SLIDER

Books Make the Best Memories


In honor of Top Ten Tuesday's tenth anniversary, I revisited some of my past answers and shared my favorite topics. This one – my top ten bookish memories – led to one of my favorite posts on my blog. I mentioned wanting to revisit the topic and add some more recent memories, and today's prompt was a freebie. So, what perfect motivation to write this post! Here are ten of my best bookish moments from the past five years:


1. Buying Baby Books with My Mom (2016)
I'd been trying to get pregnant for a few years and wanted to wait a while to tell almost everyone, but there was no way I could keep that kind of secret from my mom. Not long after I told her the news, we met up for lunch together near my workplace. We dropped into the bookstore after, and she bought me every BabyLit Classic they had available. She knew how long I'd admired the adorable books, and it was such a generous moment of celebration. It was the baby's first gift, and it couldn't have been more fitting. A few months later, I used those books in the pregnancy announcement I posted on social media. And every time I see them on my big boy's shelves, I smile.


2. Moderating Sarah J. Maas' Event (2017) + Book Releases
There are no words to describe the shock and excitement I felt when I was asked if I was interested in moderating the Atlanta book tour stop for Sarah J. Maas' Tower of Dawn. I couldn't say yes fast enough! The high school theater where it was held was packed, and I got to have the best conversation with Maas beforehand and on stage. It was definitely one of the coolest opportunities blogging brought into my life! And I have to give a special shout-out to all the memories I have associated with her book releases, such as taking the day off work to read Queen of Shadows, my big boy sharing a birthday with A Court of Mist and Fury, and binging Kingdom of Ash in one day.


3. A Bookish March Madness Bet (Est. 2018)
Kelly knows I don't care about sports at all, including major tournaments or events like the Olympics. So, she devised a clever way to make me fill out a March Madness bracket: adding a bookish bet to the equation. The winner got to make the loser read any book of their choice. How could I resist the chance to make Kelly bend to my will?! To no one's surprise, I lost my first year – but I consider it a win because it led to a new favorite series for me. In our second year, I won. Yay! And with no March Madness this year, we created our own bookish brackets. You can read the post to see how that turned out! It's been such a fun, silly tradition that I look forward to every year.  


4. Nick Built Me Bookcases (2018)
When we decided to sell our house and move, we bought a house in a great neighborhood that just needed a little care and attention. There were so many things I adored about it, but one of my favorites was the room that was perfect for a library. I showed Nick a few posts about making Ikea Billy bookcases look like built-ins, and he told me he could make it happen. Y'all, it's literally a dream come true. It's my favorite room in my house, and I don't just love it because it's filled with beautiful books. I love the memory of those late-nights working on them together, and the love Nick put into the project. He's earned eternal bragging rights, and I'm so thankful for him!


5. #FebruaREREAD with Kelly (2019)
Near the end of 2018, I told Kelly, “I wish I could ignore my TBR for a month and just re-read old favorites.” “Why can't you?” she immediately replied. And so: we decided to spend all of February re-reading our favorite books! We called it our #FebruaREREAD. What better time to do it? The month we were both born in AND the month meant for celebrating love! It was so much fun to dedicate an entire month to old favorites. I was so proud of myself for re-reading 24 books, and I loved dedicating so much time to books I loved. We didn't do it again this year – mostly because I had a baby in February – but I wouldn't be surprised if it makes a comeback in 2021. Stay tuned!


6. My Mom Replacing My First Anne of Green Gables (2019)
In April of last year, I posted a photo on Instagram of these pastel editions of the Anne of Green Gables series in honor of the first day of spring. And I pointed out that I was missing this edition of the first book in the series because I loaned it to Deanna H. in fourth grade, and she never gave it back. Yes, I was still bitter. About a month later, my mom surprised me with a copy of this beloved book that she'd tracked down for me. Now, my collection is complete! It was such a sweet, thoughtful gesture. I love having the memory of the missing book and the precious way it was replaced all these years later. Mom, if you're reading this – I don't deserve you!


7. Bookstore Browsing with My Sister (2020)
I almost chose a different memory that was very representative of this year – getting alone time by  reading The Heir Affair while eating Culver's parked in my car – but I had to go with the one that's a lot more meaningful. Once things started to re-open after quarantine, my sister and I met up at Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. While I'm still not used to the feeling of wearing a mask, our bookstore dates have felt normal adjacent and have been a delightful way to get out of the house for a bit. And, inevitably, Caroline convinces me to treat my shelf and buy way more than I actually need. I'm not complaining, however, because we all need a little retail therapy this year.

The last three memories on my list don't have specific dates associated with them because I'm cheating by grouping a ton of my favorite memories together. Keep reading, and you'll see what I mean!


8. All the Book Signings I've Attended
Before I started blogging, I don't think it had even occurred to me to attend a book signing. I loved to read, but I didn't think about book tours or conferences like BEA. That all changed once I joined this community, and since then I've gotten to meet some of my favorite authors in person! From telling Beatriz Williams about my #BestieBeatrizBinge to listening to authors like Colleen Oakley, Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor and more chat about their inspiration, I've loved the people I've gotten to meet and the events I've attended. And my favorite, by far, was meeting Markus Zusak when he came to Atlanta for the tenth anniversary of The Book Thief


9. All the Bookstores I've Visited with Kelly
Kelly and I have visited a lot of bookstores in the past three years. Every time she comes to Georgia, we visit an ever-growing list of used bookstores in the surrounding area. We have our favorite stores, but we can't resist the thrill of the hunt even when it takes us to some random places. When I went to Wisconsin, we continued our tradition by exploring bookstores in Milwaukee and Madison. And, of course, we've gone in a lot of bookstores in our two trips across the pond. But none of those compare to the memories we've made at the Piccadilly Waterstones. You know how some people have a "this is our song" thing? Well, that store is Our Place.


10. All the Books I've Read While Traveling
For many books, I can remember the time and place that I read them. But none are quite as vivid in my mind as the books I've read while traveling! There's something special about going somewhere new that just cements a book in my brain. And it's even better when those stories become all-time favorites. I love looking at my shelves and remembering the little details – the cramped plane ride, the sand on my hands, the roar of the waterfall, the shadow of the Eiffel Tower – about the day I got to explore the world in more ways than one. And this item on my list has inspired another blog post: my ten favorite memories of reading while traveling. Coming soon!

What's your best bookish memory?

11 comments

  1. This is such a sweet post!!!! I love that you had your pregnancy announcement using classic children lit books!!!!

    My TTT: https://ichlese.blog/2020/07/28/top-ten-tuesday-my-favorite-seasonal-book-movie-sustenance-pairings/.

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  2. Aww, buying baby books with your mom sounds like it was wonderful.

    My TTT .

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  3. This is such a great post! You have a lot of fun bookish memories!

    My TTT: https://mamaneedsabook.blogspot.com/2020/07/next-up-classics.html

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  4. Thanks for sharing your memories with us! Books really do make great memories. :)

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  5. Your #FebruaREREAD post was so inspiring, I did a two-week reread binge last year and starting in August, I'm going to spend at least two weeks rereading!

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  6. This is a great topic! I love it. And your bookshelves are amazing. No wonder that's your favorite room. It's beautiful.

    Happy TTT!

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  7. This is absolutely lovely! What a wonderful take on this week's open-ended theme. I love this! :)

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  8. Aww this was so cute and reminded me how many things I've missed this year.

    Here's my TTT if you want to take a look https://readwithstefani.com/10-books-i-want-to-read-by-the-end-of-2020/

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  9. I love all the BabyLit board books. It’s hard for me to really believe we’re past the age where my kids enjoy them. But I have recently been buying the BabyLit Storybooks and those have been fun too.

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  10. That is my dream library. I love those shelves! I also remember the first books I bought for my baby niece. Those will always be special.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. (I tried to post this comment last week and I'm not sure if it went through, so trying again because your post deserves all the compliments)

    Those baby books are TOO CUTE. I had no idea they existed, and I don't/probably won't have kids, but if I ever do I would definitely pick up some of those. Your mom sounds awesome.

    Also, good lord, that library. I thought it was a stock/magazine photo. That can't be your real house.

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