There are two things that most people who know me in person probably realize right off the bat. One, I’m an internet addict. I check my email at least five times a day, and spend hours reading blogs and trolling ravelry.

Nothing breaks that habit faster than not having internet access.

Okay, yeah, we have it at school, but that doesn’t do me much good on rainy days, when I don’t want to take my laptop with me, or when it’s after 9 pm, or a weekend, when the school is closed, or when I’m just so darn sick of being in the classroom that I can’t stand being in the school one second longer. In those cases, I’ll pull up my email on my ipod as I’m walking out the door and call it done.

Second, I’m not a joiner. I didn’t start reading Harry Potter until the third book was already in paperback, and when something becomes incredibly popular (like Abercrombi and Fitch, when I was in high school, or Myspace, or even Facebook) I will avoid it as long as possible. I don’t want to be a sheep, and I really dislike people who act like sheep. I’m not going to wear certain clothes or listen to certain music or read certain books just because everyone else does (and honestly, the clothes are usually over priced and poor quality, the music sucks, and the author often can’t tell the difference between compelling dialog and inane chatter).

It seems, however, that the masses may have gotten one thing right, at least:

Charlaine Harris.

The show seemed marginally interesting, but it couldn’t hold my attention. I find that there’s something fundamentally wrong with a blond Anna Paquin affecting a southern accent. The only character I really liked at all was Lafayette, and he wasn’t enough of a pull to keep me watching.

The books, on the other hand, have pulled me in and kept me there. Alice started buying them from the used anglo book store here in Florence, and has been letting me read them. I’ve read the first five books in the past week or so, and I don’t normally read very quickly. I’ve been eating these up like I haven’t devoured books since high school, with the exception of C.E. Murphy (remind me that I need to wax poetic about her at some point. She’s absolutely phenomenal).

And for anyone who’s wondering, at this point (having just finished Dead as a Doornail) I would say that I am firmly planted on the side of Team Sam, though I really, really like Eric when he had amnesia (for the record, do NOT get me started on those other vampire novels. You know the ones. Just don’t go there. Ever). Oh, and I don’t care much for Bill. He kind of makes me want to hurt him.

So far my only real complaint about the series is that it can be a little heavy on the sex scenes, but I was kind of expecting that considering the reputation Sookie and Bill have garnered both on and off screen (also, I really hate the name Sookie, or at least the spelling Ms. Harris chose. But that’s just me and I’m dealing with it). Still, the mysteries are compelling, and all of her characters are well developed with some kind of back story. They really come off the page, and Bon Temps feels like a place that you could look up on a map and drive down to on a holiday.

So, if you have any interest in vampire fiction, even if you didn’t care for/haven’t seen the television series, put down that trash I know you were thinking of reading, and go get Dead Until Dark instead. You’ll be glad you did.