“You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

I am an avid reader, constantly devouring books on whatever subjects fall in the realm of my current interest (obsession?!).  Books are the rungs on my ladder that take me from one place to the other.  Usually (I hope) the ladder is pointing upward and sometimes (as it should be) it is laying flat–the ideas and wisdom within the books guide me from one step to the next.

My nightstand is always stacked with a fresh group of books.  An autobiography could be created just from photographs of my nightstand over the years.  From the very young years of Shel Silverstein’s Light in the Attic (a group of poems featuring Sister For Sale) to Judy Blume’s Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret to Wifey (hidden under my bed after it was forbidden by my mom), I always sought out books that spoke to me and my current place on this amazing ride.

When the kids were “in the oven” and just beginning, that nightstand was covered with books about growing children.   When Adrienne wouldn’t go to sleep I became a Dr. Ferber fan (I heard he later revised the “let them cry it out” strategy–so sorry Adrienne!)  When Liz waited a very long time to speak, the nightstand quickly filled with books on toddlers and talking.  As the girls entered their school years my books were all about teaching, learning and education.  To home school or not?  There was a book.  Setting limits, disciplining, and loving logically–all the strategies could be found between the bindings.

When I was playing my SAHM role, the nightstand would bulge with gardening, cooking and ahhh…fiction books.  Elizabeth Berg, John Grissom and Anita Shreve were always great to have in the car or the diaper bag.

Sadder parts of my life are endured with a good book tucked into my purse.  I read a very funny book (Nick Hornby‘s How To Be Good) when my Aunt Susie was in the hospital for her final days.  I still recall the book I was into when my nephew Anthony died suddenly.  Books are sometimes easier companions than people when there are no words to make things better.

I haven’t been reading much fiction lately (although I fake it pretty good at our neighborhood book club), but every time I do pick up a good piece of fiction, I think “I should do this more!”  Frankly, I sometimes need to get out of my own head.

I have found that during these past years I’m always looking for practical answers when I read.  Last season I bought every eBay strategy book I could find and held tight onto Titanium eBay by Skip McGrath.  I was determined to learn all I could about internet selling.

Late last summer I became a big fan of Rhonda Byrn”s The Secret and steadily read through many of the books referred to within it.  The ancient ideas with these bindings are inspiring and life-changing.  I really believe this.

This season, trying to balance eBay, a new ebook, internet marketing and the rest of my world, I’ve been inspired by Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week (the title idea is still quite elusive I’m afraid) and Seth Godin’s Linchpin (thanks San Diego friends for the recommendation!)  I am not sure what is coming next although I met an author on an airplane recently and he just sent me an interesting memoir–it is patiently waiting on my nightstand.

What are your reading?  And why?  I have a rule that if two friends from different social groups recommend the same book to me I try to read it.  Please share your favorite book or author with me, I’d love to hear about it.



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3 thoughts on ““You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

  1. Wendy,

    I am trying to read “Eat Pray Love” I think I am having a hard time getting into it because I am at a different stage of life than the author. The kids got me a Kindle for Mother’s day. I think I am going to buy the book “Room” today. A friend recommended it to me. Enjoyed your comments. You are a good writer!

    • Thanks for the comment Lid! I read that book awhile back and remember having a bit of difficulty with it because she was so “newly” separated from her marriage and responsibilities and I am so completely attached to my marriage and responsibilities.

      I think it is easier to relate to books that talk to us personally–and hit us where we are, or at least where we want to revisit.

      I have been using an ipad for reading lately and enjoy it for the flexibility and ability to buy a title right away, but I also still enjoy a good old paperback in my hands.

      Keep me posted on your next read.