This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Books with Sensory Reading Memories (where I was, what time of year it was, who I was with, what I was eating, etc.). When I first read this prompt, I thought about skipping because I don’t think my brain latches on to sensory memories. I’ve never had a whiff of a certain smell that takes me back to some old memory or a song that reminds me of something from my childhood. But as I thought about reading books, some memories did come back. Snapshots of where I read (or in some cases reread) them and the environment that surrounded me. I wrote down what I could remember so I could go back later and edit, but then I decided to keep it in the thought-like format. It makes it seem more like a memory to me.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett: reading in grandma’s basement, bare knees against the cold, gray cement of the floor no matter how many times she told us to sit on the carpet squares down there. The wood paneling of the walls made the lights dimmer, and it was quiet and cold.
Bamboozled by David Legge: flipping through the pages of this book while I either sat on my grandpa’s knee (he almost always had tan pants or shorts on) or sat near the soft, maroon armchair he always sat in. It was in the second living room, with the small blue couch and the coffee table and the weird brown cabinet that I later learned was a record player where a small plastic figurine of Snow White sat.
The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder: reading at William’s parents house on the old ratty couches. The light was dim and continued to dim as the daylight faded into night. There were flies buzzing around and it was warm because there wasn’t air conditioning.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: Sitting alone in the computer chair in my brother’s room, not a sound anywhere else in the house, as I sat reading the pages too fast to comprehend and then going back to reread because I couldn’t believe what Suzanne Collins did. Then I was crying.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: reading at the table in the staff kitchen at work, dim lighting, wooden table, wooden chairs, eating lunch, the pages of the books laid so flat that my bookmark stuck straight up out of the center.
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young: read while sitting in the front seat of my mom’s car as we drove for several hours, my neck definitely ached, and it was bright. Reading while sitting in a cabin suspended in the woods, the quiet of the rain hitting the roof, the smooth wood beneath my sock-wearing feet.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: reading the entire book in one sitting at the Costlow’s while sitting on the couch that will eat your pants if you didn’t sit on the cushion, my legs curled up beneath me as William and the others played round after round of Mario Kart 8.
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy: finishing the book while at Powette, sitting near the fire pit, trying not to visibly react to the book all the while reminding myself every few pages to ACTUALLY BREATHE, and then when I finished, getting up and going over to the church van to put it away and having to take a moment to think about what I read and also go back through and reread parts of the book because I couldn’t start another book just yet.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: reading it while cramped in the backseat of the church van while we headed to the airport to go to Florida for a week, bouncing around and trying not to freak the crap out because of how intense that book was. Reading in the airport. Reading it while on the airplane. Reading it while sitting on a bunk bed next to William while the kids went to play hide n seek in the woods. It was so quiet then.
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell: staying up way too late curled up in bed to finish this gosh darn book because I needed answers and the main characters were killing me with their freaking tension and just the quiet of the house and the awareness of how bright my bedroom light was in comparison to the rest of the world.