On Book Nerdiness…

Last week, I wrote a Four Book Friday guest post for Mackenzi Lee‘s blog. In it, I discussed four books that have greatly impacted me. It was fun to reflect on all the books I’ve read and loved, and to dissect what it was about each one that affected me so deeply. Please do check the post if you’re so inclined…

Two of the books I chose for Four Book Friday (Blubber and The Face on the Milk Carton) are books I first read and fell in love with when I was (technically) a child. You see, I’ve always been an avid reader, an enthusiast of stories, and a collector of books. I recall being very young, using the slice of light cast into my bedroom from the hallway to page though tattered copies of Ramona and The Babysitters Club. I recall family visits to Waldenbooks (remember it?), turning squeaky racks packed with Sweet Valley High books, searching for the perfect paperback. I recall high school, disappearing into the library during lunch hour, where I devoured books instead of food.

Even now, I sneak bits of reading into my day. While on the elliptical at the gym. Blow drying my hair. Sitting in the spectator section during my daughter’s swim lessons. And I always read before I go to sleep at night. A good book is the perfect conclusion to any sort of day.

I am such a Book Nerd.

The other night I went into my girlie’s room to tuck her in and found her already asleep, snuggling her favorite doll and a book.

I can’t tell you how happy this sight makes me. It’s as if my life has made a full and complete circle… My baby is an emerging Book Nerd. I am so proud.

Are you a lifelong reader?
What kinds of books did you read when you were young?


28 thoughts on “On Book Nerdiness…

  1. Sara Biren (@sbiren) says:

    Book nerd – yes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a book with me. Every handbag I’ve ever purchased had to have enough room for a book. And I read everything I could get my hands on when I was a kid, too. I’m the youngest of seven so there were always plenty of hand-me-down books around.

    I know how you feel about being proud of your emerging book nerd – both of my kids love books, too, and that makes me so happy.

    Enjoy your weekend, Katy!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yay for raising future book nerds! And lucky you, having lots of siblings who passed books to you. I have two younger brothers, so the books I read were pretty much mine and mine alone. I would have loved having an older sister who might’ve shared her novels with me!

  2. Kelsey Macke (@KelsNotChels) says:

    I really long to dig back through my past and recall my favorite childhood books. Even better would be to ask my mom for the boxes from the attic. I know I loved to read and that I read ravenously, but since I rarely re-read because I wanted something new over and over, I don’t remember lots of what I read!

    • katyupperman says:

      I wish my parents had saved all of my childhood books! They’ve long since been garage-saled. I’ll never get rid of my daughter’s books, and I’m jealous that you’ve got a whole attic full of memories to comb through.

  3. Temre Beltz says:

    Yes! I have ALWAYS been a book nerd. Thankfully, my mom was one too, and I remember so very many trips to the book store with her and bonding with her as we talked about books I read (and some she even read with me). Even now when I meet another book nerd, there is an instant connection as we start talking super fast and maybe squeal a little bit because there is something so special about connecting over and with words.

    I adore the picture of your sweet girl, Katy! Aww! And I know exactly what you mean – some of my favorite moments with my girls are taking them to the book store where we walk down each aisle and I let them see that they can read about mermaids, magic tree houses, talking animals and the very many endless possibilities. See, i am such a book nerd, it is hard for me to end this comment 🙂

    When I was a kid I remember loving E.B. White, Nancy Drew, Babysitter’s Club, every horse book ever written (though Black Beauty, ugh, soo good), and Where The Red Fern Grows was the first book to make me cry. Thanks so much for this post, Katy. It was really fun to reminisce and to keep hoping that one day we will have written one of those books kids/teenagers can escape to and take comfort in! How awesome would that be ❤

    • katyupperman says:

      My mom is a big reader too, Tem. We still share books (often through the mail) and we chat a lot about what we’re reading. I’ve even gotten her to read some of my favorite YAs. 🙂

      I love taking my girl to the bookstore and library as well, and I love when she makes choices that surprise me. She’s always been into fairytales and picture/chapter books, but lately she’s been gravitating to the children’s nonfiction section. She’s been choosing books about animals and historical events — they’re really fun to read with her! And now that she’s becoming an independent reader, it’s fun to have her read books to ME.

      We share many of the same childhood favorites, Tem. E.B. White and The Babysitters Club were constant rereads, and I loved Judy Blume’s books. Now I’m wanting to hunt a few down at the library so I can read them again!

  4. Jaime Morrow says:

    I think book nerdiness is something we all have in common. Reading your post reminded me of my own book nerdiness that started in early childhood. I actually still have the book that I taught myself to read with. I remember LOVING the Dr. Seuss books, and I still do to this day. I loved The Babysitters Club books, Sweet Valley High, Judy Blume, Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins…so many fun books! My family used to frequent used bookstores everywhere we went (even on trips), and we often brought home boxes of books every time the public library had a sale. When I think about our home growing up, I think of shelves upon shelves of books. Such happy memories!

    I’m so happy for you that you’ve got a budding book nerd of your own. I hope our kids are the same way! 😀

    P.S. Hope your July 4th was especially fun!

    • katyupperman says:

      Fourth of July was fun, Jaime!

      The Babysitters Club books, Sweet Valley High, and Judy Blume are some of my favorites too. My mom took us to the library often when we were younger, and I remember many long afternoons reading stories with her on the couch. She’s the reason I’m such a book enthusiast now — we still talk about and share books all the time!

  5. Ruth E Day says:

    This was such a beautiful post that brought up such nostalgia for me. There were times throughout my schooling where I skipped food for books as well. I still give up sleep for it all the time. I can’t wait until I have a child to pass my book nerdiness onto.

    • katyupperman says:

      I give up sleep to read all the time too! It’s awesome late at night. In the morning… not so much. 😉

      Books took on a whole new meaning when I had my daughter. Reading together is one of our favorite things to do!

  6. Jessica Silverstein says:

    Waldenbooks! Yes! We had one in our little tiny mall. I thought that was the only kind of bookstore there was until I was 7 or 8 (at which point, the sight of a freestanding, two-story Barnes and Noble that was bigger than our central library knocked my socks off!)

    I was the kind of kid who got told “stop reading so much!” People thought I should go play outside more, or hang with other kids at recess rather than reading (I think my elementary school principal actually forbade me to bring books outside, because I can’t imagine why else I would have memories of doing things like playing soccer!)

    I have GOT to get better at finding more time in my days for reading, though! I’ve been reading the same YA novels for TWO WEEKS–I can’t remember the last time that happened!

    • katyupperman says:

      I thought the exact same thing about Waldenbooks growing up, Jess. It was the only bookstore I knew! I was actually really sad when they all closed down. It was like a little part of my childhood was disappearing. (Don’t even get me started on Borders!)

      Glad to know I’m not alone in my childhood reading obsession… Silent reading time was one of my favorite parts of the school day. 🙂

  7. Rachel (writes things/007) says:

    Love the picture of your girly. 😀 😀 Aw man Waldenbooks ❤ and Border's! ❤ Yes I have always been a book nerd. My mom told me recently they read to me in the womb and when I was a baby 😉 I learned to read at 5 or 6 but once I did, I HATED to be read to. I remember being in the 3rd grade and being halfway through the book or even DONE with it even though the teacher was on chapter 5 with us in the classroom. I'd get yelled at bc I'd finish when we weren't supposed to. (Sorry I can read a book in a few hours?? LOL!) I also had advanced reading so when I was little, I read the Red Tent and Dune by age 11 (yeah adult books LOL!), also White Oleander (or I tried to, at age 11 anyway) along with the usual suspects Island of the Blue Dolphins, Cam Jansen, Babysitter's Club, Judy Blume. I hated school reading because I was so advanced I'd read it years before we had to in class. I remember we read The Giver in 4th grade. I had read it in 2nd and was so bored! By the time I was in high school I'd read everything already…In senior year I remember being THRILLED to read Frankenstein – finally a book I HADN'T read! 😀 I will always be a book nerd. I have gotten so many people to read books (lots of friends who "hate reading" or are dyslexic – I tend to find them "the right book") 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      I will never understand people who claim to hate reading. I think they’ve just yet to find the right book. 🙂 And ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS! I love that book! I’ve got it in a big tub of books from my teaching days… I’m going to have to unearth it so I can read it again. I bet my girlie would like it too.

      I haven’t read FRANKENSTEIN yet… Perhaps I should!

  8. Erin Funk says:

    That’s such a sweet picture, and so awesome that she’s a book nerd like her mom! Mine is a reader too. We always thought it was weird that when he was a baby he never held his books upside down and he never ever chewed them. Maybe an appreciation for books is genetic? Seriously though, the best way to raise a reader is to set an example. One of the easier and more fun aspects of parenting!

    I loved Ramona, the Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley High, and Blubber when I was a kid too. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      You had excellent taste in your younger days. Just like now. 🙂

      I totally agree with you about setting an example when it comes to reading. And you know, come to think of it, my daughter never held books upside or damaged them as a baby either. She must have somehow known how special stories are.

  9. Krispy says:

    Book nerd forever! I’ve been a book nerd since childhood – so much so that pretty much all my relatives knew to get me books and/or book gift cards for Christmas and birthdays. (And yes, I totally remember Waldenbooks!)

    I used to looooove The Boxcar Children, Bailey School Kids, The Black Stallion books. I also loved animal books – Black Beauty, White Fang, Call of the Wild. On top of that, I loved (and still love) fairy tales and mythology. One summer, I literally read through EVERY Greek myth book at my local library!

    That pic of your daughter is PRECIOUS. I’m happy too that she’s following in your book nerd footsteps!

    • katyupperman says:

      THE BOXCAR CHILDREN — Love! I’ve read several of those to my girlie and she loves them too, especially Benny. 🙂

      I’m super impressed that you read through all of the Greek myths. I like them a lot, but I definitely haven’t read them all. Well done!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, Martina, it is! My husband and I are trying to raise a reader by setting a good example. Not hard, since we’re both book lovers. 🙂

  10. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Waldenbooks – YES! There was one in the local mall, which was about half an hour away from where I lived, so it was always a BIG EXCITING DEAL to take the trip. I can still remember where the BSC books were in the store – back corner – this whole beautiful ordered shelf.

  11. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Aww, such a sweet photo! I’ve also been a book nerd since an early age. I remember devouring the books in THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB series (and also THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB LITTLE SISTER series). I even wrote Ann M. Martin a fan letter and got a letter back! I think it was a form letter, but still, pretty awesome. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      That’s totally awesome, Ghenet! I would’ve died if a letter from Ann M. Martin (form or not) showed up at my house when I was a kid. I adored the BSC!

  12. Kitty says:

    I love this post! And all the comments, too. I can so relate. I always had my nose in a book and was told I should get outside once in a while. 🙂 Now that I have raised my 14 yr old to be a book nerd, too, I just love it when she comes to me and says, “Mom, put down whatever you’re reading. You HAVE to read this book!” And I usually do!

    • katyupperman says:

      I can’t wait until my girl is big enough to recommend books to me. My mom and I have that sort of relationship now and it rocks. For now, my girlie and I will continue to enjoy picture books and chapter books. 🙂

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