The First Time

The first time that you read a book always sets the mood for every other time you think about the book. If it's a book about Christmas, I CANNOT read it during the fall. I can't read a book when I'm thirsty, hungry, or feeling nasty, because I know that it will affect how the book impacts me.Let's take, for example, Shiver. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is a book that I absolutely MUST read when its cold. Although everybody had been begging me to read it, I knew that I had to wait until it was winter. I envisioned myself freezing, wrapped in a blanket on the couch, sipping hot cocoa.For Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, it was a warm day, perfect for sitting outside. I curled myself up in a ball in my chair and read. Halfway through the book, I fell asleep and had the best nap ever. Seriously, I woke up so rested and it was so relaxing that I was in bliss for the rest of the day. Eyes Like Stars had rich description, a lush story, and an amazing cover. Whenever I just want a lovely book to read or I need to fall asleep or relax, I'll read that book.That's what I did. For that reason, when I read a book, I have to have it in the most perfect setting imaginable. I can't stand to read a book when it's outrageously hot. Memories attach that book to what you were doing (for me at least) and I feel that it's my job to read each book in a place where I have good memories associated with it, because otherwise I will avoid that book.I may sound silly saying this, or the rest of you may be like "what the heck is she talking about?" but that's the way I feel.I have a few books in my reading pile that I'm saving for the perfect moment. Low Red Moon for example. I received it in the mail (thanks Stacy!) from a contest that Stacy Abrams was hosting for Twitter followers. I want to save that for a night when I have nothing to do,  am perfectly relaxed, and need to be drawn into the perfect book. Preferably, I will have ice cream or something yummy like that while I read.Books have memories for me. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a car read; Beauty Queens is a read-while-my-sister-was-shopping read in the mall. Prophecy of the Sisters was a late-at-night-dark-delicious-after-a-scary-movie read. Perchance to Dream was a Sour-Patch-Kids read.I remember them because I need to have the perfect setting for each "first read". If I am in the middle of reading a book, or am rereading one, then it doesn't matter. I just need to have a good setting for the first time.It's like a first kiss. Not that I've had mine, but most people imagine it on a beach, watching the sunset, after a movie on your doorstep, or lying on a blanket and staring at the stars. If you had your first kiss in a bad setting, that memory will stick with you forever. If its with a boy who betrayed you, you'll regret that first kiss. I want every book that I read to be a beach-first-kiss book and I'd be completely fair to that book.I do like associating some emotion with a book. If I'm not emotional or have some particular deciding factor, the book seems kind of bland for me. I like having previously cried, or had the time of my life, or been to a school dance, or had the perfect day.The worst is when I can't remember a book. I do, particularly, mind a book when it's just mediocre. When I can't think of it and think of something (good or bad) then I find myself disappointed in the book. So I have a strategy that involves picking the perfect books to read at the perfect time. I NEVER read a book when I know I'd regret starting one. In those times, I'll reread a book or something.Blood Promise is a sitting-up-light-on-four-in-the-morning book that I knew I couldn't tear my eyes away from. The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity was a brought-to-dinner-hid-under-restroom-table book that I purposefully suggested J. Alexander's for (before Borders closed, I would ask to go to J. Alexanders because while we were waiting for food, we would pop next door and buy books).Because of this, I need the perfect time to start a book. I like to associate a strong emotion with the book I'm reading and make each "first read" the most special it can be.