That's pretty much how I've always read. Well, not necessarily brief, but definitely in irregular bursts. Sometimes I go through a stretch where I can't read enough or fast enough! More books, more books! Sometimes I can have three books going at one time and blaze through all of them, other times I'll be stuck on the same book for months, no matter how good it is. Depends on my mood, what I'm writing, if I'm drafting and my brain has no more room for anything else, the weather. Did I mention my mood?
The first time I really and truly remember getting sucked into stories was back around the third grade. My teacher must have adored Roald Dahl because I was only in her class half the school year (we moved), but we read The BFG and James and the Giant Peach. I think that was also the class that got me reading The Indian in the Cupboard series by Lynne Reid Banks. Oh, and The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Obsessed. My mom and I would spend hours in the library back then. More books, more books!
And when I got a little bit older, my dad started giving me the Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard. They changed my world. Here was a young blonde girl that was a small part Native American, just like me, who goes on adventures and solves mysteries and deals with loss and juggles friendships and travels the world. I still have books 1-28 on my shelf:
I hope one day to read back through them, and find books 29-40 to see how her story ends.
During high school and college I didn't read much for ME. I was too busy writing papers on social deviance (college) or reading Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies and trying to understand those deep existential, metaphorical, symbolic or WHATEVER thoughts the authors were trying to convey (You mean it's NOT about a farm of animals??). I'm still scared of the "classics" to this day. I don't feel smart enough to get what I'm supposed to be getting out of them. Clearly, those aren't the books for me. I don't like to analyze what I read, I want to be entertained. I want to GO PLACES.
One summer, I babysat the four boys next door (YES, four at once o_O) and found a handful of the Harry Potter books on their bookshelf. It only took one nap time reading to hook me and I started building my own collection:
I don't know how y'all handled the wait between each book. I only had to wait for the last one :)
From there, I tried to get into adult books because that's what I thought I was "supposed" to read, being an adult and all. Besides Shannon Hale's Austenland, Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin, and everything ever written by Sarah Addison Allen (especially The Sugar Queen), nothing really grabbed me. Then my husband's cousin persuaded me to read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, and I will forever be thankful for that series. It was my gateway to YA. Fast forward over a handful of years spent devouring young adult books and attempting to write paranormal stories myself, I found Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and my eyes were opened to the world of contemporary YA. Talk about life changing. I suppose I would have started writing contemporary eventually, but that was my kick. What is it about authors named Steph(a/e)nie guiding me through life?
I'm very open to reading from the various sub-genres of YA, just to know what's out there, to get a sense of what works for me and what doesn't, experience new worlds with new rules. To be inspired for my own creativity. But first and foremost, I just want to ENJOY what I'm reading. I want to be entertained, as well as become emotionally invested. I like when a book makes me cry. I like when I'm still thinking about characters days later. I like feeling as if I just traveled somewhere else, with a new friend.