong I love movies, but I owe it to my imagination to at least read one or two books a week. A movie shows you everything that is going on, but books activate the mind to visualize and hypothize about the many twists and turns of a plot. However, I have pointed out to my friends that all movies are based on written scripts, which helps to put things into perspective. Everyone has a different genre they prefer with movies, and I find the same to be true with books. I enjoy non-fiction, but over the last two years my favorites books have been historical or cultural fiction. Lately I have been very interested in novels about Polynesian and Middle Eastern characters, but that might just be because those are two of the most interesting places in the world to me.
Often people are dejected if you do not share their love of a particular book genre, and I noticed people have deflated faces when I tell them I cannot stand Harry Potter. I just cannot feign interest in that series, and I always admit that when it comes to kids books I prefer authors such as Lucy Maude Montgomery and Laura Ingles Wilder. I will never love The Little House series as much as my mom who reads it at least once a year, but I have read the entire series a few times and I am still fond of it. Farmer Boy cracks me up because Almanzo was much less disciplined than Laura in that he was constantly grabbing cookies out of the jar. The television series went far off track from the books, even though it included a few actual events Laura left out of her series for kids. Originally Laura had written a longer biography that included more of the actually hardships her family went through, but her publishers encouraged her to take out certain events to make the books more kid friendly. Nevertheless, The Little House series will always be one of my favorites because it is based on the true life experiences of a person that lived in the late part of the nineteenth century. I remember being irritated when my roommate told me her teacher had declared that The Little House books were pure fiction and Laura did not exist in real life, which prompted me to share the real story. Today there is a Laura Ingalls Wilder Historical Home and Museum, which dedicated to preserving artifacts and documents of that time period.
Current Reading Obsessions
Reading is a constant hobby for me, so I am going to share some of my current favorites. Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald is a delightful romantic story about an Iranian woman by the name of Tamila, or Tami. She is on a ninety day visa to the US and must find a husband if she wants to legally stay in the country. This book reminds me of the 1990 movie Green Card, which is a cute movie to watch if you have not seen it. In college I was a conversation partner with international students learning the English language, so the class Tami attends brought back many memories. This novel is very fantasy like in that how many women are going to met a man at Starbucks who buys them roses after only having just met? However, it is an enjoyable read that I could not put down.
Honolulu by Alan Brennert is a historically rich novel about a young Korean woman named Jin. Her parents name her Regret because they saw her being a girl as a liability, but she changes her name when she moves to Hawaii to become a picture bride. Her husband is a Korean man that has immigrated to Hawaii to work on a sugar plantation, but he is physically and verbally abusive just as her father had been. Jade quickly decides she no longer wants to be treated this way, and surreptitiously moves to Honolulu to start a new life. Brennert does a good job creating a historically accurate novel, but the characters are vivacious and full of life. I truly enjoyed reading Honolulu, but literature of the Pacific also happens to be one of my favorites.
Moloka'i is another historical fiction novel by Alan Brennert. After I read Honolulu I was anxious to get my hands on anything and everything written by Brennert, which lead me to his earlier book Moloka'i, which is the story of a young girl name Rachel that comes down with leprosy in 1890's Hawaii. I love how Brennert looks for uplifting hope and spirit in in the midst of the story of a girl who is condemned to live on Moloka'i simply because she has a disease that is beyond her control. Brennert helps to demystify and add true dimension to the topic of leprosy, which people usually do not even understand today. I highly recommend reading this book, even if novels set in Hawaii are not usually your forte.
I Love A Man In Uniform is Lily Burana's interesting look at the life of being married to a military officer. Lily's insights on being married to a man in the military are interesting and eye opening for those of us that have not served in the armed forces.
The library is full of absorbing books to absorb, so I suggest bounding through those doors for a summer afternoon full of cheap thrills of the literary kind.