Are you a reader? If so, what do you enjoy about reading? And when did you start developing a love for books?
Me? I cannot recall the exact age when I developed a passion for reading although I do remember being eager to read at a young age. I’d ask my father to read me books, and I’d follow along to the words he read and how he pronounced them.
I’d try hard to teach myself how to read but quickly realized that teaching myself wasn’t working. Nevertheless, I was still eager to learn how to read all these amazing books, and so I focused my attention on reading.
While I don’t remember too much of my childhood, I can recall what books I first started collecting- The Baby-Sitter’s Club books. I spent a lot of my time reading book after book from the BSC, and, once I was done reading all the books I had received for the month, I’d wait eagerly for the mail man to come with the next stack of books. (These were the days WAY before Owl Crate, Lit Joy Crate, and even iBooks were introduced via internet… WAY, WAY before.)
It helped that my imagination was big and wild when books lacked pictures. I loved all sorts of books, but mostly the ones with pretty pictures that illustrated what was happening in the story.
I reminded some people of ‘Matilda’ since I enjoyed reading so much. Although I didn’t consider myself a real life Matilda, I did know that I loved books, and i enjoyed reading them.
Reading opened a whole new world for me- a world of adventure, fantasy, and unshakable courage. A world that trumped reality. A world that transformed me into something or someone else…
Some days I felt like I was a real life super hero. Other days, I was a princess from a far away kingdom, or a Hollywood superstar living la vida loca. The possibilities of what I could be were endless; I could be anything or anyone I wanted to be.
Of course, my wild imagination made it difficult to focus on my work in school.
I often felt misunderstood and too different since I seemed a bit distracted by my brilliant imagination. And I often felt that no one could understand my reason for having such a wild imagination, nor appreciate it like I did.
As I reached my teenage years, however, my love for books slowly started dying down.
These were the years when I focused my attention on fashion, latest trends in high school, boys, high school dances, and being a part of the “it” crowd. During this season of my life, I recall how i often found myself feeling a sense of peace, comfort, and enjoyment when I’d read, but would then get swept away with the worries of not making it in the cool kid’s group or getting a boy to notice me. Little by little, I started setting my books aside…
Shortly after high school, I abandoned my love for reading and started focusing my attention on more “adult-ish” activities. There was rent to pay, bills to keep up to date with, and little time to be reading books that would be of no use to me.
A little after my 20th birthday, however, I slowly started finding my love for books again.
I figured it was time for me to start learning about people, places, culture, and religion. I started off with the non-fiction and Christian books. I read with the determination to know more; I wanted to expand my thinking and knowledge.
Before long, I felt understood and accepted.
I began to realize, once again, why I enjoyed reading so much.
Not only did reading expand my thinking and knowledge… it also taught me what I was capable of doing and becoming.
I knew there were plenty of people who probably did not believe in my potential as an individual, but reading books and, most importantly, my Bible, helped me to see that I was valuable, loved, and an individual with unique talents that needed to be shared with the world.
The struggles and victories of those whose stories were being shared encouraged me to believe that if such people were capable of making it through difficult times, then so could I. I began to realize through different stories that setbacks were to be expected in life. I realized that in order for me to achieve something that I wanted, I’d have to work hard for it to obtain it.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2
My taste in books has changed over the years. I read all sorts of books these days- fiction, horror, mystery, Christian, adventure, history etc.- and I’m actually reading a few at this very moment simply for pleasure. Not a day goes by that I don’t read.
I can honestly say that books have changed my life. They have changed the way I see me, others, my goals and dreams, and life. I don’t know where I’d be today if it hadn’t been for the books I’ve read. ❤
My current reads:
Bible Reading Plan
The Scarlet Letter
The Woman in Cabin 10
So what lessons have you learned through the books you’ve read?
And what is your all time favorite book?