To All the Books I Loved Before

November is winding down, but it seems I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t have a post for today, but I found inspiration in the most unlikely place– my planner. The quote lining the bottom of this week’s empty boxes was “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” I’m going to get a little weird for a bit, but try to bear with me. That quote sparked something in me, and I just sat on my lunch break trying to get it all out.

So, here it is.

This post goes out to all the books I’ve loved before (and have subsequently forgotten because I have a memory way worse than Dory). You know that quote: “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel”? That’s how I feel about my past book loves. In the moments I read them, they made me feel whole. It’s that feeling that brought me to the book blogging world to begin with. When I think of the moment I wanted to turn this blog into something real, I remember that I went about reading books to review. My first couple of reviews were meant to be dedicated to The Kiesha’ra Series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes and Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones– a memory I put out of sight and out of mind forgot up until I began penning my reflections on NaBloPoMo. I’ve since forgotten pretty much all of the minute details of those stories, but I won’t get over the drive they gave me to get where I am now.

So, here’s to you, babes and the many books like you. The books that made me feel sane if only for a few hours.


To All the Books I Loved Before

The Catcher in the Rye

It’s true. In the book world, you either love this book or hate this book. There seems to be no in between around here. I distinctly remember loving Holden as a kid. That’s The Catcher in the Rye. I don’t remember when I read it. I don’t remember the story. I couldn’t tell you why I had any of these feelings. I just remember thinking “Okay. You’re my fave.” And I’ve clung to that for most of my life now– critics be damned!

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale (or anything by Holly Black, really)

There were humans and hot (in my 12/13-year-old mind) fairy kings (???). I vividly remember tearing through this series in no time at all. I remember staying up way past my bed time trying to read by the light of my “My Password Journal” and not get caught by my not-so-understanding mother. But if you asked me today to recap what I read– what it was that affected me so much that I bought the whole series for myself last year– I couldn’t tell you. All I could say is that it made me believe that for a moment, I had wings.

To All the Books I Loved Before

Crank (or anything by Ellen Hopkins)

Similarly, my mind can do no justice to those poetic books filled with the heaviest doses of reality. I remember pain. I also remember these books being the only present aid against that pain. And I guess that has to be enough.

Anything by Terry McMillan… ANYTHING

Let me tell you a “secret.” No one in my family is into reading. And I don’t mean it in that quirky sense of “I’m the black sheep of the family who is into books while everyone else is into the TV.” I mean it in the “This greatly influenced the fact that I didn’t even know black fiction existed until I was in high school” way. That was when I realized that the movies I’d loved for portraying strong, successful black women–like Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back— were actually books. No longer did I have to sift through the books on books on books of white nonsense because I had at least one gal on my side. I may not remember these books much. But I’ll never forget how relieved I was to be seen as normal in a book… (we don’t even have the time to talk about how long it took me to see myself at my age in books because McMillan’s characters were always old enough to be my mom).


I not-so-low-key want to turn this into a series posts, so I’ll end the list here. I wish my memory was strong enough to recall particulars of these wonderful stories, but I wouldn’t trade the residual feelings for the world.

What about you guys? Got any books you remember loving even if you can’t actually recall the story?

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12 thoughts on “To All the Books I Loved Before

  1. I agree with Emily–this idea is fantastic. =)

    The only book on your list that I’ve read is Tithe–but I picked it up in the middle of a semester of grad school, and had to DNF it due to my all-consuming need to maintain a 4.0 GPA (Ravenclaw proud). Maybe it’s (past) time for me to give it another try. Thanks for reminding me of it!

    I’m looking forward to this topic becoming a series on your blog. Think you’ll end up rereading any of them, and writing follow-up (mini?) reviews as well?

    Liked by 1 person

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