(I’m so excited to have Julie of Booking Mama share about her love of reading with us today! I think you’ll really enjoy what she has to say. Be sure to check out her blog..it’s one of my must-reads!)

I love to read! Books are my passion (right there after my husband and family in case you were thinking I’m a little weird.) I can’t remember when I first developed my love of reading, but my mom remembers reading to me from the very start. My parents had couldn’t afford to buy many things for me, but my mom always made sure that I got to pick out a Golden Book each time we went to the grocery store. I’m sure that bringing home a brand new book every week helped create the book lover/accumulator that I am today!

I have a feeling that there is an even more important reason that I have developed a love of reading. As a child, I moved around a lot. My dad wasn’t in the military, but he might have well been. Throughout my elementary and middle school years, I lived in five different places. It wasn’t unusual for me to be in a school for just one grade. There was even one time when we lived in North Carolina where I went to a public school for a year, switched to a private school for a few months, and then had to up and move to Texas! Needless to say, moving this often was very hard for me and my family. It was especially difficult for me since I constantly had to change schools and make new friends.

There were times as a kid when I didn’t really have any friends (or at least that’s how I perceived it.) As the new girl in the school, I would often sit by myself on the bus or even eat lunch alone. It was times like this when I pulled out a book and escaped into the lives of some amazing characters. My friends became the characters in the Little House on the Prairie books, Nancy Drew books, Judy Blume books, etc. As I’m writing this, I realize that it might sound like I was a lonely and miserable child. That certainly wasn’t the case — it just took some time before I really fit in at school.

As an adult looking back on my childhood, I wouldn’t change a thing. I got to see and experience a lot by moving around that much; and I developed a very close relationship with my family. What I find incredible, and yet so ironic, is how books have impacted me both as a child and now as an adult. When I was a kid, books were my escape and the characters often times filled the void in my life of not having many friends. Now that I’m all grown up, the situation has totally turned upside-down. Books are still a wonderful escape for me, but they are now the main reason that I have developed so many wonderful friendships.

When I first moved to Central PA from the Washington DC suburbs, I once again found myself in a situation where I knew no one. I also was having some major adjustment issues since I quit my job to stay at home with a very active (and demanding) two year old daughter. I was desperate for adult conversation, so I decided to start a book club with some of the mothers at my daughter’s preschool. Six years later, The Preschool Moms Book Club is still going strong with more members than ever. Many of my very best friends are members of the book club, and I absolutely love that we can share our thoughts and feelings while discussing books!

And last January, I decided to take the jump and begin blogging about my love of books. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but I thought it would be a great way to track what I was reading. Well nine months later, I can now add blogging as one of my passions in addition to reading. What I’ve been most blessed with since I began Booking Mama is the number of incredible people that I’ve “met” who either have their own blogs or just visit mine. I am just thrilled that I have found so many people who share my love of books and truly understand me!

As I rapidly approach 40 (ugh!) and reflect on my life, I have to say that books have had a tremendous impact on me. When I was a child, books often times became my friends when I was lonely. Now I’m happy to say they are reason why I have so many special friendships. I think I’ve had a wonderful journey with books so far, and I’m very anxious to see where they take me in the future.

This post was written byAmy and is filed under Saturdays in the Nook. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Saturdays in the Nook with Booking Mama!”

  1. Julie P. Says:

    Thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity!

  2. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) Says:

    Wow what a great story. I remember those golden books. My nana inspired me to read, she would give me those books as gifts and she was the first one to get be a dictionary and an encyclopedia set. She set me on the path of becoming a bookworm. I miss her sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing your reading memories with us booking mama.

    Also as my last BBAW contest, which has a deadline of Sept. 21, please check it out here:
    http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/2008/09/writing-and-writing-spaces.html

  3. Marvin D Wilson Says:

    Great story – thanks for sharing this. Man – I remember those Golden Books also. This post dusted off some old foggy fond memories.

    Marvin Blogs at Free Spirit: http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/
    eye twitter 2 – http://twitter.com/Paize_Fiddler

  4. Literate Housewife Says:

    I really like how you read when you were lonely. I can very much relate to that. When I moved to Virginia and had my first wave of homesickness hit, my mother told me to go to the library and check out some books. That is the best advice. Great post about reading!

  5. Dawn (sheIsTooFondOfBooks) Says:

    How fortunate were you, Julie -a Golden Book everytime you went to the grocery store! We had a lot of trips to the library, which worked for me. I’m sure as you unpacked after each move that the books made it feel like home.

    I enjoyed this essay and getting to know Booking Mama and how reading has impacted her life.

  6. Anna Says:

    Wow! I could totally relate to this story. I didn’t have a lot of friends as a young kid either. I moved a few times, but I was always known as brainy, which usually meant dorky. I was so not popular. I completely understand what it means when someone says a character in a book felt like a friend.

    I remember the Golden Books, too! I saved all of mine and gave them to my daughter. And I bought her a bunch of her own. I hope she saves them all and passes them onto her children.

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