But I don’t want to watch TV Dad! I’m reading!

It happens every summer. A big blockbuster release. No, I am not talking movies, I am speaking of books! In past years its was the Twilight series, or the Harry Potter series, or even Peter and the Starcatcher series. This year the book with buzz amongst the teen set is Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins was released yesterday. It is the third part of the Hunger Games Trilogy. Could we wait for it to come out in paperback? No. How about for it to be available at the public library? Don’t make me laugh! We need to own it RIGHT NOW! Why? Because reading books over and over is part of the fun! (and because his friends are reading it too!) This is one indulgence that I permit my children. If they want a book, they may have it.

I would be the last mom on earth you would expect this type of behavior from. I never, and I mean NEVER buy my kids “stuff”. They get an allowance, or have jobs so therefore must make their own purchases and learn how to save and budget accordingly. But there is something about a book that makes me cave in.

I am a big believer in escape into reading. The pure pleasure from a great story is ecstasy for me. The very fact that my children desire a new book and start reading it in the car 3 minutes AFTER purchase thrills me like nothing else can. We have an extensive children’s library. We own everything from Goodnight moon (the very first story my young little minds heard at the age of 1) to every Ridley Pearson book written for the under 18 set. With every book in between.  There is no one happier than me – except maybe my dad – that I raised have readers! At this point you maybe wondering why this is an important part of my personal tourism.

Well for starters, you need to know that I don’t think I am a complete mess and need a total overhaul! I have some excellent qualities thank you very much! And books teach me things that I might never have learned, or taken me places that I have not seen yet, or gave me friends when I was lonely and in need of someone who understood the pain I was going through.

I remember the very first novel I ever read. I was in grade 4, age 9. I was laying on my bed reading an Archie Digest when dad walked into my room. He handed me a book and said I would like you to read this and then he left. Up until that point, my parents read to me every night. We would discuss the book. I would ask copious amounts of questions and all would,very patiently, be answered by my father. I couldn’t wait until the next night! So, you could imagine my disappointment when I had to read a book on my own. But what a GIFT I was given! Charlotte’s Web was the very first book I read on my own and I never looked back.

I have very strong memories associated with books I read as a child. Apples Every Day, by Grace Richardson was a gift from my mom. She thought books should be under every Christmas Tree, and I agree. This was a novel that she randomly picked up and thought I may enjoy it. I read it 20 times. I do that. If I love a book, I will reread it. Every time I will gain new insight or be comforted by the familiar setting. Judy Blume was an author who had a tremendous influence on me. I snapped up every one of her books. I remember Mrs. Erickson our librarian suggesting that maybe I branch out and try a new author. But I didn’t want to! Why should I? I loved her books! But again, another adult in my life was right and I met L.M. Montgomery. HOLY CRAP! Her books rocked my world! My Great Grandmother gave me the entire series. Her reasoning was she wanted for me to understand what Island life was like for her when she was a girl, and to understand that Canada has some pretty amazing authors. But with any author I like, I must read all that they publish. A sickness really. But I am not caring! After reading a great novel I mourn the characters for a while. I miss them. So when I found Maeve Binchy, she made all my dreams come true! She would throw in old characters into her other stories so I could visit with them for a while and see how they are doing. This made me very happy. I read Tara Road and Evening Class every year. They are like old friends.

However, like most people, I love to meet new friends too! I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. They make you think, feel or react. This year I met a person who when asked if he ever read a particular book, he replied, no I don’t like to read but I saw the movie, it’s the same thing. What the…?!?!?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? Poor fellow, I felt nothing but pity for him. He will never know the secret pleasure that a book will provide. To me books and people are major influences in my life. I can’t express to a book how much they have influenced me but I can with people.

So the next travel stop on my journey is New York. I am about to begin Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson. Recommended by a book club friend of mine. I want to visit New York but will happily read about it for now. I am sure I will be heavily influenced in someway, I always get something out of a book, even if I hate it. If you are a person who has been an influence or an inspiration in my life up until now, you can bet I will let you know and express a debt of thanks. Because that my blogger friends, is the next real stop in my journey. I am going to start telling people how much they mean to me. It feels like a risk, but is that not the point of my being a tourist in my own life?

In case you haven’t heard me say it, thank you for being an influence in my life. You inspire me to write this everyday, because you read it.