There are some things that stay burned into your memory, whether you want them to or not. You can probably recall, in detail, your most embarrassing moment. Or the time you were most scared. Or the first time you cried in a movie (ugh you Lilo and Stitch, you heartstring-puller, you.).
For those who grew up loving books, a lot of those unforgettable memories are probably associated with the stacks of novels overflowing from your shelves. From The Hobbit to Little Women to Ella Enchanted , your favorite books were probably some of your best friends, and re-reading them is like stepping back in time and remembering all the good times you had together.
Of course, there were bad times, too. Like when you ran out of space on your shelf and had to move some of your books to (gasp) the attic. Or when you missed the release of the last Harry Potter book because you were away at camp, so you had constantly cover your ears to avoid hearing spoilers.
In the end, though, the good and the bad made you who you are today. And if you grew up loving books, there are probably a few key memories that you’ll never forget...
Ordering Books From Scholastic Order Forms
The best day at school, by far, was when the teacher passed out vellum-thin scholastic brochures full of books. Actually, that was the second-best day: the BEST day was when the books you ordered arrived, wrapped in plastic, just waiting to be read.
The Excitement When Your Favorite Book Was Made Into a Movie...And Hollywood Actually Did It Justice
Though once in a while you experienced crushing disappointment when Hollywood butchered your favorite book series, once in a while, they got it right. And when they did, and the movie perfectly matched what you envisioned in your head, you made your parents take you to see it again and again.
The Pre-Fandom, Pre-Goodreads Era
Once upon a time, Goodreads didn't exist. Tumblr didn't exist. Fandoms as people now know them DIDN'T. EXIST. The only way to get a book recommendation was to ask a librarian or a friend, and when you read something AMAZING, if no one around you had read it that was just too bad. You were stuck in a solitary world.
When Everyone Else Discovered Your Favorite Book a Year After You Found It
Sometimes, though, you didn't mind living in a solitary book world, because if you grew up loving books, you probably had your book-hipster moments when you couldn't help saying, "I liked that waaaay before it was cool." And while it was sometimes nice to have people finally catch up and realize how great your favorite series was, sometimes it was annoying... because there was always that one friend who refused to read a book you recommended, only to claim that it was her favorite book the minute it got popular.
Going To The Library In the Summer And Reading a Million Books
Librarians used to laugh at me when I was younger and I would check out more books than I could carry. They would joke around and say, "see you next year!" because they thought I'd never finish all of them. Obviously, they were wrong, and I would see them next week. Because summer, for a young book-lover, meant reading 24/7. Forget playing outside... you could always read about that in a book.
Crying Inside When Someone Told You They Didn't Like Reading
The worst thing ever was hearing someone say that they "hated reading," especially when the only books they had read were the ones assigned for class. "There's so much else out there!" you wanted to yell, "you just haven't found it yet!"
Relating To Every Character Who Liked Reading
When a TV, film, or literary character ALSO liked reading, you knew that you WERE that character. You were exactly like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books, and Matilda from Matilda ... if a character liked books, they were always your favorite.
Going to the Midnight Release for Your Favorite Book, and Then Reading It Until Morning
Not only would you go to every midnight release book party, you'd go in costume. You had a million Hogwarts scarves and robes and wands that you fashioned out of sticks from your front yard, because it was all part of the EXPERIENCE. Whether you went with a bunch of fellow book-loving friends, or with your exhausted parents who finally agreed to take you since no one else would (thanks for that Mom!), you never missed a chance to buy the book at midnight and spend all night reading it.
When Someone Was So Good of a Friend That You Loaned Them Books
The ultimate test of friendship: will you loan this person your favorite book? It's a big step, but if someone was really, REALLY special, they would get to borrow your copy of The Hobbit. But they were also treading into dangerous territory: if they dog-eared pages or left pizza fingerprints in the margins, you would NEVER. FORGET.
The Annoying Feeling When Your Books Didn't Match
There was nothing more annoying than collecting an entire series in paperback, only to end up with two out of thirteen books in hardcover. Or vice versa. Or, of course, something even worse: losing a book from the series. It disrupted the entire harmony of your bookshelf. Also, don't even get me STARTED on how disruptive those huge circles that say "SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE" are. No. Just no.
Going On Family Vacations Pre-Kindle, and Taking An Extra Suitcase to Fit All of Your Books
In the olden days, when e-readers didn't exist, you had to have a pretty big suitcase to accommodate voracious reading while on holiday. Because if you finished all your books, you couldn't just magically order another one with a click of a button... you had to plan ahead, and make sure you had plenty of reading material to keep you occupied throughout the whole trip to the beach.
When You Saw This Library and Knew It Was The One
When you saw the library that Beast gave to Belle, you discovered your true love: a room with wall-to-wall books. And you've lived happily ever after ever since.
Images: Giphy (8), Flickr/Kevin Grocki (1), Focus Features (1), Walt Disney Pictures (1), Courtesy of Julia Seales (1)