I wish this could be a flippant confession of how many books I've purchased this year (blush) but I've been really good this summer, and that's not what is on my mind.
I've been thinking about my journey and growth through books in life. Why is it that books are air to me, and an afterthought to some around me? I'd love to be able to say that I've had incredible literature selection skills all my life, but the truth is that it's been a journey: I have changed; I have grown.
When I was a young child, before I began going to school, my parents read to me. My parents were determined to raise readers, and found a way in their meager budget to make sure there were books in the home. One of my favorite things as a child was hearing my dad roar "Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!" I loved books.
As a grade schooler, my favorite parts of the day had to do with reading and writing. I especially loved story time in the early grades, where my teachers brought beloved chapter books to life. The children's section of the library was a magical place. I loved to write stories, and fell in love with Beverly Cleary and Laura Ingalls Wilder, then Frances Hodgsen Burnett and Louisa May Alcott
In the middle years, I floundered. Writing became non-creative, regimented. The Babysitter's Club was diverting but not satisfying. I felt out of place in the Children's section of the library, but didn't know where to turn. Directionless, I never found enough to read, never found something to fill me. English as a subject was fast becoming my least favorite.
High school was a time of discovery and refocus. I found great comfort in writing creatively: poetry, songs, short stories; but still hated the analytical, dry, dissection that English classes were. I started to get to know my library again: enjoying the fast paced and titillating; rebelling against The Old Man and the Sea. A few great books broke through my self-centered fog: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Three Musketeers. And then an amazing creative writing teacher at the local Community College during my 11th grade year made me realize that I did not hate English--I just missed the creativity and wonder that I had known when I was younger.
As an adult, I have found the great joy that comes with growing, maturing, learning. I am having a great time reading all of the great stuff I missed out on in my middle years, and the classics I rebelled against in high school as being too boring. I am discovering that Non-Fiction does not necessarily equal tedious. I am learning a great many things, and enjoying the process. I am wondering how the outcome might have changed if I'd had teachers focusing on the creative instead of the regimented. I am thankful for the opportunity--every time I open a new book--to make up for lost time. I am fearful I will never be able to read everything I desire.
If you've made it this far with me through my memory-lane-therapy, you must continue on and write me a 52 paragraph comment about your journey! How did you get to where you are? Was your love for books innate, fluid, continual? Or chopped up and pieced together? Are you making up for lost time? On top of the world?