It may be genetic, because I can't remember a time I didn't love books. My mom says that when I was a baby I would sit on the floor for ages looking at books--not even necessarily picture books. Sometime in Elementary school, probably 1st or 2nd grade, I remember pulling my mom's huge Riverside Shakespeare down off the shelf (she was an English major too) because I thought it was the prettiest book, and even that young you've at least HEARD of Shakespeare. I tried reading Midsummer Night's Dream, because, who doesn't love faeries, but I couldn't understand it. All I knew is that the book was beautiful, the words sounded awesome coming out of my mouth, and I felt really smart for reading Shakespeare. I've always identified with Belle from Beauty and the Beast in all her reading antics, and yes, like many girls I know, covet the library Beast gives her (and all the libraries in England that we saw that were like that one).
As I got older, I became the reading queen. I read at recess, or at least act out my favorite stories from books. Did you ever have to do AR? Most people hated it. I would rack up AT LEAST 600 points a year, getting over 1000 points in both 6th and 8th grade. I won probably the equivalent of $200+ in reading prizes. I would spend entire weekends doing nothing but reading. Stay until it's no longer physically possible reading? Did that more times than I can count (especially with Harry Potter). I don't know if anyone's had more overdue book fines at a library than I have. Not because I wouldn't read the books fast enough, but because I would check out 30 books at a time and hoard them and forget to turn them in. In addition, I didn't miss a day of writing in my journal from the summer of 2003 until 2007. I'd spend hours writing, both in my journal and on stories, and would carefully choose which journals to buy. In high school, I started to turn more to music, but at the end of my senior year, AP English was the only class I cared about--even over choir sometimes.
Now I'm an English major. My roommates immediately can tell I study literature, and even joke that I'm going to be killed by all my books falling on me in my sleep. I love to read for fun, but I love to read for deeper things too. I love everything about books--the content, the history, the stories, the stories behind the stories, what they teach me about myself and about humanity and God. Books are so interesting; a way to simultaneously escape yourself, your world and the people in it, while yet learning more about all those things. I love the way they look on shelves, and in piles and really anywhere, and the beauty of them. I love breathing in their smell--musty, yet fresh and friendly--as I walk in the stacks at work, or through the aisles of a bookstore. I love running my hands over their spines and pages and the way holding a book in my hand feels. I love hearing pages turn, and cuddling up somewhere in the sunlight to read. I love filling their pages with my own words and hoping that someday the things I write and say can change someone just the way that the words of others, books, have changed mine. Books just . . . take my breath away. I want lots of them: hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful books.
P.S. Sorry I'm so long-winded. I just like to say things. That is the whole reason I have a blog. And once I start writing, there isn't really anything that can stop me until I'm done because it's not like you can interrupt me or make me stop talking when I'm having a one-sided conversation with myself.