Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

You’re all about to hear some funny stories about the outrageous, silly, and memorable things I’ve done for the love of books.

For anyone who didn’t already know, I was a preacher’s kid growing up, so the church’s building was basically my family’s second home.  We were there two or three times a week on average, and sometimes way more than that if there were weddings, funerals, potluck dinners, vacation bible school programs, or other events going on.

This fact only makes the first two items on my list even more amusing than they might have been for the average kid. The rest of my list is about non-church-related stuff. I will (probably) not use gifs for the next Top Ten Tuesday, but I couldn’t help but to use them again this week.

1. Snuck Out of Church to Read in a Closet

I believe this happened on one of those weeks when we’d spent way more time at church than usual. At any rate, I quietly walked out of the service, hid in a closet, and read a book about missionaries for a while. It was a good story, I enjoyed the break, and I did not tell this story to my parents until many years later. (They were amused by it).

2. Snuck a Book Into Church and Read It

This happened at a religious conference I attended when I was about twelve. I was a dancer then and loved the dance portion of that conference that showcased all sorts of new moves and styles for worship service dances.  After a few days of spending hours listening to sermons on unrelated topics, though, I decided to sneak a book in and read it when no one was looking. What makes it even funnier is that I was reading a sometimes-steamy series of romance novels that weekend!

3. Worn Out My Flashlight Battery

My family was on a camping trip when this happened, and I’d brought along a short story collection with me because who wants to go on vacation without a book?!  (This theme will repeat again later on because I am a creature of habit). I wanted to read just one more tale  before bed, but I ended up falling asleep with my flashlight on. When I woke up again, the battery was completely worn out.

4. Hid Books Under My Pillow

Not only was I a preacher’s kid, I was homeschooled as well for several years. One of the first things I did once I started attending public school was borrow books from the school library and hide them underneath my pillow. For some reason, I thought I wasn’t allowed to read them. It was a relief when my mom discovered them and didn’t make a big deal out of it at all.

5. Picked My Colleges (Partially) Based on Their Libraries

There were obviously other factors I considered as well, but the libraries were the very first spots I visited on my unguided tours of these facilities. The fact that I liked those libraries so much made it easier to pick the institutions of higher learning that I did.

6. Researched Where the Local Libraries Were Before Moving to New Neighbourhoods

Yes, being situated close to a nice library has been a factor when I decided where to move to in the past! I’ve found that any neighbourhood that has a well-tended, busy library tends to have a lot of other perks, too, like having more free community groups/events and the neighbourhood cultivating a friendly, welcoming attitude towards newcomers.

7. Chosen Video Games Based on Their Storytelling Skills

The gif above is from an amazing puzzle game called Monument Valley that also asked its audience to solve a mystery about  a civilization that had disappeared. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Monument Valley set a high standard for me as a gamer. These days I’m only interested in games that have tight, engaging storytelling woven into whatever else they happen to be about.

8. Matched People with Their Literary Doppelgangers

I like figuring out which literary character is most like the various people I know. You’ll never hear who I’ve pegged you as unless you ask, but there’s something satisfying – if also occasionally a little unusual – about deciding that someone reminds me most of Hermoine, Bilbo Baggins, Jo March, or any other number of characters.

9. Touched Hospital/Medical Office Waiting Room Books

Sometimes it has taken so long to wait for a medical appointment or visit a loved one who has been admitted that I must overcome my aversion to germy waiting room books and see what a hospital/doctor’s office waiting room has to read.

Then I imagine all of those bacteria multiplying on my skin and wash my hands with lots of soap and hot water because the thought of getting sick from touching the wrong types of germs makes me nervous. Ha!

10. Left the Perfect Beach to Visit a Bookstore

One year when my family was on a beautiful beach vacation, teenage Lydia convinced my parents to drive to a local mall so I could pick up a few new books when I unexpectedly finished reading everything I’d brought with me. I was thrilled when they agreed to do this and portioned out my reading time better for the rest of that trip.

How many of these things have all of you done? I can’t wait to read your responses to this prompt. It sure was a fun one.

99 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

  1. Loved this so much! I can totally relate although I haven’t done all these. As a child I always had a book secreted about my person-the thought of getting a few moments to myself and not having a book to read really worried me. The number of times my mother would say crossly “you are always reading!” How times have changed….

  2. I LOVE monument valley! It was such an amazing video game and I was completely enraptured by the story despite having s very incomplete piece. If you’re looking for another video game with a strong story plot check out Broken Age (PC, Android, iOS) or Firewatch (PC)

  3. Such a funny list! I especially love ‘snuck out of church to read’ followed by ‘snuck a book into church to read’! LOL
    I didn’t realise you were homeschooled 🙂 I homeschooled the boys and loved it – the library was very popular!
    Yes! Someone else who has an aversion to hospital/doctor waiting rooms. I haven’t picked something up to read in one of those for ages.
    My nightmare would be running out of reading material while on vacation and not knowing where the nearest, good bookstore is! Your parents sound great, by the way 🙂

    • Heh, thank you. Your list was fabulous this week, too.

      I was homeschooled from preschool through the third grade. My parents would have homeschooled me again for middle and high school if they’d been able to. It was a really positive experience for my family. I’m glad you and your sons loved it, too.

      Yeah, I have great parents. 🙂

      And it’s so nice to know there’s someone else who gets squirmy about germs in medical settings. Hehe.

  4. This is a super cute list! I made sure to check out the library on my campus tour, too, before deciding on a college. xD A good library is important!

    Oddly, I’m the opposite about video games, even though I love stories and books. I like more free play and quests and customization and action. Hubby, on the other hand, is more on your side. He gets so annoyed when there’s not a good enough storyline. xD

    • Heh, for sure.

      What kinds of free play games do you like? I’m a huge fan of Minecraft, but I don’t know much else about other, similar games.

  5. I don’t know if I’ve done any of these, except maybe perhaps hiding books under a pillow (I think I hid them other places though). Because the Stephen King and VC Andrews books were probably off-limits, LOL. I like your story about skipping church to read in a closet!

  6. These are all great! How interesting. I especially like #5, because what other criteria is there for picking an institution of higher learning? Haha! Seriously though, I need to try Monument Valley, I’ve seen art for that game around and I’m super intrigued.

    Oh and great GIF picks too, I especially like the one of Owl. 🙂

  7. These are all great but I love that you chose your University based on libraries – that is awesome lol I also pick my video games based on strong storylines most of the time.

  8. I wore out many a flashlight battery as a kid, because for some reason I preferred reading in the dark. Maybe it was so my parents wouldn’t come tell me to go to sleep, honestly can’t remember!

  9. 😀 Two first ones were quite funny. Ah and hospitals and waiting rooms. I always read whatever they had there and never thought of bacterias. Before now!! EEEWWWWWWWWW!!

  10. So many people have an aversion to e-books, but some of your items above are the exact reason I love my Kindle. As a kid, I HATED running out of reading material when camping and it happened far too often. And forget picking up germ ridden reading material in any waiting room. I take my Kindle everywhere!

  11. These are absolutely marvelous stories. I love how you were so worried about your mom finding out you had checked out library books!

  12. This was such a great unique list! Those stories about sneaking out of church and sneaking books in to church made me chuckle. I recently purchased Monument Valley solely because of the graphics in the game — they look gorgeous and dreamy! Happy to hear that it has a great storyline as well ^_^

  13. I really love your list this week, and some of these are definitely outrageous! 🙂 I’ve never snuck out of church to read, or snuck a book into church, but I have sneakily read my book while I was supposed to be working, so that counts right?
    Great post for this week. 🙂 ❤️

  14. I wanna know what super powers you had to be able to sneak out of church to read! I’ve wanted to do it several times but there was no way I was getting past my mom. I’m and slightly jealous and definitely a little awed.

    • Ha! Well, my mom was (and is) a musician, so she was generally on stage playing her flute for the first part of the service. If I got up to use the washroom (or read books) during that portion, she probably wouldn’t have noticed because she was busy paying attention to her sheet music and stuff.

  15. It must have been so much fun to match everyone to their doppelgängers! I was always sorting people into Hogwarts houses! I loved this post! This is such a fun topic I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses!

  16. I used to attend church when I was a kid too but never got a chance to sneak a book in because my mother was always next to me hahaha but, like you, I used to hide books under my mattress!

    I wish my university had a lovely collection of fiction books 🙁

    • It would definitely be harder to reach in church if you were sitting next to your mom (or parents in general).

      Are there any books at your university library you’d read for fun?

  17. Great list!! That would definitely be me with the flashlight! XD
    I used to read really late into the night when I was smol and I had this flashlight that you had to HOLD the button to keep on. It gave me some major thumb cramps but it was worth it. XD

    Happy Reading! <3

  18. Such a fun list! I love that you wore out your flashlight battery reading. That’s awesome! And matching people with their literary doppelgangers is so fun! Who is your literary doppelganger?

    • Heh, thank you. I think my literary doppelgänger might be Emily from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon series. I’ve always been a dreamer. 🙂

  19. Great list! I can’t say I’ve done many of these but I did used to sneak read Historical Fiction novels in class, usually based around whichever historical period we were reading at the time. Got caught once and the teacher actually didn’t mind at all. Said it was no wonder I was passing her class lol

  20. Oh my word, I have actually done #1 on your list! In fairness, I guess I didn’t *sneak* out of church exactly, but I did whisper-badger my mother during a church service until she agreed that I could leave the sanctuary and go read in the hall until service was over. (The sermon was about marriage, and my argument was that I was YEARS away from marriage and therefore didn’t need to stay.)

    Unfortunately, I ended up getting grounded (from reading) because I didn’t stay in the hall like I was supposed to and wandered off to another floor of the church to read in peace and quiet. I got caught up in the book, lost track of time, and my parents ended up having to hunt for me when the service was over so that we could go home. Oops.

    • Oh, that is hilarious. Why didn’t you stay in the hall that day? I hope you found a comfortable place to read in your church and that you weren’t grounded from reading for too long.

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