My life in books (link up!)

I remember finishing my first long chapter book in 1st grade. It was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. Oh. I was so proud of myself. I raced into my parents room to tell my mom and made a huge sign that I left outside my door to announce it to my dad: I FINISHED! Of course, I also had to admit that I’d been up way past my bedtime, reading by the faint light of the hallway that sashayed into my bedroom.

Well. I was hooked. In my next Scholastic order, I circled nearly every girly-looking chapter book and begged my mom to order them for me. All of them. I asked for rides to the local book store (remember those?) I read. And I read. And I read.

I remember a lunch at the club. I sat at the end of the table, nose in a book as usual, just turning pages and turning pages, oblivious to any chatter and conversation. One of my grandparents’ friends came to the table to greet us and my mom introduced me as “just a little Amy Carter.” I smiled, being considered as bright and interested in reading as a President’s daughter.

When I was a teen, I used to hate finishing books. While many of my friends skipped ahead to the final chapter to get the book over and done with, I’d read until the last chapter. Oh. How I didn’t want those stories to end. Belva Plain books, especially. I wanted to have those characters a part of my life forever. I’ve never finished Evergreen.

I read A Wrinkle in Time. Twice. Once as a middle school child, where I was lost in Meg’s world, experiencing the adventures as she did. I read it again in graduate school, reading an entire different story about life, uniqueness and the simplicity of everyone being the same… and the challenges of being different.

After September 11, all I wanted to do was get lost in a book, to take my mind off the world and get lost in a story. But most books wouldn’t do. I was in my twenties but the only books that interested me were teen-literature. I read a book a day during that scary time. The life is easier books. Where there’s a lot to think about, but life always turns out for the better and no one dies in the end. In 2001 it wasn’t just teens that needed to hear that, it was all of us.

I dreamed the Harry Potter series as I read it. I was so lost in those books that they came to life in my sleep. I was in the castle. I fought the giant right next to Harry, Hermione and Ron. I saw the snake hissing into my eyes.

The Red Tent made me see my life differently. It opened my eyes to a time I knew nothing about. It enveloped my understanding of how far women have come.

“I’m proud to call Skeeter a sister” read my facebook status after completing The Help. A strong character, she inspires reaching beyond. The characters in her story lived within me. I still haven’t seen the movie.

With every book there’s a story. With every character, there’s a theme. Each night, as I lay down to rest, I open my book or turn on my kindle and allow the author to tuck me in, to take me to a place outside my busy life for just a few minutes and lead me into their minds. Reading is relaxing. Reading is uplifting. Reading is moving.

And everything I’ve ever read has become a little part of me.

reading memories

How has reading impacted your life? Write about it and link up in the blog hop or comment below.

Have you written about reading in general? Link up in the Celebrate Reading linky.

Image: Ambro /

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    Red Tent and Harry Potter are on my Top 5 list, too! Life changing, really. I’m so glad to have “met” Harry and the crew, and Red Tent still haunts and delights me to this day.

  2. Annette Holbrook says

    I am right there with you Julie! I’d have my nose stuck in a book every day, if I could manage it. My first chapter books in childhood were tales of The Bobbsey Twins (sp), Christopher Pike and others in middle school, and romance novels and Stephen King in my high school years. I’ve read many, many, many books.

    My ABSOLUTE favorite book is actually a series of books… You spoke of never wanting a book to end? That’s what I feel like when I read these books. These characters just came alive for me like no others. I speak of Jamie and Claire of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It’s a bizarre combination of genres, yet it ensnares readers like nothing else. If you haven’t read it, please do! And so far, the story hasn’t ended. The books are well over 500 pages each and the 8th book is due out in 2013. (I wait with eager anticipation!)

    On a side note, while the movie for The Help does a relatively good job sticking with the book, it still pales in comparison. Amongst other shortfalls, it fails to capture the intensity of the racial tensions that the book was so careful to capture.

  3. Annie Delgado says

    I love books and always feel as if I’m living the stories. I didn’t read the end of the last Harry Potter book for a while. I didn’t want it to end. I also have re-read a childhood book many years later and received a different perspective as an adult. I find myself reading the classics again and appreciating them more than when I was in high school. As a former teacher, my dream is for reading to be the top activity for every student.

    • says

      It amazes me how different books are when you’re older. The exact same book that you loved before you now either love for a different reason… or despise because of how you read into it.

      One thing I’ve learned about reading, even people who say they hate it will love it when they find right book and the right moment to be lost in it. Then? they become readers forever.

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