Wow, that would be like asking me if I BREATHED! Seriously, I was just as much of a book addict then as I am now. I read just about anything I could get my hands on be it books for my age or even adult books. I read so many books as a kid that it is hard to really pin down a favorite. Plus, we did this thing when I was in grades six to eight that was called Battle of the Books where you had a bunch of books that you read starting at the beginning of the school year. The battle itself wasn't until January and this gave you time to get as many of the books read as possible. Now, there were teams so you didn't have to read ALL of the books (since I think there were probably around 20) but I usually tried to read them all and then the battle itself was where you were asked questions about the books and you had to guess which book it was and give the title and the author. I did VERY well with this to the point that by the third year classmates were clamoring to be on my team and the team I was on won EVERY YEAR which was nice. I was even able to guess correctly about books I hadn't read just by paying attention and learning about the books based on the questions being asked.

So this was something I was very good at and of course, doing this, I read a whole bunch of  books so, hmm, kind of hard to think of who I admired or wanted to be like. I think anything that took me away from the life I had (which usually sucked back then so I tended to read to escape) scored pretty high for me. Kids who were in families that loved them, that kind of thing so I'm sure at least once or twice I wanted to be one of the Wakefield twins from Sweet Valley Twins (yes, I read my share of junk literature). I also tended to admire those girls who had a lot that they had to go against and yet they kept on going. Books like The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Root Cellar, Jane Erye were some of my favorites back then. I was also one of those types who would kind of keep the book going in my mind after I was done reading it. The Giver was one book especially as I always wondered what happened to Jonas after he reached that first house.

I don't know, I guess for me it is kind of hard to say having read SO many books (and having had books read to me too both in school and a little bit at home when my dad read Wind in the Willows) because there are just so many books in my mind and so it's hard to really choose one character that I really admired. I guess, judging by the books I still own that I have owned for a long time I would say Jane Eyre was one I admired a lot since she went through SO much and yet still held on to her values even though she could have easily jumped at the chance to better her life. Another character and unless you've read a Lurlene McDaniel's book you wouldn't know who this is but one character I remember a lot is Dawn Rochelle who was a cancer survivor as a young teenager and she went through quite a lot and yet managed to keep on even with the deaths of some dear friends of hers. The one book I have that is about her I remember my older sister getting from a book fair when I was eight. Somehow I managed to nab it and I still have the copy as well as a few of the other books in that series. I also still have the copy of Jane Eyre that I got from another sister and read for the first time in sixth grade with the help of my teacher. That copy is a good 15/16 years old now and the copy of the other book is close to 20 years.

Funny to think about but I do have quite a few books that are at least ten years or older. Kind of scary if you think about it. 

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pattykay
Jun. 3, 2008 at 6:18 AM

I TOTALLY know what you are talking about when you say you used reading as an escape.  The BEST part of my life was in a book or when my mom read to us, otherwise it really sucked.

 

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Xakana
Jun. 3, 2008 at 1:47 PM

I'll have to do this one, I was a huge reader, too. And I loved Sweet Valley twins. I don't consider anything 'junk' that is entertaining. I think all writing has merit, all arts. There are some forms I despise (*cough Stephen King cough*) but just because I can't stand the writer's voice doesn't mean it's junk (sorry, fanfic writer here, lol, I get a little defensive--I have a friend who constantly puts herself down and thinks she has no value becuase she does fanart/fanfic instead of original works and she isn't the best ever and it's just not true... anything is a success, to me, as a literary achievement, if just one person truly enjoys it).

I continued books, too. But while some of the reason I was reading was escape, it was just because I loved living other lives in my head. Eventually, I stopped using books for that (when I was about 10) and just made everything up myself. I still do it, although when I was in my mid-20s was the first time I, as myself, was ever present in those fantasies.

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simpl...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 2:46 PM Well, I know some people would consider it junk which is why I said that. lol That was why my one older sister sent me Jane Eyre because all the books I mentioned were serials like Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High. I do still read some serials especially the In Death series by J.D. Robb.

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