Meet the Girl Behind the Book

Welcome, dear readers, to The Shelf Life.  Some of you may be wondering who I am and what I’m all about, so I thought it may be a good idea to give a bit of an introduction to me and my “shelf life.”

My name is Alex and I am a book-lover (obviously, or this blog wouldn’t exist). I’ve always got a long TBR list and I’ve been known to read a 400-page book in one sitting. I mostly enjoy fiction (contemporary, literary and historical), and I sometimes delve into non-fiction (mostly biography). I love Canadian literature. By day, I work as a librarian. By night, I read (and sometimes binge-watch TV on Netflix).

Why do I love reading?

One of my favourite quotes about books is by Stephen King, who says, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” The reading experience is magical. It allows me to step into another place or into someone else’s shoes. It helps me develop empathy and compassion and understanding for people who may be different than me. It gives me a unique perspective on my own life. Sometimes, it helps me escape and explore new worlds. Sometimes, it reminds me of the familiar. Reading can bring comfort or joy or laughter. It helps me learn and grow.

What is my favourite book?

I can’t pick favourites. So many books I’ve read are like old friends. I’ve loved different books at different times in my life and for different reasons. So I’m cheating – here are my favourites in different categories.

Anne of Green GablesFavourite book growing up: Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery

I loved Anne (with an “e” – don’t forget!) and her spirited personality. She represented the type of person I wanted to be: passionate and fiery. I read and re-read all of the Anne books growing up, and I still occasionally pull one off the shelf. One day, I plan to go to Prince Edward Island to see the beautiful scenery Montgomery describes and visit the real Green Gables.

Favourite book as a teenager: The Princess Diaries, Meg CabotPrincess Diaries

I can’t even express how obsessed I was with these books – the entire series! Funny and relatable, Princess Mia was the perfect companion for my teenage self and I read and re-read these books time and again. I was so unbelievably excited when I heard that Meg Cabot is coming out with an adult Princess Mia book next summer, The Royal Wedding!

FavouJane Eyrerite “classic”: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

I love Pride & Prejudice and Jane Austen as much as most bibliophiles, but my favourite classic has always been Jane Eyre. I love the characters – the dark and mysterious Mr. Rochester and the principled Jane. It’s been too long since I’ve picked up this book.

Favourite book right now: All My Puny Sorrows, Miriam ToewsAMPS

I read this book back in the summer, but it has stuck with me. All My Puny Sorrows is about two sisters, Elfie and Yoli. Elfie wants to end her own life, while Yoli attempts to keep her alive. It’s honestly written and perfectly captures the relationship between sisters, balancing between funny and hauntingly sad at the same time.

And just to prove that I truly can’t pick favourites and because I can’t bear to leave anyone out, here are some honourable mentions: Harry Potter (all of them, but especially The Half-Blood Prince), Midnight’s Children, Persuasion, and A Fine Balance.

What are your favourite books? Do you have certain favourites from different times in your life? Why do you love reading? Share your thoughts in the comments!