Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Five Favourite Books – Stumped

By, Debbie Boutilier

This had me absolutely stumped. I read a lot – at least a book a day and I will read almost anything if I don’t have my own reading material so I really don’t have five favourite books. I did have three favouriteplaces as a kid - United Book Store on Barrington Street, North End Library and the Bookmobile.  I love to read and this I owe to my father who started off every day with a book. I do not ever recall not seeing him in the early mornings not reading something.  It was ingrained in us as children to read and then read some more and the subject matter wasn’t important.
My father was smart, he always made sure there were books or comics in the house and every Sunday it was a treat to go the used book store with him to exchange or get new comics – Richie Rich, Archie, Marvel, DC – we were reading and that was all that matter to him. Next came the flea markets, which we combed for more books.

Then there was my love affair with the bookmobile. I remembering thinking that Kendal, who operated the bookmobile was the luckiest person I knew because he had all these books at his disposal to read. The fact that I can still recall his name almost forty years later is a testament to how often I graced thedoors of the bookmobile  My childhood was filled with adventures penned by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Beatrix Potter, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, the many authors of Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins and the Hardy Boys.
I found the various imprints of HQ when I was in my teens and became hooked on romance and happily ever after.  Boredom and lack of easily available reading material in high school got me hooked on the Mack Bolan / Executioner series of which my father had the entire collection. Then came James Patterson, Patricia Cromwell, Martha Grimes, and the list goes on as my father’s collection of books exceeded 5,000. I read entire series of authors as I moved from high school to university ever expanding the genre’s I read but always coming back to my romance and my HEA. For almost thirty years, I held at least two monthly subscriptions to HQ until the advent of the e-book, which now fills my veracious appetite for reading material.
The irony in all of this, is that my father did not hold a higher education as was the case of many men of his generation but he was extremely well read. The knowledge he held came from reading anything and everything and I was fortunate to learn this lesson from him and develop a passion for reading. I have been able to pass this love of reading along to my daughters who are as likely to read, as they are to watch TV, which for this generation is a boon.  It is a wonderful legacy to share.
I do not have five favourite books, but I have had hundreds of grand adventures on the coattails of many an author to whom I am eternally grateful.


  1. Isn't it great your dad taught you a love of reading, Debbie. What a gift. And now you're a writer!

  2. Debbie, thanks for sharing your love of reading and how it led to your passion for romance. With all those books behind you, I'm sure there'll be no lack of ideas for exciting plots and characters in books written by YOU!