(Update: I cannot believe I forgot about #9, so I just had to squeeze it in after the fact. When I first started writing this, I didn't think I could come up with 10, but apparently I was wrong!)
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2. Reading by nightlight because I didn't want to get caught staying up past my bedtime. Yup, I was one of those kids. Forget all the other sneaky things I could have gotten myself into, I just desperately wanted to read one more chapter. OK, maybe two.
3. The Scholastic Book Fair. Please tell me you had these at your school as a kid. I looked forward to them so much it was kind of ridiculous. This was obviously the beginning of my book buying obsession. Of course at the age of 10, I had quite limited funds (and room in my backpack), which was probably a good thing.
4. Speaking of Scholastic, I have to include the Scholastic Book Club flyers. Do you guys remember those?! In the days before this thing called the internet enabled you to click a few buttons and have books magically appear on your doorstep, this was pretty much a third grade bookworm's dream. I filled out a form, gave my teacher some money, and then I got the latest Baby Sitters Club book delivered to me at school. So. Awesome.
5. One thing I really miss now that I'm an adult is reading a book cover-to-cover. As a kid, I remember settling in with a Nancy Drew mystery on a weekend or a rainy summer day and just reading the whole thing straight through. And on a really good day, I'd read another!
6. In high school, I was always the first one up in the morning, so I would make myself something for breakfast and curl up on the playroom couch with my latest non-school-related book. I went to Catholic school and wore a uniform, so getting ready didn't take much time and I always thought I had time for a few more pages, even when I really didn't.
7. Now I know a lot of teenage girls like to go shopping at the mall and my best friend and I were no exception. What I'm not so sure about is if all the other teenage girls always made a stop at the bookstore. We were both readers, so we often swapped books and recommendations and it was always fun to browse the shelves. The day we realized the B. Dalton at our local mall was closing for good was a very sad day. How can a mall not have a bookstore?!
8. It was a little bittersweet, but I'll never forget lining up to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight with my husband (he was my boyfriend then -- can you see why I married him?), one of his friends, and my best friend. It's what all the cool kids were doing. Seriously. Well, my kind of cool kids anyway.
9. Speaking of the cool kids, you want to know what this cool kid did on her 21st birthday? She went to An Evening with Harry, Carrie & Garp with said husband and best friend. Judging by the crowd, the excitement, and the general atmosphere, you would have thought it was a rock concert, but it was actually a series of readings and Q&A sessions with JK Rowling, Stephen King, and John Irving at Radio City Music Hall. My husband bought us the tickets and took the two of us since our birthdays are only 2 days apart. Forget going to a bar and getting legally wasted, that was one of my best birthdays ever.
10. And all this Harry Potter talk brings me back to the day my little brother came home from school and was practically jumping out of his skin and begging me to read the first book. "Christine you have to read this book. It's sooo good. And it's not just for little kids. I swear you're gonna like it." He must have been 10 which means I would have been 14 and not all that likely to believe him, but luckily I did. Best. Book Recommendation. Ever.
Fast forward a few years to when my brother was 14 and Order of the Phoenix was published. He started it, but didn't like it as much as the earlier books, so he stopped after a few chapters and pretty much abandoned reading altogether. I was so mad because he got me started on the series and I wanted to talk to him about the ending so badly! Which leads me to my final bookish memory...
11. It's almost 10 years later and I never was able to convince my brother to read the rest of Harry Potter (or anything else, for that matter). Every year our family takes a beach vacation on the Jersey shore (not THAT Jersey Shore. Ew.) which is perfect for some relaxing summer reading, but nothing I tried ever worked. I'd ask him what books he wanted me to pack for him and he'd just make the "I know you're my sister and we're related, but you really are crazy" face at me. But recently he told me his latest job (which involves a lot of sitting around and monitoring a sign-in book) is so boring he might have to take up reading again. I was hopeful we'd talk about books again one day, but I wasn't holding my breath. Then I got a text from him: "Finished my 3rd book. The parents are reading frauds there are no books in the house." I couldn't help but smile and reminded him they go to this place called the library. It only happened yesterday, but I don't think it's something I'll forget anytime soon :)