When I was four, my mother thought I was some crazy reading prodigy. Turns out I just memorized the back cover that says the same thing on every copy of "Little Golden Books" when she would read me a new one every night. What. A. Fraud.
I don't remember ever struggling to read as I got older, though learning how to spell my own name presented some problems that prevented me from going to recess on time in Kindergarten (shout out to Ms. McManaman for making me stick it out and stop mixing up my "i" and "c")
Regardless, my mom decided "eh, why not" and got me my own Hooked on Phonics to help me out (just in case things went haywire). I kinda sorta remember doing the flashcards, but nothing too specific except it was the gateway drug to my OBSESSION WITH BOOKS.
...and these were just the books I wanted to take on a 4 day trip.
Fast forward to middle school and I was that butthead reading ahead of the class, getting to take naps because I'd already read the next 10 chapters of "Where the Broken Heart Still Beats", entering Harry Potter book trivia contests for fun, and overall going through books so fast I ended up having milk crates in my room to hold them all.
I was hooked. I couldn't get enough of the pages, getting lost in worlds and fighting alongside girls of leaves, reading about grandmas (mis)adventures, and helping the Danish resistance against the Nazis in Copenhagen and beyond (seriously, we'd be here all day if I kept going about the books that live on mine and my mothers bookshelves).
Can't take me anywhere. Geeze.
Annnnnnd one last skip and a jump to how I am today — If you're one of the people who's had the fortunate experience to walk into a book store with me, you've seen that goofy smile I get when I breathe it all in for the first time.
Two bookstores that I absolutely adore going into whenever I'm in town: 1. Galveston Bookshop (go visit their shop cat, Carson!) 2. Austin's South Congress Books (My eyeballs started leaking in here. Why? Idk, because I'm crazy.)
Big or small, I appreciate and get the weepies (see above) by all book stores/shops/pop ups. Because they give you that wonderful take-you-by-the-hand route of escape just by the smell of their paper. Used book store? You'll have to drag me out of there, especially if I'm able to get my favorites and replace some lost loves at basement bargain prices — a la the Northwest Highway Flagship Half Price Books down below:
Y'all, I straight up lost my mind a bit when I walked into this store for the first time last week. I went a little bonkers when I wandered over to the clearance section and realized one of my favorite authors and his series had books on sale for 99cents - $2!!! Hardback copies!! I was a goner, and that was before I found the children's section.
Look at these finds!
I own all 6 of the above books, and plenty more. There's something I can't really describe about going back to your old books from childhood and re-reading the pages, re-living that life you first found when you were small. But seeing that all of these books for so cheap freaked me out in good and bad ways:
The good: Holy butts, my 12 year old self would have killed to have all of these books for this cheap!
The bad: Good gravy, why are these so cheap? Are people not reading them?!
You're not cool if you've never read The Bailey School Kids. Get on it!
It took a lot of willpower to not walkout with all of these (mainly because my well-loved copies are sitting on my shelf at home), and a good amount of the Children's section books from series I've revisited and collect — who knows, maybe I'll have my own kids I can share my crazy book obsession with one day.
But I digress, this post isn't about promoting any one bookstore, or that one type of book I suggest you should read. It's more about why not go outside (or inside, because allergies), and crack open a book, any book, and just take a second out of your day to get lost in between some pages. You may just find out - gasp - that you enjoyed your break from reality for the moment.