Like it is for many people, reading is in my blood. It's not something I can control - I read everything from the cereal boxes on the breakfast table to the bottom of the Kleenex boxes to the signs on the bus. I read the tabloid headlines while standing in line at the grocery store and the billboards along streets while still managing to keep my eyes on the road. Reading is a joy, a pleasure, an unconscious appreciation for the way words flow without even considering all the work it takes to make that flow happen. Adding to that joy is the anticipation of walking into a bookstore and feeling surrounded by rows and rows of books and magazines, smelling the ink on paper, gaze captured by hundreds of thousands of shiny covers of various shapes and sizes. It is a voluntary addiction, one that consumes my time and money but gives me more pleasure than a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates ever could. But not necessarily more than a diamond <g>. I believe I have spent my money wisely and feel like I am rewarding myself for my hard work and lack of the "really bad" vices. How can reading be bad for you? I don't believe it can be. It opens up your world to possibilities.
That said, I have gradually entered another world - the world of amateur reviewing. Expressing my enjoyment of a book is very fulfilling, and I like finding ways of putting the words together and hopefully enticing someone else to pick up that book. It is not always easy; I have found myself agonizing over a review in my attempts to get it "just right". Admittedly, I am not comfortable writing a less than stellar review, so at this time, I only review books I enjoy. That may never change. I know others do not have any hang-ups about trashing a book, but when I think of how much work was put into it, I cannot help but feel sorry for the person taking a bashing. Whether or not that it's wise, it's ultimately my decision not to give such a review. Besides, reviews are subjective, so one person's trash is another's treasure.
One of the things I will be doing at this blog is reviewing. Books, movies, whatever. It's all amateur, based on my tastes and my opinions. It's hopefully a fun thing that hopefully encourages people to read other books and even make recommendations of their own. It's also another way of showing my appreciation for the many stories that have fired my imagination and put a smile on my face. Most of the stories I read are romances, but I also like science fiction, biographies, suspense, the classics, and some non-fiction. I hope to kick off my reviewing by having a blog contest, and more details will follow as to what that will be. If I can encourage even one other person to read, then it is well worth it :)