Landmark Books In My Reading History

Landmark booksWe all have those books: the ones that may not be literary masterpieces, believable, or even likable to the rest of the population. But to you, they mark a time in your life, or a very special moment in your reading life. I’ve taken the liberty of perusing my shelves and finding a few titles that I can clearly say, “it was this book.” I thought I’d share them, and maybe you have some of your own!

1) The “hey, reading is more than just college work!” books

I’ve mentioned it a few times that when I entered college, I stopped reading entirely for the two years while I completed my degree. But if I really looked back, the truth is that I stopped reading at least a year before that, except for the occasional Eragon or Harry Potter reread. Part of it was the depression, and part of it was that my head was so filled with college books and classics that reading turned into work, no matter how much I enjoyed it (Antigone was a favorite of mine!).

But then… along fell an extra $40 in my pocket, and I happened to stop by Target. And I was in the mood to spend it allll. So I meandered over to the movie section, which was where I usually spent my cash, but then I found myself drawn to the book section, where I found…

photo 1These beauties. I put down the movies, picked these up, and said OFF WE GO. I inhaled CoB in three hours, and thus the “let’s read for fun!” version of Kayla was born.

2) The “screw it, I’m fabulous” book

Before this book, I would only buy paperbacks, because — and here I confess something depressing — I didn’t think I deserved to spend that much money on myself for a hardback. 17 year old me was such a killjoy. 18.5 year old me is 10x better (trust me, everyone I know says “oh my god you’re not even the same person anymore”). Anyhoo, I was in Barnes and Noble, and happened to find…

photo 2I had been really wanting to read this one — the first time I had that hand shaking, heart pounding, holy crap I NEED IT sort of wanting a book — and there it was, just waiting for me, in all its hardback glory. Then, this overwhelming wave of “DAMMIT I AM WORTH IT AND I’M GOING TO BUY THIS BOOK” came over me. I threw down my $20, then proceeded to sit in the cafe, drink a $5 coffee, and read for two hours, finishing half the book. After that, I had no problems spending money on hardbacks (although I did then have to find the restraint and settle into a healthy middle of book buying).

3) Contemporary isn’t as awful as I thought!

This is influenced largely by Andi and Veronica. The first time Veronica and I met was at Barnes and Noble (what a great place to start our friendship), and when I told her I hadn’t read a single book from the contemporary section, she about had a heart attack and threw three books at me, one of them being:

photo 3Anna and the French Kiss. Lola was actually her Christmas gift to me a few months later! I was so skeptical, but then I found that contemporary doesn’t just have to be a guilty pleasure — they’re actually pretty darn good in some cases!

4) Parnormal isn’t just creepy pedo vamps/wolves

Twilight. *shudder* It ruined anything paranormal for me for at least four years. I would RUN from the teen section, because all I could find was vampires or werewolves! And then (I’m seeing a trend here) Veronica bought me a copy of…

photo 4Vampire Academy, because I get guilty if someone gives/buys me books and I don’t immediately read them. AND SHE USED THAT AGAINST ME — now that’s how you best friend, folks. With my newfound confidence in the para genre, I bought The Raven Boys. And WOWOWOW I was blown away! I stayed up till 3 to finish that one, I think.

And the rest is history…

I’m now a “I am worth it so I shall buy books because they’re FUN and I’ll try anything because who knows what I’ll find” sort of reader! And it’s a beautifully liberating experience 😀

Have there been any landmark books in your life? Ones that changed how you read or how you feel about reading? 






15 thoughts on “Landmark Books In My Reading History

  1. Hey there! This was a really interesting post and it got me thinking. And in all honesty, I can relate to you in some ways. Like the whole ‘eugh contemporary literature’ thing, except mine concentrates more YA books especially if romance is a key part to the plot. But then my younger sisters started reading books and I tried reading them, just to see what the whole hooha was.

    I realized why YA books are actually worth it. My landmark book for that would be “Matched”. I also realized the beauty of classic books when I read Little Women when I was 10 or 11 and it was strengthened by to Kill A Mocking Bird and Les Miserables in my last two years of high school.

    • To Kill a Mockingbird was a huge one for me too! I can’t believe I forgot that one – it was the first classic that became a favorite of mine.

      I own Matched, but haven’t read it since I bought it. I’ll have to add it to the queue if it’s that good 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I really don’t have any landmark books! :O
    I’ve been reading since I *could* read, and I’ve never ever stopped (if anything, it’s just gotten worse with time, haha!).
    Although i might be able to say that Something Like Normal by Trish Doller really got me into contemporary YA. I’d avoid contemps like the plague but then I read that and my heart was kind of blown to pieces. Since then I like to shake up my fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian reads with contemps ^.^

    • Well that’s good! Life without books is depressing, trust me. It’s a dull, dull life.

      I remember you reviewing that one! I was like, “Wait, Chiara is fangirling over a CONTEMPORARY?? Whoa.”

  3. Like Chiara, I don’t think I have any landmark books!
    I’ve just always liked and read all sorts of books- I’m very non-discriminatory like that 😉
    A possible future landmark, though, would be if I could find a mermaid book that I actually like. I seem to have a really bad track record with those…
    And zomg those editions of Anna and Lola look so pretty together. I’m quite tempted to get another copy of Anna just so I can have matching pretty editions too haha. Already preordered Isla as well, because self restraint when it comes to pre-ordering potentially awesome books is zero.

    • Stay that way Nara!!! It’s so much better to be a go with the flow sort of reader; I wish I could.

      YES to the mermaids! I haven’t read a single book I’ve liked with well done mermaids.

      For whatever reason, I can’t preorder books at all. Like, I just don’t do it. I don’t know why

  4. I definitely had a paperback-only phase as well! I’m still trying harder to refrain from buying hardbacks, but sometimes I just can’t stop myself from buying some pretties, especially if the paperback versions aren’t out yet. 🙂

    Vampire Academy definitely got me into reading more about vampires as well! Loved Rose, Dimitri, Adrian and everyone else in the book (well, except Jill and Lissa).

    The book that got me into reading for fun was the movie-tie-in of Red Riding Hood. And then I read the Lorien Legacies books (which I have now given up on). 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Kayla! Loved this post.

    • I definitely know the feeling. Sometimes I just need a book NOW and I can’t wait to pay less for the paperback.

      Yeah, Lissa was okay. I just liked the dynamic she brought to the book as far as the friendship between her and Rose.

      Hmm, I think I remember that movie. I didn’t know they made a novelization of it!

  5. This is so interesting!
    Off the bat, I can’t think of any landmark books. But I bet if I scanned my shelves and remember back to the time I read them, I could come up with something!
    Actually, when I think of it, Crash Into You started my fanatic need for good contemps, I used to avoid them. I can also say that Twilight or City of Glass was my gateway book into YA (I can’t remember which I read first, and yes, I read the second book before the first -__-).
    But yeah, I love this! Got me thinking!

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  8. What a cool post idea! I love your list 🙂 I think it’s funny that Twilight is what made you run away from the YA genre and it’s what made me interested in it to begin with haha. That would definitely be one of my landmark books. Although it was really more of the first book vs. the whole series.

    • I think it was because I was so tiny (har har), so I didn’t have the patience or wisdom to search through the paranormal haze and find the good stuff.

      I honestly really liked the last book, just because of all the other vampire covens. It’s my favorite movie too 😀

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