I love to read. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I love climbing into bed with a good book and reading until I fall asleep.

I probably got my love of reading from my dad. When I was a kid, he would read to me every night before I went to bed. We went through so many books together. Some of my favorites were the “Little House on the Prairie” books, “A Wrinkle in Time,” and “Treasure Island.”

My dad stopped reading to me when I was in high school, but for a long time I wished that he hadn’t.

In high school I read myself to sleep most nights. It was a good way to get my mind off the events of the day and lost in a story.

The stories we read, or have read to us, when we’re young stick with us. I always think of Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly, in “You’ve Got Mail.” She says, “When you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life does.”

And I have to agree. The stories I read fed my imagination, transported me to other places, and taught me about people and their motives. I think in some small way, those childhood stories helped shape the way I saw the world.

Now that I’m older, I still like to read, though it’s harder to find the time to. And truthfully, I still enjoy reading young adult books.

Most recently, I finished reading “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little behind the times when it comes to the widely popular novels, but only by choice.

“Twilight” is a teen romance novel about a girl who falls in love with a vampire, definitely not my ideal reading material. I don’t get into the whole vampire theme and most teen romances are ridiculous.

But admittedly, I was a little curious about the book and why people liked it so much. The teenagers I knew loved the books, which wasn’t a surprise. What did surprise me was when adults said they liked the books.

Being a writer, I was naturally curious about books that people devoured and raved about. I wanted to know what it was about “Twilight” that drew people in.

So last week I finally purchased the book. Within the first few pages, I understood why everyone loved it so much. The book sucks you in with its strange, yet somehow relatable subject matter and keeps you urgently questioning, “What’s going to happen?”

I found that I couldn’t read it fast enough, and I didn’t want to put it down. This was slightly surprising because I’m a pretty picky reader. If a book doesn’t snag me within the first chapter, I’m ready to be done with it.

About three-fourths of the way through “Twilight,” I knew I would have to get the next book in the series (there are four), “New Moon.” I finished “New Moon” on Wednesday and went out and purchased the next two books, “Eclipse” and “Breaking Dawn.”

I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with just reading “Twilight.” I had to know what happened to the characters, subjects that I could totally relate to, yet had no realistic connection to whatsoever.

I’ve always had a runaway imagination that loves a good story, no matter how crazy. And I think the “Twilight” novels play into that.

A good story is one that draws you in, is unpredictable, and keeps you guessing. I also like when a book carries you out of your world and places you in another one.

If you haven’t read “Twilight,” I’m not going to tell you to. As popular as it is, I don’t think it’s a book for everybody. But I do recommend finding a good book that interests you and making time to read.

If, however, your curiosity about “Twilight” is killing you, I recommend giving in, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Elise Loyola is a staff writer for the Clinton Herald. She has been here since November 2008 and she can be reached at eliseloyola@clintonherald.com.