I love Books. It is a dream of mine to own a home with a huge library, something akin to the one in Beauty & the Beast. My love affair with reading began when I was younger. My mother first taught me to read in kindergarten, the book was about a pig who liked to take a bath. When I was a kid, I was getting sick a lot, before I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I enjoyed taking baths, they always seemed to make me feel better. Throughout school we were always forced to read books, most of which I had no interest in.
I was 14 when I first read Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, the book that began my love affair with reading. My sister Kamara got it for my birthday, and I still have that copy, although it is showing many signs of wear. Within a few hundred pages, I got to experience New York City in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. Not from one point of view, but from many. I got to experience the emotions, the desires, and the goals of the characters. I got to mature with them, not that maturity was a constant in the book. I loved the way Jacqueline Susann wrote, never once was I bored or wanted to put the book down. It has been 17 years since I first read this book, and I have read it many times over. I always know that at page 332, I need some Kleenex, because I am going to start crying. I was lucky enough to find a first edition a few years back, but my ultimate goal is to find a signed first edition.
Books are an exciting adventure, a way to charge off in to foreign lands, and forgotten times. I love being able to move about the universe so freely, and getting to look deep in to the creative minds of incredibly authors.
Alexandre Dumas was the one who ignited my love for French history. His beautiful and moving works of art have left a permanent impression on my life, and I’ve since grown to respect the work of Hugo, Moliere, Balzac, Voltaire and more. Dumas, however, is still my absolute favorite. The way he can describe the historical events of France, and intertwine personal and relatable stories of love, betrayal, heartache and tragedy have brought me to levels of unspeakable emotion.
Books are also a great conversation starter. Although I hate to be interrupted, I do love to talk(briefly) to someone about our shared interest. One time, I was sitting on the A train in NYC, going from HK down to Greenwich village. As I was riding, I was reading Grace Coddington’s memoir, and there was an empty seat next beside me. Someone sat down next to me and I wasn’t paying too much attention, but the woman said to me “What are your thoughts?” I was a little off taken, as usually people don’t talk to you on the subway unless they want a donation for their hip hop dancing with music blaring and nobody requested. I place my finger on the word I was reading, and looked up…It was Grace Coddington herself! I was in shock. Lucky for me, I had already read the book one time before, and I was just rereading it for fun, and because I hadn’t switched it out with another book in my bag. I explained to her that I really enjoyed the book and that I was just reading it again. I told her how much I admired her work and how reading her memoir, my heart went out to her. She told me that I was very sweet and offered to sign it for me. I was so excited, I started rifling through my bag for a good pen and pulled out three. She chuckled to herself at my excitement, as I was laboring to keep my cool. This is the woman who runs Vogue, forget AW, Grace is the star of the show. She autographed the book, and her stop came up. We said our goodbyes, and I was smiling fro ear to ear. On the subway there were a few other open seats, and if I wasn’t reading her book, she might not have sat beside me and started up a conversation. It really is a good book, so get a copy if you like, just don’t expect to borrow mine, its in a glass case.
Below are a few of my favorite books, check them out:
- The Count of Monte Cristo
- Valley of the Dolls
- La Reine Margot
- Wishful Drinking
- A Midsummer Nights Dream
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- The Year of Magical Thinking
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Angels & Demons
Thanks for reading 🙂