Portrait of a Reader: Melissa O.

Welcome, Melissa! Please start by introducing us to yourself and your family!

I am married to a wonderful man named Tony and we live in Washington, DC where he is a Christian Counselor and I work in politics. We are owned by a Miniature Dachshund named Annie Oakley who is also my seizure alert dog. We both enjoy reading and our TV is often off because we are glued to the pages of a favorite author’s latest book…or re-reading an old one.

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I love it when married couples read separately together. We spend many lovely hours that way, too. 🙂 So, Melissa, when did you first came to identify yourself as a reader? Do you consider yourself a casual reader, a sporadic reader, a serious reader or an all-out bibliophile? 

Having been born with a disability, my mother and grandmothers knew that I would need to be able to keep myself entertained when I couldn’t physically keep up with other children. So they took it upon themselves to teach me to read pretty early in life. One of my earliest memories is lining up my stuffed animals and reading Cat in the Hat to them. My mother assures me I didn’t need a whole lot of help with the reading aloud part. 🙂 My 1st grade teacher was less than thrilled when my first checked-out book at the library was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…and that I could actually read it without help. I guess you could refer to me as life-long, all out bibliophile.

What a wise mother and grandmothers. You got to have so many more adventures than all those other kids! What do you most enjoy reading now?

The question probably should be: “What do you NOT like to read?” I love all sorts of different genres, but my favorites would have to be Christian fiction, mysteries, chick lit, and biographies. In those genres, my favorite authors are Bodie & Brock Thoene, Eric Metaxas, Liz Curtis Higgs, Mary Kay Andrews, Janice Thompson, Margaret Truman, Kathleen Turner, and newly discovered favorite: Anne Mateer. I am also blessed to call many people on this list personal friends.

Lol! You are correct–the question should be “what do you not like to read” for most of my reader participants are like us–we read everything! I love all those genres you mentioned, too. I know several names on your author list, but I’ll have to check out the others. And isn’t it fun to call authors friends? I feel so blessed in that regard! What is the last book you finished and what are you currently reading?

I just finished reading A Home for My Heart by Anne Mateer. Last night, I started reading When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley.  

Meg’s is still in my TBR pile, which, of course, never dwindles. Sigh. Do you have a favorite time and place to read? 

My most favorite place to read is in the afternoons on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building here in DC. My second favorite is the futon in our den (that’s where I am in the picture) with both my husband and Annie Oakley snuggled up with me.

Love it! Jeff and I spent many lunch hours sitting outside the Capitol Building, so I can imagine how wonderful it would be to sit and read there. And the place in your house sounds so comfy, too. So what is the most unusual circumstance/place in which you’ve been found reading?

In the pre-op area of a hospital waiting for anesthesia to take over. 

Wow. That is dedication! Who took the book out of your hand when you fell asleep? 🙂 But how lovely to go to sleep reading. Do you read physical books, ebooks, or both?

Physical books. Can’t beat the smell and the feel.

Do you buy your books, borrow them from friends or check them out of the library? (Or all of the above!)

All of the above.

Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that generally accompany your reading?

I’m a good Southern girl. I can’t imagine reading a book without a gargantuan glass of sweet tea at my side. A pimento cheese sandwich can also often be found nearby.

Ah, sweet tea. So good. Finally, it’s true confessions time: have you ever forgotten something important (to fix dinner or that dinner was in the oven or an appointment, etc) because you were lost in the pages of a book? 

All the time. Books transport me to another world. When there, I can tend to forget that anything else exists or needs attention.

I know what you mean. I have to be very careful when I let myself read when there are still obligations to be met during the day. 

Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of yourself with us today, Melissa. I’m sure everyone else enjoyed getting to know you, too!

Happy Reading, Y’all! 

7 comments on “Portrait of a Reader: Melissa O.

  1. How FUN is this?
    Terrific interview and fun to see a fave reading spot with one of your fave partners too!
    Thanks for sharing.
    I’ll be checking out your books too, Anne. 😀

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the book on the pillow wrapped in gauze.
    That is the BEST!

    • How fun! I didn’t y’all knew each other!!

      KC, you should come to DC for Value Voters Summit the last weekend in February. I’ll be there, Anne will be there…the three of us could sneak away for some sort of adventure.

      • YIKES! I must be tired. It’s the last weekend in SEPTEMBER…as in less than a month from now!!!

  2. And, to answer your question…nurses have handed whomever was with me at the time books when I’ve gone to sleep headed into surgery. One cheeky doctor wrapped the book in sterile gauze and put it on my pillow after the procedure was over so it’d be there when I awoke. Only a fellow bibliophile would understand how cool that is! 🙂

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