I started reading romances early enough for me to know my parents would disapprove...so as a kid, I used to use a cushy material book cover (with a pink ribbon sewn onto it for a page marker) during summer vacations with the family. I hid what I was reading simply because the covers were too provocative, and I knew there were far worse things I could've been doing with my time.
Because I was resourceful enough to get away with reading whatever, whenever I wanted, if I want to read something now as an adult--NOTHING--will get in my way. Not the book I'm already halfway through, not an early morning schedule, not an airport. And definitely not a beach. If the book is good enough, it stays in my favorite pile to be read over and over again, too.
The books that hold an extra 'sparkle,' remind me of why I became a writer. I mark my favorite pages and scenes, and they're never lent out. The following have been works that speak to me unlike any others:
*Diana Gabaldon's Outlander is one of the most inspiring, well-written books I've ever encountered. Her attention to detail is amazing, though it does tend to slow pace at certain points in the book.
*Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness, is also one that brings me comfort. It's easy to fall in love with Nathaniel...
*Julie Garwood's historicals are beautiful because her heroes and heroines usually join together against whatever antagonist/conflict exists within the plot, as opposed to centering on temperamental personality/internal conflicts between characters. The first sentence of Honor's Splendor hooked me unlike any other book in my life, "They meant to kill him."
*Jodi Thomas has some very quirky, extremely likeable characters. Her historicals are some of my dearest favorites, as she phrases things so skillfully. And yes, I pretty much own all of them.
In the past couple months, I've reverted back to my 'Cherry-and-sprinkles-on-top' shelf rather than choose new material/novels/authors. A favorite is like a good sundae, I've always said. It doesn't disappoint, and brings out the same reaction I had as a kid when I knew I was going to the ice cream shop, haha! I do believe this month's topic is going to help me start focusing on new authors and new genres and the trends again, however, which is going to add more balance to my reading...
Do you prefer new stories you've never read, or your favorites that are guaranteed to be enjoyable? Are you the kind of reader that looks for the author's name first, or the genre first, whenever you're in the bookstore?