I have always been a book lover. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't reading.
As a child I read all the books my sister had and then all the old children books of my mother. I remember some times when I was really ill in bed I read up to ten books a day. Of course this meant reading the same books again and again. Some of them I still consider my friends. The only times I got some new books were Christmas, Easter or birthdays.
When I worked in the library for some years I finally had the opportunity to read a lot of books. That was the period I devoured everything about Greece and every book written by Greeks I could find at the library because I wanted to learn more about the culture of my later husband. But I loathed bringing the books back when I liked them. I wanted to possess them, to make them mine.
Riding every day by train to work I once discovered a small bookstore at the station that sold remaindered books. I became a regular customer of that shop.
But when I had my first son I was cut off from these occasions. In our town there was only one bookstore and I couldn't afford a new book at least every week. So, I was still reading but less than before. And I became more selective. New books aren't cheap.
The internet was a little help offering used books but with postage fees money was still a problem. But I ordered a lot of books for my children. I'm really happy that all three love reading. And I read their books, too. You're never too old for good children books. For around ten years I spent about one hour every night reading to my children.
With the internet and amazon I started to read English books – they are cheaper than German books.
But still I couldn't afford as many as I wanted.
I always believed only books that you can take in your hands and put on your shelf are real books, real tangible friends.
I was wrong.
When I got my kindle as a Christmas present in 2013 I found out how many books you can read for free and how much I like reading without having to turn the pages of a heavy book in bed and to take only my kindle with me for the holidays instead of an entire suitcase.
For the first time in my life I could read as much as I wanted without waiting for the next after finishing a book.
Of course when you try to read only books for free or at low cost you will pick some titles you would never pay for. But there are advantages: if I don't like something there's no need to finish it – and I can explore genres and authors I never thought of.
All these years as a reader I never thought of seeking contact to the authors. They seemed to be distant and unaproachable. Some of them may be.
But I discovered goodreads – and that I actually can have some kind of contact with authors.
My newest discovery is NetGalley where I can get the opportunity to read books that haven't even been published yet.