Today I’m featuring the ever so lovely Michelle from Bookaholic Banter, who is sharing with us her reading journey from beginning to now.

When It All Started…start

My reading journey started when I was very young. From a very young age of two or three I remember my Father and Mother reading me books. I can distinctly remember the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. When that movie came out I just HAD to see it! I didn’t care if I was too old for it or not. It was cute, and brought back memories. I think for the main part my huge love of reading comes from my Father. I can remember him sitting in his recliner with his feet up, a cup of coffee, and a book. His closet was fully of rows and rows of books. Why he never got a bookshelf I don’t know.

 

My First Trip To The Library…2

My Mother started taking me to story time at the library when I was 4 or 5 years old. (This started my forever love of libraries. ) I can remember sitting on the floor listening to the librarian read a book. It was wonderful! Then all the kids would take some books home to be read by the parents. Probably by the age of 6 or 7 I had my own library card and was taking out books 10 at a time on my own. I would tear through books. I coudn’t get enough of stories. The library was-and still is-such a magical place to me.

Venturing Into The Book World On My Own….3

By the time I reached 8 or 9 years old is when I truly discovered the wonderful world of chapter books. I was reading The Babysitters Club and couldn’t get enough. I can remember my Father taking me to the book store in the mall on occasions and letting me pick out new books in the series. One of my friends introduced me to Nancy Drew and I couldn’t get enough! I became a very frequent visitor of the library. I lived in a very small town where everything was very easy to walk to. After school I would walk to the library. I would sit at a table for hours doing my homework and reading. Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? I LOVED those too! Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series and Judy Blume’s Fudge series were other books I loved at this age. I read these types of books for the next 4 or 5 years. I was there until the library closed. I never left there without a checking out a few books. My library card was-and still is-the most prized card in my wallet. It’s like gold to me.
Craving More…4

At the age of 12 or 13 years old, I started getting a little tired of these books and wanted something a little more older. I wanted to read about teenagers and romace. I started exploring the teen paperback bookshelves in the library ( at this time I don’t think they were called YA) and started picking up books first, if the cover piqued my interest, second, reading the synopsis on the back and choosing my books this way. If they sounded interesting, I took them out. At this age is when I discovered Judy Blume’s Just As Long As We’re Together. It was one of my favorites. I remember reading Blubber and really connecting with that story. I was a pudgy kid full of freckles and glasses. I was teased a lot at this age.

I watched a lot of scary movies with my father and I wanted to read something scary. This 5is when I finally discovered the beloved R. L. Stine. The first R.L.Stine’s Fear Street book I read had me absolutely hooked! I read every single one that my local library had available. I needed MORE! This is when my allowance for doing chores came in handy….back to the bookstore in the mall for more books!( Every penny I earned at this age was spent on books- I don’t remember ever buying anything else at this age.) I was so excited! I couldn’t believe how many books there were in this series for me to discover! I bought up every single one I could. I also loved R.L.Stine’s Babysitter series. That series really creeped me out. I got to the point where I had to wait for new books in the series to come out because I read them all. I was so anxious and couldn’t wait for more. This was when I discovered a sign in the bookstore that recommended other books for lovers of the Fear Street Series. This was when I discovered my other true love Christopher Pike. Bury Me Deep was my all-time favorite. That book really freaked me out! I still think about it to this day. Let’s just say this girl will NEVER be trying deep-sea diving for as long as she lives. The Last Vampire was also huge for me. Books were HUGE for me at this age. I can remember spending most of my weekends curled up in bed on a Saturday or Sunday and tearing through 2-3 books in a day. I just couldn’t get enough of these two authors. I loved these books for the scare they gave me but I couldn’t help noticing the romance, and kissing in these books as well. …
So Started My Journey Into Romance and Adult Books6

At the age of 15 0r 16 I started looking for books with romance at the library. One day I noticed a book from my beloved Judy Blume called Forever. It sounded very interesting and I checked it out. I can remember being schocked by the in-detail sex scenes in this book. At this age I had never read anything this detailed. I was very curious as to how many more books like this were out there. After I read this book I can remember perusing the library for other books like it. This was about the time I started venturing into the adult book section. I headed over to the romance books. Some of the covers told it all. Those were the ones I would pick up. I can’t believe that the librarians actually let me take out some of the smutty stuff I took out at this age. About this time is when I met a new friend in school. She saw the type of books that I was reading and recommended Jackie Collins to me. She let me borrow one to read. Wow! The sex and language in those books! I was hooked. This was a stage in my life where I was living a little rebellious. These books made me feel mature and like a grown up. Ha! Teenaged girls! I also read a lot of Danielle Steele at this time.
The Reading Lull…7.png

I lost a few years of reading until about the age of 19 or 20. I was busy with hanging out with friends, high school homework, and working. It was around this time that I met the love of my life. I got married, had my daughter, and life finally slowed down a bit. I started reading everything under the sun. At this time I was only reading adult books. I read a lot of Jennifer Crusie, Carly Phillips, James Patterson, Stephen King, and my all-time favorite- Janet Evanovich. I joined some Book Clubs such as Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and others. They had those deals where you bought two or three books at a regular price and got 5 or 6 free. I can’t remember the exact numbers. Either way, this was when I finally started to build my own library. I bought bookshelves and joined as many book-buying clubs as I could. I bought a Book Lover’s Diary and started keeping track of how many books I read a year. I started shopping at a used bookstore and also at the library when they had book sale days. These were the ways I gained a majority of my personal library. I read as many books as I possibly could around working, being a mother, and a wife.
From 30 to now…

At 30, I finally discovered the wonderful thing called Goodreads. I started filling my shelves with my TBR. I slowed down on the monthly book clubs because it was just getting too expensive. I would skip my monthly purchases and instead just add books that sounded interesting to my TBR on Goodreads and get them out from the library. I would only buy books from my favorite authors, that I knew I would want to own. A year later I created my website Bookaholic Banter. I created it to be a place that book lovers could gather for anything bookish. Up to this point it has mostly been reviews, a couple author interviews, book tours, and guest blogs. I am hoping to offer a lot more in the coming years. Any random book I read, I would write a review for on my website. I started an instagram and would post pictures of what I was reading. Little did I know at this time that there were other people ( referred to as bookstagrammers ) doing the same thing. When I finally discovered this I made a secondary Instagram account dedicated to books. I started posting book photos on a daily basis.

One year after that I stumbled across the wonderful world of booktubers. The first booktuber I discovered was Kassidy Voinche. I watched every single one of her videos and fangirled right along with her. I then started discovering more and more booktubers and subscribing to all their channels. I was thrilled to tears to discover this amazing community and to find that there were so many people out there who get as excited as I do about books! Booktube helped me in so many ways. It gave me a TON of new books to read! It helped me discover the world of YA and I have been completely hooked ever since! I admit, I now read more YA than I do adult novels. I still read adult fiction but I just enjoy the YA books so much more! It’s an indulgence. Booktube also helped me discover the wonderful world of readathons! I almost cried when I found out this existed. Seriously!
I recently got immersed in the twitter book family as well…then I discovered the wonderful thing called reading sprints! It is so much fun to meet and talk to to the book community. The book community is truly a family. Discovering all this was like a dream come true! The book community has made my life so special. It has truly made me happy in every single way!Ok….this post is turning into Why I Love The Book Community, instead of My Reading Journey. I promise this is all leading somewhere…
Ok, so when I discovered booktube and saw that all these booktubers were getting books in exchange for an honest review, I was so jealous! I wanted that! I was a little shy to start my own booktube channel-which I still hope to do one day soon- so I just stuck with bookstagram and posted my website name. I started immersing myself in the book world and talking to authors & publishers, and other bloggers. I started doing my research on how I could get in on reading books in return for a review. The first book I read was from an author I became friends with on Facebook. I honestly can’t tell you how everything came about…it just kind of happened with perseverance and writing reviews on my website and then sharing links to those reviews on social media. Now, I am getting books left and right for review. I receive daily emails to review an author’s book. I discovered online book tours and started signing up for those. I got a little carried away and it is becoming my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love discovering all these new authors and getting to read and review books, but I am not getting to read books that I want to read, from my own tbr. I had a huge pile of books out from the library and I renewed them all twice and still didn’t get a chance to read a single one. I had to return them all without reading them. That was tragic! I wan’t to get back to reading and reviewing what I want to read. I am going to start being more picky about blog tours and books offered for review so I can do more reading for myself. Also, I need more time to work on making my website better and working on my own book this November for NanoWriMo. Sorry for all the blabbing on and on. I got kind of carried away. Sometimes I start to get in the zone when I start writing and just start spewing words from my mouth. That is pretty much my current reading journey! If you got this far, thanks for sticking around and reading what I have to say. Maybe in another 5-10 years I will write an updated reading journey on my website. Love you all!
Thanks so much to Emily for allowing me to be a guest on her blog this week. I had so much fun! I hope to banter about books with you all soon! Much love!

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