I love bookstores. I love libraries, too, but bookstores are better because they have better variety, and usually I don't go to bookstores with kids, while I usually have company at the library and usually spend more time at the train table than actually looking at books.
But I digress. One of my favorite dates with Christian is the bookstore date. This began back in our kid-free, super-poor days, when we needed creative, cheap things to do together. We'd head off to Barnes and Noble find a stack of fun things to read (Christian would usually read through one book--I'd have a stack of cookbooks, craft books, design books, novels, and magazines--this was before blogging, so I was desperate for good ideas and new things to make), and spend an hour or so curled up on their soft chairs. I first read Harry Potter this way--a few chapters each date night. We'd usually spend some time in the music section, too--this is how we were introduced to Norah Jones and Josh Groban. Before we left, I'd choose one recipe and copy it out (brownies, anyone?), pick up the ingredients on the way home, and make a treat together that night. Good times.
When our family was in town this holiday season, we spent part of our Girls' Day in Barnes and Noble, wandering around the children's section talking about all our favorite books--from our childhood, those we've read as adults, and those we can't wait to introduce to our kids. I ought to say here that for the books I love may not be "important"--they have to be entertaining, make me feel good, have characters I'd like to actually meet in real life, or something along those lines, and I like interesting books, but usually take longer to read them. In high school I actually avoided books I maybe should have read because I was told they were important books, and I don't think I liked really anything I was assigned to read in school (The Good Earth? The Jungle? horrible!), which I think impacted my current taste in reading.
My SIL all promised we'd blog about our favorites and our must-read suggestions, and since I have a lot, I'm breaking it up into different posts. I think it would be pretty cool if any of you reading this (especially DeAnn and Jennie, since they already promised to) would do this, too.
For starters, here are my all-time favorites:
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (This is a hard book to read-some parts go on longer than they should- but I find it very cathartic and fascinating.)
Anne of Green Gables (really, the whole series), by LM Montgomery(These are actually not very well written, but I love the stories and I especially love my memories of reading these books. I started in Kindergarten, read Anne all the way through in second grade, and many times since.)
Pride and Predjudice, Persuasion, or anything by Jane Austen (I re-read them every year)
Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis (These become more meaningful every time I read them--Lewis was an inspired man!)