“Books have forever stayed with me” by Michelle L. N. Gray

It is funny how, with time, you feel like you have known someone or something all your life, never remembering a time when the person or information was not known. Reading had definitely been like that for me. I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t read or know how to read. I know I learned as a child since I was not a baby genius.  I don’t remember struggling to sound things out or learning my letters for the first time.  I do remember the magic of the written word.

Luckily both my parents were readers and I grew up surrounded by my mom reading the latest Danielle Steele novel or reading picture books to my brother and me at the dinner table when my dad was working out of town. She was also very hands off about what I read and I explored many books growing up that may or may not have been a good plan for my young eyes. My dad made a very large career change while I was growing up and he was always studying one textbook or another. I’m pretty sure that when I sat with my dad while he was studying his tax books and tried to read them aloud to him, that I was already knee-deep in the world of being a Nerdy Book Clubber.

Within the Swiss cheese thing in my head (better known as my brain), memories jump around in my reading life, but some have always stayed with me; for example, the memory of being read to or sitting with my dad.  While all the times I read have long since seeped out of my ears (as all things do when one is not paying attention), books have forever stayed with me. Anne Shirley of the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery has been a dear, dear friend of mine most of my life. I would wager Anne was an original Nerdy Book Club member had blogs and the Nerdy Book Club existed way back then.  I can oftentimes remember reading the “Anne Books” and wanting to be her or at least be like her. Through her I began to taste the feeling of being a writer myself and tossed around the possibility of being a teacher. While the teaching thing didn’t pan out, I did become a librarian and that has served my Nerdiness very, very, well indeed.

Being able to work with both kids and books everyday has truly been a blessing in my life. I couldn’t imagine doing any other kind of job and, if nothing else, it feeds my addictive need for the written word, as I have eight books living on my desk right now that I am working on reading. During the day, I get to have so many lovely chats with kids about what they like, don’t like, and highly recommend I read. All this is on top of the large number of books I put on hold or just pick up off a table or from the shelf in one of my numerous browsing opportunities.  It is wonderful to be able to share my love of books with children and hopefully, they will become the next generation of Nerdy Book Club members.

Michelle L. N. Gray is a Children’s Librarian in Canton, MI.  While the “Anne books” are her favorite, she can be persuaded to read most anything especially if the cover looks awesome or a kid really liked it or if it is on sale in the bargain bin. She lives with her many, many books, her husband, James, and their two cats, Tomtom and Cricket. She has tried to seek help for her book addiction, but long since gave up on that and now just hopes her books don’t bury James and the cats.