You know that friend you had when you were growing up that always had her nose stuck in a Judy Blume book? The one who welcomed being sent to her room because it meant she could start her next Sweet Valley High novel? Well, that was me! I might as well have been born with a book in my hand. Some infants have stuffed animals and blankets as attachment items – my security objects had pages. Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around books:
- Trips to my local hometown library, the Kendall Branch of the Houston Public Library System.
- The day the new Scholastic Book Club flyers were passed out by my elementary school teachers was practically a major holiday in my world. I just couldn’t get enough to read!
- In 2nd Grade I read a book about sharks that sparked a lifelong fascination with the ocean.
- I picked up a book filled with classic ghost stories that caused me to sleep with the lights on for years.
- I lost myself in the fantasy worlds of Madeline L’Engle.
- I learned about the consequences of our decisions by reading all of the Choose Your Own Adventure books.
- I felt like a “real” reader when I tackled the North and South series in High School.
- College was a constant battle between finishing assigned reading for class and finding out what happened in the next Tom Clancy or Patricia Cornwell novel.
WAIT! What did you just say under your breath? Why, YES! I wear my nerd badge proudly! I feel like the 21st Century has allowed me and my fellow bookworms to finally emerge from the shadows. The world of book lovers has been united by the ability to connect on social media in various ways, but my personal favorite is Goodreads.
Goodreads has a mission “to help people find and share books they love”. It’s the perfect combination of Netflix, Amazon and Facebook. You can follow your favorite authors, meet independent writers who are self-published, and keep up with what your real-life friends have put on their “To Read” shelf. One of the most valuable tools to me is the Recommendations section. As soon as I finish a book I want to immediately pick
up another, but often I’m so emotionally devastated at my literary break-up that I cannot even start to think about which book I should date next. One visit to Goodreads and I can look at a list of suggestions of books they think I will love based on my interests and ratings. Another fun area is the Giveaway page. Both established and emerging authors will list books that members can try to win. I enter these contests on a regular basis and I have won several titles, from books on the Best Seller list to self-published novels that have only been reviewed by 20 people. I even enter to win books I have previously read so that I can gift a copy to friends. Since Goodreads is a division of Amazon, updating your progress as you read a book on your Kindle is a breeze. You can integrate your Goodreads feed with your Facebook profile so you can let your Book Club peeps know that you really did finish your book before your next meeting.
As wonderful as it is to connect virtually with readers around the world on social media, nothing beats sitting down with friends and discussing a great read over a bottle of wine. One of the great benefits to living in a Camden apartment community is the ability to meet up with bookwork neighbors in person. Does your community have a regularly scheduled Book Club? If not, MyCamden is the perfect way to set one up with your neighbors. Is there a better way to meet the people living around you than my bonding over a book?!
Well, I’m off to pick up where I left off in The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (great read, BTW). Are you already on Goodreads? You can connect with me by searching for Debbye Campbell in the member section.