I missed the memo about kid lit, kindles and Katniss Everdeen.
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t love to read. As a child, I enjoyed wandering around libraries and losing myself in the words and the pictures of books, glorious books. Still, I suppose I was just dabbling until I was introduced to A Wrinkle in Time and The Arm of the Starfish in elementary school. Madeleine L’Engle was my gateway drug. Once I figured out that novels were this marvelous form of transportation, I was totally hooked. Then I started pretty much inhaling all the Judy Blume books in the school library, then graduated to the dark, incestuous world of V.C. Andrews, and then I was swiping my Dad’s Stephen King and Robert Heinlein novels. Yeah, I was a book junkie.
As a grown up, I’ve continued to be a pretty voracious reader. But in recent years, it’s been mostly code books and Sandra Boynton. I always read a bit for fun, but the leisurely trips to libraries and bookstores were an infrequent treat.
But now…. I got one of those schnazzy kindle fire thingys for Christmas and I’ve discovered a whole new world of multi-slacking. In addition to using it for Facebook-stalking old boyfriends and watching cute cat videos on YouTube, I can use my kindle to read actual books! I’ll admit I’d initially been kind of resistant to the whole e-reader thing. The brave new world of publishing had vaporized my husband’s old job at a magazine, so I admit I held a grudge. But the kindle fire was seductively cheap for its capabilities, so I reluctantly started coveting it. And now there’s no turning back. All the books I could read in multiple lifetimes, lots of them free or really cheap, at a mere flick of a touchscreen. I’ve seriously died and gone to nerdy girl heaven.
One of my first acquisitions on my new gizmo was The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I’d been hearing about these books for the last year or so, but dismissed the thought of reading them since they were technically “young adult” novels. I don’t have my AARP card or anything, but I somehow thought anything with the YA label was somehow beneath my undeniable sophistication. Boy, I am I ever glad I got over myself and read these books. I can’t remember when I’ve been more engrossed in a story or more neglectful of the laundry.
If you haven’t read any of The Hunger Games books yet, I won’t give anything away. Just suffice it to say, I want to be Katniss Everdeen when I grow up. She’s a complicated, tough little bird and I’ll be thinking about her a lot, for a long time, I think.
It seems kind of fitting that my love affair with books has been rekindled (sorry, couldn’t resist) by the very sort of books that got me hooked in the first place. There’s usually something pure in adventure stories for and about the young, and there’s extra magic when a book bridges generations, as The Hunger Games seems to be doing. When the first of the movies comes out in a couple of months, I predict I’ll be queuing up giddily for my ticket along with lots of people both older and younger than myself. With so many fans out there, the line might be kind of long. But I’ll bring my kindle so I’ll have something to read.