There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)But then there are books that only YOU read. What niche books do YOU read?
There was a time in the not-so-distant past that my niche books focused on baking – and in particular, muffins. My husband was a branch manager of a local bank and he asked me to make muffins each Saturday for the loyal patrons. I would make mini-muffins (you know, the 2-bite morsel) and typically make 3 different varieties of muffins – 3 dozen each. As you can imagine, I went through muffin recipes rather quickly and so needed several resources at my disposal. I have not made muffins for years, but old habits die hard. Each time I go into a bookstore and see a muffin book, I initially think “I don’t have that one; I need to buy it.”
My youngest daughter is now following in my footsteps. She also loves to bake and is now finding her niche in cupcake cookbooks. She just recently bought this one and has made two of the decorative cupcakes in one week: sunflowers and butterflies. Watching her bake, decorate and create brings back some fond memories.
Currently I would say that my unique book collection centers around the academics of reading: books about books if you will. The first time I was introduced to this category of books was about 4 years ago when I was teaching British Literature for the first time and I was scared stiff (I truly felt as though I did not know what I was doing). I noticed the book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor on the end-cap of a local bookstore and picked it up while waiting in line. Once I got to the cash register I knew I had to buy it. I learned so much about HOW to read literature – and that it is not as scary or unattainable as I had once thought (and, like most things in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes). This lead me to want to read more and more books about the process of reading and analyzing literature. Some of my favorites include: Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose; The 7 Basic Plots by Christopher Booker ; and How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. For teaching purposes, I have truly enjoyed the The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer; and Mini Lessons for Literature Circles by Harvey Daniels and Nancy Steineke.