Nine. I was nine years old when I first came to know the meaning of obsession. Well, I suppose obsession is not really the right word (I know it's overused and misused by many) ... passion. That's what I felt. Someone in class brought in the Sweet Valley Kids books and it somehow got passed down to me. I don't know how it happened (my memory, it's very poor, sadly) but somehow between studying in school and climbing trees and playing with dirt (I have my boy cousins to thank for that; I didn't have any girl friends growing up, not really, not till I was old enough :P) I ended up spending all my free time reading the series. I remember saving what little allowance I have and dragging my parents by the hand so they can take me to the bookstore. I needed my fix. I wanted it all. Reading became my preoccupation. Forget sports, forget everything else ... I just wanted to read.
Devour the written word, I did. I have very poor eyesight because I didn't listen to my parents and I ignored common sense ... I did stupid things like make sure to sit at the back of the school bus so that I could hold up a book and use the light from the car behind us. Couldn't even wait to get home to read, that's how it was. Eventually, I moved on and read Twins! Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine. Anne Rice. I read the classics (thanks to my mother, who made sure I was never without) and fell in love with A Little Princess, Little Women. I tried to read Austen, Eliot, and Hawthorne too (but it didn't register until re-reads when I got older). I grew older still, and though my taste in books changed, my love for it did not.
Hours. Spent hours walking up and down the aisle to pick the perfect read. I'd take book recommendations from people. I'd see something on television I like (we had these dubbed cartoons in the Philippines, and there was nothing to do but fall in love with them) so I would go and find stories like Pollyanna, The Secret Garden, Heidi, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and A Little Princess. This is actually something I do to this day. When I see something I like, I immediately find a book that would correspond to it, anything related to enhance my knowledge or my appreciation.
My parents. They were avid readers too. I would find old books, complete with the yellowed pages and that old book smell ... books that my father would give my mother when he was still courting her. Books with special meanings. Books with messages written especially for her. Books. Books. Books.
I got a Nook Color this January. My bookshelf is overflowing (I buy books. I want to own them. I seldom did borrow a book, I always bought my own.) so my brothers decided that an e-reader is in order. Good timing too. Because as much as I would have loved to devote my time to read, college years were spent reading text books and working. Now that that chapter of my life is over, I thought I could read more, so I signed up for a 100 book challenge. My stars aligned and I was able to follow through.
This is where my romance reading comes in. It pains me to not be able to recall what my first romance novel is, or when I first read it, or where I got it. The simple answer is I don't know. I read my share of young adult romance series then. I probably picked up a Danielle Steel or two before. I was reading a lot of chick lits at one point. Are not most (if not all) of those stories romances too? I never did venture to the actual romance section of a bookstore though. At the time, I had my preconceived notions about romance novels. Because I didn't understand then. I didn't know what it was about, not really.
Thankfully, I was able to discover the romance genre through my nook. There were plenty of titles to choose from. They were cheap (a lot cheaper than other novels!). The covers were pretty. The book descriptions made me smile. In short, everything about it made me happy. What's a girl to do, right?
So I experimented with my reading list. I bought known authors. Harlequin titles. I looked up all the Top 100 romance lists and polls, I searched online for websites that would have great romance recommendations. I reveled in my quest to find the best reads. I told everyone about my latest finds, and before I knew it, romance novels took over my reading life.
Well. That is a very long story, huh? That's something you should know about me too. I, Diana, ramble. Ramble and rant and even worse, my stories (IRL, all right?!) don't make sense most of the time because I usually start from the middle, then go back to the beginning, then jump to the end (I also have a lot of asides, which you can tell already, with the number of parentheses used in this post alone). Coffee lover. Seriously, I live for coffee. I forget a lot. But I also remember the most random and peculiar things. I have a quaint sense of humor. I love sunsets and the moon and stars. Music is love. I'm paranoid (usually has to do with the forgetfulness, so I overcompensate. That, and I'm a girl scout through and through.). I'm pretty patient, and I am very trusting. You screw with me though, and there'll be hell to pay. I'm a dork. I'm loud. I'm quiet. I don't like yellow. I love outdoor activities, nature trips, and I love pushing myself despite (because of?) the fact that I am afraid of so many things, like heights. I'd still do it though, because I love the rush (zip line, white water rafting, paragliding, horseback riding, hiking). I loooove to travel. I'm no good with phones (I'm so sorry; it's not you, it's me). I'm a hopeless romantic, a dreamer, and trying hard to be an optimist. I think I have a chance there. If I could ask God, I'd ask him why our lives can't come with our own soundtrack. Anglophile, right here. I love taking pictures. I enjoy art (oh, hi there, C!). I'm the only girl. My mind is constantly at work (hello, daydreams!) so there is never a quiet time in my head. I am passionate. I am attentive. I love to laugh. I listen. I love Harry Potter (the series. Ron Weasley is my King). I break out in sweats when I know I'm about to break a rule (which is not often, mind). Good girl all around, but with a mischievous side that likes to play every now and then.
I do love my historicals. I find it easier to slip into their world and fall in love with a time gone by (so easy to get nostalgic about the past, no?). I read some contemporary romances too, but I find it difficult sometimes to engage and fall in love, so the stories have to be really special to me. I think I've read a couple paranormal, a few romantic suspense, but I know that I have bought more than a few from different genres because I want to try it all out.
I fall in love easily. Alpha males preferred, though I do love me all kinds of heroes as long as they show me they love
I guess ... that is it for now. More to come, on this blog. More rants and rambles and reviews.