Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is about bookish memories!
I had so much fun brainstorming for this one! Reading and books have been such an important part of my life for as long as I remember. I’m so grateful to my parents for making reading a part of our everyday routines, and for reading with my sister and me throughout our childhoods. It really helped shape me into the reader (and person) I am today. Without further ado, here are my top ten bookish memories (in no particular order)!
1. Junie B. Jones Meet & Greet
I loved the Junie B. Jones books growing up, and I’ll never forget getting to go to a Junie B. Jones meet and greet to get to meet Junie B. Jones! The costume the person was wearing was great, and as a kid it really felt like I was getting to meet one of my favorite book characters. It was so much fun!
2. Rereading Junie B. Jones over and over…
Speaking of Junie B. Jones and how much I loved those books, I literally reread them over and over again. And I continued doing this until I was well past the intended audience for them. I can remember in fifth grade I would write in my reading log that I was reading these books every night, and my fifth grade teacher suggested that I try reading something else. Maybe something more challenging? After that I still continued reading my beloved Junie B. Jones books, but I would sometimes write different titles in my reading log to make it seem like I was incorporating more variety.
3. First Book Festival
I went to my first local book festival in 2018, and it was so much fun! I got to meet one of my favorite authors (Luis Alberto Urrea) and have him sign one of my books. I also loved listening to the panel he was on and getting to hear all these authors discuss their books and writing processes. It was just amazing to be surrounded by so many book lovers. In 2019, I was busy with graduate school and decided not to attend that year. I figured there would always be next year, but we all know what happened in 2020… In 2020 I did at least attend a virtual book festival, and that was great too!
4. Reading The Hunger Games on the Train
I feel like I’ve mentioned this memory a lot on this blog, so I’ll try not to be too wordy here. I’ll never forget reading The Hunger Games for the first time. Not only because it’s one of my favorite books, but because of the setting of when I first read it. I can still clearly remember reading it on a train, the beautiful landscape idly rolling past, as I devoured this first book, desperate to know if Peeta was really Katniss’s ally and how Katniss was going to survive…
5. Read-alouds with Mom and Dad
There are so many picture books that are close to my heart because I can still remember reading them with my parents when I was a child. Some of my favorites that my parents read to me were If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, The Monster at the End of This Book, and Love You Forever. There are so many more, but these especially are some of my favorites.
6. Barkley Elementary
When I was in elementary school, I had a Bernese Mountain Dog named Barkley. At some point, I decided to turn our playhouse into a school for him! I would bring him into the small room and he would patiently sit at a little table as I “taught” him how to read. Little me really did believe he was learning too! I loved to read and I loved Barkley, so I wanted to share that with him.
7. From Hate to Love: Their Eyes Were Watching God & Flight Behavior
I read Their Eyes Were Watching God for an English class in high school, and I read Flight Behavior for a class I took during my freshman year of college. I think about these two books a lot because I absolutely hated both of them at first. However, by the end they really challenged my thinking and ended up sticking with me. Whenever I think about giving up on a book, I always think about this bookish memory and wonder if maybe sticking with it will pay off.
8. First Classroom Read-Alouds: Lawn Boy & The Thief of Always
When I was a student teacher, these were the first two read-alouds that I got to do all the way through. Lawn Boy was so much fun, and I remember being really nervous about doing The Thief of Always because it’s a little abstract and dark, but my students absolutely loved it. Read-aloud is one of my favorite things to do as a teacher, and I’m excited to hopefully try these with my class this year!
9. Sarah Dessen Books on Vacation
I don’t remember exactly how this one started, but it became such an important and beloved tradition for me! One of my family’s favorite vacations growing up was going to the mountains together. I’m not a super outdoorsy person, but it was a great place to get comfy, relax, and do a lot of reading when not out biking or doing other things to enjoy nature! There’s a local bookstore there that I love, and it became my tradition that every time we went to the mountains, one of the first things I would do is go to this bookstore and buy a Sarah Dessen book to read during the trip. I did eventually run out of new Sarah Dessen books to read, but I still stop by that bookstore every time we return!
10. Getting Left Behind in the School Library
Finally, I have a really clear bookish memory from sixth grade. This was around the time I had discovered Dear America books. I remember my language arts class had gone to the library, and I had checked out one of these books and sat down to read it while the rest of my class was finishing up. However, I got so into the book, that at one point I looked up and noticed that the rest of my class was gone! The entire class had left, and I was so absorbed in my book that I didn’t even notice (and apparently my teacher didn’t notice that I was missing either). I remember panicking and asking for a hall pass from the librarian. We weren’t allowed to be wandering the halls during class time, and as someone who has always been a rule follower, I was absolutely terrified that I was going to get in trouble for accidentally missing class. But still, getting so totally lost in a book like that is just one of the best feelings!
What are some of your bookish memories?
Let me know in the comments!