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Desiree Holt | A World Without Books


Or why reading and writing are vitamins for the brain

I remember reading book from the earliest age. Books were a staple in our household. My mother and my sister read constantly. Mostly mysteries, I think. My first books were things like THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER and THE JUNGLE BOOK. Books that took me to faraway and mysterious places. Books that stirred my imagination and made me create my own stories. As I grew into my teen years my reading expanded. In high school I read a YA romance called SEVENTEENTH SUMMER that to this day still stays with me. It was such a beautiful story of teenage love and what happens when summer is over. How we grow from such a relationship. 

Older still I began to read the mysteries my family loved and as I read them I found myself getting lost in the wonderful stories. These were classic mysteries, like Ellery Queen and Nero Wolf and all the books by the master of suspense, Agatha Christie. From there it was a short step to the queens of romantic suspense, Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. Their books are such classic that they are now being reissued both in print and as ebooks, so new generations can enjoy them.

I'm still an avid reader as well as now a writer who loves creating stories. My tastes cover everything from romance to thrillers to paranormal. In the pages of every book I read or write I can lose myself in a new adventure, a new romance, a new experience.  On a bad day when I need comfort I turn first to my books. Where would I be without them? Where would any of us be?

How would we learn about chemistry and economics and history and mathematics? How could we appreciate people like Shakespeare who have had a profound effect on theatre and drama or Emmanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud who have had a profound effect on our thinking?

Many, many years ago I saw a movie titled Fahrenheit 451. That's the temperature at which paper burns. The movie was set in a world where the destruction of all books had been decreed, all opportunities for people to learn or think anything opposite of what the rulers dictated. But a dedicated group gathered all the books they could and carried them to a secret place. These people then memorized every book, reciting them to each other to instill them in their memories and pass them along to their children who, hopefully, would live in a different world where the books could be converted to readable material again.

That's how important books were and are.

They are a refuge, an escape, a resource. Without books we'd have no libraries or book clubs or authors to share their ideas. Books are the food of the mind. Let's keep feeding it.

Where can you find me?

Desiree Holt at Fresh Fiction

UNDER MY HAT at www.desireeholttellsall.com
Twitter @desireeholt
Facebook Desiree Holt

And I'm now an App! Yup. You can download Desiree Holt for free at Apple or at Google Apps for Android. Come visit me!

a signed copy of my Holt Medallion winner, JOY RIDE, to one lucky person who leaves a comment.




35 comments posted.

Re: Desiree Holt | A World Without Books

I am glad that you mentioned chemistry and economics and history and mathematics. Although I enjoy reading romances and mysteries, I often read text books just to learn something new. Most people say that I am weird but I don't care.
(Kathleen Yohanna 12:20pm June 10, 2012)

the book is very interesting. i love reading books that are
romantic but have real life situations in it and feelings we
all have sometime in our lives. love to read
(Denise Smith 1:02am June 10, 2012)

Books are a pleasure and a resource. I have tried to pass on the love of reading to my children.
(G. Bisbjerg 2:14am June 10, 2012)

I agree that books are very important and a great way to escape to other worlds or places. This book sounds really interesting and I am looking forward to reading it. Have a great day.
(Chelsea Knestrick 3:27am June 10, 2012)

I love reading...in fact you could call me a "book worm". You can learn so much from them. This book sounds like one that I would love...thanks
(Bonnie Capuano 5:36am June 10, 2012)

I also love reading and you are so true when you say reading and writing are vitamins for the brain. I have learned so much from reading books
(Shirley Younger 11:48am June 10, 2012)

Bradbury's fireman lists off a litany of titles but has little understanding of the content of any of the books he burns. It is like following a recipe with no knowledge of the flavour of the spices. The concept of preserving books arose again more recently in MK Wren's 'A Gift Upon The Shore' where two women who survive in a post-apocalyptic world try to read and preserve every book they can find, not realising that a religious cult they meet would rather destroy every book which might contradict their own teachings. I guess this is such an important issue that the books about saving books will continue to appear.
(Clare O'Beara 12:56pm June 10, 2012)

Books are everything mentioned above and so much more. For me, they have been a life-saver at times, and at other times, they have found me new, life-long friends. I simply can't live without them. And while I prefer the "real thing," that is, the actual, physical book that you hold in your hands and turn the pages in, and where you can insert a bookmark or dogear the page to mark your place when you have to stop reading for whatever reason, I have learned to live with e-books also.

I must admit, however, my cat prefers the "real thing" too! It's so much more amusing for her to sit on the page I'm trying to read - it means so much more cuddling and petting as I move her to turn the page!!


(Lynn Rettig 1:00pm June 10, 2012)

You learn so much from books... go to far off places and learn about places and cultures... I just love that each one gives me the chance to go on an adventure... journey along with characters... see them find happiness or solve a crime, etc.
(Colleen Conklin 1:53pm June 10, 2012)

Books have been like friends through the years. Even the ones I didn't like have taught me something.
(Pam Howell 2:39pm June 10, 2012)

Beyond a total getaway in the comfort of your own home books provide education and ideas that one would never have thought of. Books are available to all and wonderful!
(Darci Paice-Bailey 2:43pm June 10, 2012)

I have loved reading as long as I can remember! And I think
I've leaned a lot about history and the world from books -
many things that were not taught in school.
(Diane Sallans 2:48pm June 10, 2012)

I've always enjoyed books and have loved reading since being read to at a very young age, frequently and acquiring many Golden Books as gifts. My Dad told me when I got older, that he was amazed at the way I'd sit and read to my two younger sisters; I was only 5 yrs. old when I'd memorized all the stories and hadn't learned to read yet. It was beneficial when I learned to read in school, because I was the best reader in my class of 30 kids (and only 2 of us were in the Top Reading Group). I remember winning prizes from the teacher all the time, for being able to read all of the words written onto the blackboard (when none of the other kids could get through them). I agree, reading and writing are vitamins for the brain and provide a world of knowlege and inspiring, creative ideas along with being a form of entertainment and an educational tool. I have a library of books in my home and always read 5 or 6 books every evening to my three children. I believe kids are never to young to learn through books and they're more intelligent, faster learners in school when they're better readers.
(Linda Luinstra 3:42pm June 10, 2012)

As another avid reader, I have a wide array of books with some read and many TBR (To Be Read). I remember reading by flashlight as a child, because lights had to be out. My toughest time was on a backpacking trip and my 8 books were weighing me down, so got distributed to everyone else's packs.
(Alyson Widen 3:56pm June 10, 2012)

I, too, am an avid reader with a large TBR pile. I love give-
aways, too.
(Mary Hay 4:04pm June 10, 2012)

Joy Ride sounds great. I am definitely adding this to my TBR

Reading has been my salvation. A good book lets me escape
the stresses and traumas of life. I'm pretty sure that
reading kept me sane through some nasty incidents in my
childhood and through post-partum depression with my first.
(Katherine O'Grady 4:10pm June 10, 2012)

Book sounds great! Thanks for the draw.
(Barbara Studer 4:18pm June 10, 2012)

I am trying to teach my kids about reading for necessity and reading for fun. I work to find books that they love so that they will want to read for fun as they get older.
(Jennifer Beyer 4:34pm June 10, 2012)

I had never heard of Seventeenth Summer, but you gave me an interest in reading it even though I am far from seventeen. There are so many books that sound ineresting and so little time to read. I insist in reading something every single day.
(Gladys Paradowski 4:47pm June 10, 2012)

I'm so glad to hear from so many avid readers. And I agree Bradbury's
fireman had no concept of content and therefore no knowledge of the world
he was destroying. Books have always been both my entertainment and my
(Desiree Holt 4:48pm June 10, 2012)

I have been an avid reader for years and the last paragraph
of your blog today said so much to me. Book have always been
there for me when I felt like I had nothing else. I love how
you said reading is vitamins for the brain. I read 2 to 5
book a week so I should be very healthy.
(Denise Parrett 6:01pm June 10, 2012)

Denise! LOL!. I'm right there with you!
(Desiree Holt 6:09pm June 10, 2012)

I have followed in the footsteps of my ancesters and enjoy reading a variety of subjects. Regardless of what the subjct, there is always something to learn and pass on.
(Linda Skillen 6:15pm June 10, 2012)

Oooh... I agree totally. Books got me through some bad times...
(May Pau 6:16pm June 10, 2012)

I'm a librarian, so, of course, I believe in the centrality of books. I'm glad that you had positive interactions with books in childhood. Those experiences make a lifelong impact. If I had one wish, it would be that every child be exposed to books and reading.
(Catherine Lee 6:31pm June 10, 2012)

Reading is my favorite hobby. It can challenge my mind and my spirit to learn or to experience. I try to share my love of reading to my kids, and they share their favorite stories with me.
(Wasanaa Smith 9:10pm June 10, 2012)

Hi, Desiree!! It sounds like we ran the same circles book-wise from the time we were kids. The House on Pooh Corner was my favorite book, although I learned how to read a Physics book at the age of 3!! LOL Winnie the Pooh still has a special place in my heart to this day, since the year that I read the book, the cartoon was so quaint, for lack of a better term. It was nothing like what they have out now. Anyway, as I got older, I became an Agatha Christie fan, along with reading books on birds and bugs and anything else I could get my hands on. When I was close to being a teenager, I snuck into my oldest sister's room, and borrowed her romance books, which were quite steamy!! She got into some things, that to this day, I still don't know what they were talking about!! LOL Anyway, I agree with what you said about books. I had to give up reading for a while, due to some things that were going on in my life, but I am thankful that I have a library in my small town which is right down the street. I can also pick up books at a big box bookstore in the next town which is 1/2 hour away, which we go to at least once a month for food. I'm thankful to get to know Authors like you who give us insight, and we also get to know about your books, so we can put you on our TBR list. Thank you for being there!! I can't wait to read your book!! It's definately on my TBR list!! What a great cover, too!!
(Peggy Roberson 9:19pm June 10, 2012)

I love to read. When I'm home alone the TV is never turned on.
(Sheila True 9:46pm June 10, 2012)

I can't imagine not reading. I love fiction, but we have a wonderful selection of non-fiction on our book shelves as well.
(Mary Preston 9:57pm June 10, 2012)

I'm so glad to hear from everyone and thank you so much for reading my
blog and stopping by. I have something new Under My Hat every day at
www.desireeholt.com, so I hope you'll visit me there. And thanks to Fresh
fiction for the opportunity.
(Desiree Holt 10:01pm June 10, 2012)

HI! this is amazing! i find this wonderful site, with all
these amazing writers and i just cant wait to read all your
books! thank you for the giveaway! i love reading, and writing
myself, and hoping to be able to have my book published! :D
(Joanne Hale 11:04pm June 10, 2012)

Cannot imagine a life without books.
(Mary Chin 11:27pm June 10, 2012)

I go to other people's houses and feel so disoriented when I don't see piles of books all over. Especially in the bathroom! I was just thinking about my childhood reading: fairy tales and ghost stories, the 3 investigators, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew. Then historical romances like Mara Daughter of the Nile and Perilous Gard. Sci-fi from Andre Norton. Travel romances from Betty Cavanna. "Career-romances for Young Moderns". Then on to gothics like Watch the Wall My Darling and romantic suspsense by Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney. Ok, I read a lot of romance, but other stuff too! Mysteries by Dorothy Sayers and P.D. James. Thanks for reminding me of my old friends.
(Lisa Elwood 11:42am June 11, 2012)

How can a comfortable house exist without piles of books?
(Shirley Nienkark 5:29pm June 11, 2012)

I was one of the fortunate few. I became a reader despite a home with few books. I have to give credit for becoming an avid reader to my 6th grade teacher, Ms. Anciaux.

I was a strange little bird, only recently being diagnosed with a lifelong disability (Dispraxia), who was so frustrated with school that I rarely tried. See, I was never as fast as the other students...especially is writing was required. In addition, my handwriting was nearly indecipherable (a symptom of Dispraxia.) So, once I mastered a subject, like long division, I wouldn't bother doing anymore worksheets. Homework that most students could finish in 20 minutes took me hours, because I had to redo until ledgible. I became quite disruptive in classes.

Ms Anciaux seemed to accept, if not understand, that I would not participate in writing assignments or worksheets. She came to me one day and said that I had to settle down and be quiet. If I wasn't going to participate in class, then the least I could do was pick out a book (she had maybe 25 of them on a shelf) and read quietly.

I thought I would humour her, so I grabbed one. The title was Run, Teddy, Run (although I cannot remember who the author was.) and I was hooked. From then on, I could aways be found with a book. Ms. Aniaux would decided to capitalize on this and told me I have to write and give a book report. I was devastated. In tears, I tried...but even I have trouble reading my own handwriting. I approached her and said I couldn't do it. She asked why and I gave her my paper.

She handed back and said to give the report from what I had. Of course, I gave the report from memory of what I had read. Everyone loved it and were surprised. I was the slow one...

This became a ritual, one book a week. I would write an outline, and give an oral.

Of course, typewriters and computers have helped a little. I have never broken 40 words per minute (dispraxia), but at least I'm ledgible.

Reading is persona
(Kelly Knapp 5:02am June 15, 2012)

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