I've been reading Emergenetics: Tap Into the New Science of Success lately and I've rediscovered the nerd inside.  Ever since I was a kid, I loved to read.  From when I first learned how to read until I was nearly 13, nothing else took up more of my time.  I'd wake up and read on the walk to the bus stop, read on the bus ride to school, read while walking to and from classes, read while eating my meals, and even attempted reading in the shower a few times (they always ended up as baths).  Every week my mom would drive me to the library and I'd tote home about 30 books to read for that week.  In fifth grade, my teacher had us keep a log and the first time I turned it in, she stared at it in disbelief before calling my parents to have them verify that yes, I did nothing else with my life but read.  I remember I did very well for reading clubs back then - what was that Pizza Hut reward program again?  And of course, my favorite event of the year was when the Scholastic Book Fair would come rolling around.  It was the most exciting and anticipated thing for me - to be able to browse shelves of books, peruse tons of offers for monthly subscriptions (did anyone else order the Goosebumps series?), and check out all the random other items that came along (like those science kits, bookmarks, and journals!).  Ah, it was a dream come true for me.

Ah, that's what it was! Book it!

Good old R.L. Stine and his crazy creations!

It was at a book fair in 4th grade that I came across a light purple diary with an adorable grey kitten on it.  I begged my dad to get it for me (seeing as I had no money back then and my allowance was just whatever I needed).  He agreed, on the condition that I promise to write in it every day.  And thus began my long journey with keeping a journal.  As promised, I wrote in my journal every day, whether or not it was anything interesting.  I tried a variety of styles over the years, from using Chinese to titling each day in French to bullet-point lists.  Time and time again, my parents would find me holed away in my room, scribbling away at my journal and each time they'd ask me, "Oh you're actually still doing that?"  Well, I made a promise!  As time wore on, I got busier and didn't always have time to write every day, so I started to write notes for my journal and then catch up in it periodically.  This ranged from a few days to a few weeks.  Then, a couple of months ago (wow, nearly a year now), I got SO distracted with being an Orientation Counselor at UCLA that I haven't been able to catch up since.  I am now months behind on writing and even a few weeks behind on my notes, but I have every intention of writing an entry for each of those days.  Thankfully, I am great at stalking myself (I like to think of it as being resourceful), so I can piece together most of the pieces through the IM conversations I had, the e-mails I sent, the text messages I used, and of course, the blog entries I wrote.

My love for all things "booky" didn't stop there.  I love all sorts of office supplies, if you will, ranging from pens and notebooks to staples and superglue.  Of course, I love books and bookmarks, but really I can spend my life in a Staples and never get bored.  Highlighters, erasers, rulers, protractors, you name it, I love it.  I'm an absolute junkie when it comes to that stuff.  I don't know if it's related to my insane bookworm tendencies from my childhood, but it seems correlated at the least.  So, throughout the years (and volumes upon volumes of journals now), I experimented with an assortment of pens, pencils, markers, and even Sharpies in filling up my journal pages.  I've settled for a certain format as of late, which I think started a few years ago.  I guess I've come to a point in my life where I'm comfortable with how I do it.  I still make small changes and tweak a little here and there, but overall it's just about the same and exactly how I like it.

I loved collecting these.

I've gotten to get back in touch with that old side of me that always had her nose buried in a book and it feels good.  I love to read, whether it's books, magazines, blogs, e-mails, or online articles.  I have always done a lot of reading and writing, whether for pleasure or for school, and I'm sure my love of researching has to do with this obsession.  When I was in first or second grade, my neighbors gave me their set of encyclopedias and stacks of National Geographic Magazines, which totally made my day.  Although the medium has mostly changed from hard copies to soft copies, I'm still doing the same thing.  However, nothing can beat the beauty of a book.  The feel, the smell, the look - it's all so attractive to me.  Plus, I can bring it around with me anywhere and read while sipping tea in a cafe or after I've climbed a tree perched on a mountain.  That's also what I love about my journals.  I really enjoy going out alone, finding somewhere peaceful (which may or may not be a public spot), plopping myself down in a nice spot, and reading or writing the day away.  Oh the luxury of free time!

I'm glad I'm getting back into pleasure reading.  I barely did so in my years of high school and college, which totaled nearly a decade!  That is far too long to be away from my precious books.  My preference for content has changed from whimsical fiction stories to more popular science and things I can use in my life, so not only am I getting in touch with my past and particpating in a great hobby, I'm also learning and growing so much!  Not to say you don't learn and grow from fiction, but sometimes the lessons and uses are less apparent and not immediately applicable the way that they are in the non-fiction genre.  So, onward with my current book!  Synopsis to come.



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