I hate it when people say that books are a dying media. I won't ever want an electronic reading device, now matter how stylish, how convenient or how futuristic it might be. It's not the same as far as I'm concerned.
I have loved reading books as long as I can remember. The rectangular shape, with those perfectly cut pages inside. They have tiny letters that form a fantasy, a dream, memories, instructions, adventure, love or history sometimes all in one book. In third grade my favorite part of the day was the fifteen minutes of "sustained silent reading" which was required but I saw it as a gift. I'm pretty sure my teacher Mrs. Dunkle loved it too. I cherish books as apart of my anatomy. I don't like to see them ripped, hurt, on the floor or still looking like new, as if it has never been read. I like the flexibility of the cover, the perfect spine and the smell of the pages. I like to see my bookmark travel through the pages bearing the weight of what I've read, like a friend encouraging me to test his strength but then allow him to rest.
Being at home all day, with very few mental stimuli, reading helps keep my mind thinking. Although I love singing songs with hand motions, reading picture books and teaching the alphabet, I often wonder if my brain will turn to mush. The only problem solving I have during the day is thinking what to make for lunch (something they'll actually finish), teaching how to share and figuring out how to stop a crying kid. When I read it's usually past ten o'clock. I curl up on the couch, take off my glasses, open up the book and nothing else matters.
My favorite kinds of books have a great hero, some combat, blood, gore, maybe a love interest but it's not necessary. I despise books with super fluffy happy go lucky ending (Breaking Dawn). Fiction writers should not be afraid of death. It's okay to mourn the loss of a character, even if it is the hero. The readers will mourn too. In writing my own piece, I have to keep in mind who I'm writing this for - ME. I can't please everybody and I don't want to. A lot of people will hate it, others who say they love it because they're friends/family and maybe one rare person who will honestly tell me what they think; red pen and all. My English teacher, Mrs. Lewis was such a gem. She would make my book reports bleed and I was sure she was out to get me. Every week we would turn in our "reflection journals" and she would grade them. How do you grade a reflection - using the rubric system. Lame. Seeing that she would give me her honest opinion about my work, I turned in my poetry journal instead. When I got it back I saw the note that said,"See me after class." The next two years, I went to creative writing workshops at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, during school hours, under her direction. I would trust her opinion about anything I write. I wish I stayed in contact with her.
Books are such a huge part of my life, they have helped make me who I am, libraries are sanctuaries, and the right side of the couch at 10:45 pm is my best friend. The title is true, "A Book, A Piece of my Heart."