I have always been a book 📖 nerd. In lieu of an actual book review this month I have decided to chronicle how I have changed as a reader: growing up, through school and college and graduate school and as a working adult and now post-Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
I have found myself reading more since I helped start a book club for an organization I am a member of. Also, writing my monthly book reviews (for this blog) has got me reading at a regular pace. This month I am cheating by not actually giving a book review. I didn’t finish my library book before it was due (and I couldn’t renew it). So while I wait to get it back I’ve decided to not review a book but instead talk about how I have changed as a reader through the years.
As a kid stories always seemed very real and vivid to me. So when I first started to read it was amazing to me the many worlds I could explore through reading. I was hooked on reading and storytelling.
Favorite book(s) during this time period: “Paddington Bear.”
As I entered school I realized my strengths were in reading, writing and storytelling. There was a brief period when I was 8 before I had eye surgery that I was getting behind in reading. That didn’t last long. A surgery and reading help and I was off to the races, reading voraciously again.
Favorite book(s) during this time period: “Little House on the Prairie,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “Little Women.”
I attended graduate school (twice) while working full time. The result was that I stopped reading for fun.
Favorite book(s) during this time period: Books by Willa Cather, including “The Troll Garden” and “My Antonia” (I took a Willa Cather class in graduate school and fell in love with her writing).
Before the TBI I suffered from chronic daily migraines and Fibromyalgia. I was incredibly light sensitive and got nauseous easily. This resulted in me reading less and listening more to audiobooks and podcasts.
Favorite book(s) during this time period: I didn’t read much at this time because of the migraines. However, I remember using audiobooks to help me with panic attacks. Oddly one that worked for me was the thriller “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (the subject matter wasn’t calming but the story is very engrossing and I think that helped pull me out of my panic).
The first year after my TBI I read voraciously again. It was like I was a kid again! I still am reading a lot and just need to be mindful of the kind of activity that I do during the day so I don’t overwhelm my TBI brain. Because of that I do have to be mindful of how much I read.
Favorite book(s) during this time period: Immediately following the TBI I read a lot and because my brain was still actively healing I don’t remember what I read as well as I normally would. However, I discovered Australian author Lian Moriarty at this time and read all of her books.