My name is Robin and I’m a bookaholic. I can’t help it. It’s a sickness it’s hereditary. My Grandma, My Mom, My Aunt, and my Sister are all avid readers.
My mom taught me to read at age four; I think she just got tired of reading The Owl and the Pussycat over and over and over shall I recite it for you?
One of my happiest places on earth is when I have my nose buried in a book; or when I’m just gazing at titles on endless shelves in a book store. I can spend hours in Chapters or Barnes and Noble. But unfortunately I had to do a self-imposed ban from Amazon and Chapters online for a while I have too many books on the go right now and not enough time to read them.
Over the years I’ve accumulated hundreds and hundreds of books. Some I read and give away, some I keep, cause, you never know when you’ll read them again.
I rarely go anywhere without a book, and pretty much every room in my house has books stacked everywhere. So much so that my other half built us a floor to ceiling book shelf last year, that spans an entire wall of our house.
So I thought I’d write about some of the books I’ve read that have changed my life. Here are 7 of them.
1) The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book changed my life. It really did. It was introduced to me by my crazy assed bass player at the time when I was going through a two year writing block.
One of the things I love about this book is that it’s not only for artists, but for people who think they aren’t creative maybe even more so. I guarantee you’ll find some spark of something if you read it. I’ve read this book three or four times and even did an Artists Way course. I’ve never been blocked since.
2) The Valiant Companion. I think that was what it was calledâ€¦I’m not sure. This was the first big kid’s book I ever read; I think I was seven or eight. My Grannie gave it to me, and I think she got it from a library that was getting rid of all their old books. I had trouble pronouncing the title at first it’s about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Incredibly inspiring.
3) Dark Side Of The Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. This is a book about discovering your Dark/shadow side; following the Jungian philosophy of dark and light and accepting that we all have shadows we don’t want to acknowledge. I’ve read it cover to cover two or three times and keep going back to it when I need to deal with some of my Monsters. It’s helped me deal with some painful issues and discover parts of myself that I never knew existed, and in truth, didn’t want to meet. But I’m a better person for it. Even just reading about Ford’s journey itself is pretty enlightening and inspiring.
4) David St. Clair’s lessons in instant ESP. I’ve always had premonitions and discovered I was a Reiki healer at an early age (I didn’t know what it was called at the time) and things like that. A psychic recommended this book to my mom. It taught me how to meditate and visualize and use my mind in a different way. I learned that the abilities I had were a gift and not a curse.
5) The Songwriter’s Rhyming Dictionary by Jane Shaw Whitfield. I was trying to find a different rhyming dictionary recommended by one of my songwriting peers, and this one literally dropped off the shelf at me. It wasn’t the one I was looking for, but I bought it anyway and I still use it every time I write. It breaks words down into vowel sounds, and I have it tabbed and dog eared and stained with coffee and chocolate (I hope that’s what it is). When I’m looking for a new rhyme, I go there and just start thumbing through it. It always rescues me.
6) Sheila Davis’ The Craft of Lyric Writing. I was in LA a lot at the start of my career and every Monday night for two months, my Mom and I would drive to the worst part of Hollywood (stupid Canadians) to go to the National Academy of Songwriters so I could take part in their songwriting circles. I think this was recommended to me by one of the people there.
It helped shape the writer that I am today. I was very resistant to it at first; I mean, after all, I was a seventeen year old who had been writing her own songs with her own band for two years already. I didn’t need to be instructed by the old lady in the photo on the back cover of this book. (Seriously). I can remember reading it and angrily putting it down. I think I actually put it down for a year. Who needed this crap? I was flipping through it in frustration one day, and one chapter in particular stood out and suddenly I opened myself to the possibility that maybe just maybe I could learn something I actually took some songwriting classes a few years ago with one of Sheila’s protogés. I learned tons. I’m still learning from this book. I recommend it highly to anyone who thinks they know everything about songwriting…or even nothing at all.
7) The Concise Roget’s International Thesaurus. This isn’t a regular thesaurus. It’s grouped into categories. So if you’re looking for a particular emotion, say, you look that up in the index and it gives you loads of usages and synonyms. It’s another of my go to’s when I’m stuck on a word or phrase. Indispensable. It definitely gets me and Musey into some pretty serious conversations. And some pretty humorous ones, too. And some not so humorous ones.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I often think I might need to get a Kindle or a Kobo so I can bring more books with me at once, but I haven’t gotten there yet. To me, there is nothing like the smell and feel of a bookâ€¦the touch of the pages in your fingers, and their whisper like wind on your face as you fan through themâ€¦
Nope, nothing like brushing crumbs or chocolate off the pages when you’re reading a really juicy part. Besides, I don’t think it’s very smart to take an e-book reader into the tub.