Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Although this week’s topic is top ten villains, I’m returning to a previous topic that I missed the first time around: books with sensory reading memories. This topic is such an interesting and unique one, so I knew I had to write about it at some point. I am the type of person who can remember what I was wearing on my first day of grade nine. I know what year and with whom I watched a certain movie. I can listen to songs from high school and be instantly brought back to a certain memory. So here are a couple books that I strongly associate with certain memories!
The Grooming of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This is the first book I ever read in the Alice series, and I then went on to read the rest of the series. It had initially jumped out at me at the library because I had the exact butterfly shirt from the Gap that the girl on the cover was wearing (haha). I remember reading this on a blisteringly hot evening during the summer between grades 4 and 5. My mom was on one end of the couch with a book, and I was on the other, wearing a giant baggy t-shirt and sipping a strawberry smoothie, with my feet in a bucket of ice cold water to try to cool down.
Multiple Choice by Janet Tashjian
I picked this one out of a bin at summer camp when we had half an hour of free reading time after lunch. My friend was trying to read another book, but I read out the first lines of mine to her: “I wish my brain were a toaster. That way I could use it when I wanted to, and when I was done, I could pull the plug and shut it off.” (Don’t we all?) She was hooked, so she tossed her book aside and we read it simultaneously. I remember thinking it was fun to read a book with someone, but also a little stressful: I didn’t want to read the page too fast and then have to wait for my friend to finish before turning the page, but I also didn’t want to have to rush to keep up with my friend. Oh, the irony of obsessing over this while reading a book about a girl with OCD…
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
It was Friday night and my 13th birthday party. I was supposed to be out celebrating, but near the end of the school day, I started to feel sick. Turns out I was coming down with the flu. My mom had to call all my friends and cancel. So, instead of eating pizza and cake and watching a movie with my friends, I spent the night at home on the couch, reading this book. Poor me.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
I was reading this in bed during the fall of grade three, and I remember having a huge bruise on my head. Back then, I was a bit clumsy and accident-prone, it seemed. One day after school, I had been playing on the playground. I turned around quickly, not realizing a wooden post was right behind me, and smacked my head into it. The bump on the side of my forehead swelled out into an egg shape immediately, and I could see my friend trying not to laugh at what it looked like. So all of this is to say that I remember having a big, painful bruise on my head while reading this book, and I could only lie certain ways on my pillow, and the world of Hogwarts was a wonderful distraction from it all.
What books do you strongly associate with certain memories in your life? Can you remember what you were doing or what was going on in your life when reading a certain book?