Friday, October 22, 2010
Books That Inspired You To Read
It got me thinking. My mother, on the occasion, noted that certain books fit certain people, and each person individually has to find the right book for them. (I, being the nerd that I am and being very Harry Potter oriented as of late, immediately thought back to that moment in The Sorcerer's Stone where Harry goes to buy his wand. "The wand chooses the wizard." Okay, enough of this side note....for now.)
From these experiences, I learned that sometimes I need to give books second chances. There are exceptions. For example (no offense to anyone who loves this book) I didn't care for Blood and Chocolate. For those of you who don't know the story, it's sort of a teen werewolf romance novel. They even made a movie off it in case you're too lazy to read the book. I would actually recommend both so you can see the differences, but that's branching off into another topic that I'll save for later. For me, I just didn't feel a connection with the characters, and I'm still not sure I'm happy with the way it ended. It was kind of sweet, but also kind of weird. But you don't have to take my word for it. The point is, that book just wasn't one for me (it wasn't the perfect wand!), but it can most definitely be the right book for someone else.
So, I want to know what first got all of you into reading. Here's a little of what's been going through my mind the last few days as I've considered my first experiences with the written word.
My dad isn't much of a reader. He'd much rather watch the movie and call it good. (I always get a kick out of the fact that as we are watching movies based on books, he'll sometimes turn to me and ask, "Was it like that in the book?" or "Did the book give more information?" or something along those lines.) Mom, on the other hand, loves to read. Her genre of choice is mystery, a genre I appreciate simply because a good portion of the TV shows I watch are crime based, but I've never really gotten into reading that genre. So, if the love of reading were genetic, that love would come from my mom.
My first memory of reading a book outside of school involved Dr. Suess' The Cat In The Hat. I distinctly remember sitting on my grandfather's knee and struggling to remember what all those letters on the page sounded like. I would read, and he would help as I needed it. I still have yet to add any Dr. Suess books to my shelf, but believe me, it will happen someday.
I remember other children's books from school: Pink and Say, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, My Father's Dragon and the like. Good found memories. But these weren't books that came to my head right away.
When I was in fifth grade, I was of the opinion that although my teacher was a very nice man, he wasn't cut out to teach fifth graders. Ouch. I apologize. But I was only ten and eleven at the time. What did I know really? Well, I knew how to get away with reading a book under my desk instead of actually listening to the teacher. That's how I spent a portion of my fifth grade education. I was becoming so in love with books that I couldn't stop to take time to listen to my teacher! I had to finish the story. A Wrinkle in Time is one of the books I remember doing this with. I believe it was recommended to me by the same friend who got me hooked on Harry Potter in middle school. (Speaking of middle school, I feel it's only right to also thank the teacher who made me read The Hobbit and Pride and Prejudice and encourage me to take Honors English in high school no less! Thank you!)
I really think what it comes down to is a love of story itself. Even young children love a good story. Before I was even gobbling up books as fast as I could get my hands on them, my grandpa used to tell me and my siblings his very own Winnie the Pooh stories before we went to bed. Sometimes he would start telling the story in Spanish. We would all whine, "Grandpa!" He'd laugh and then continue the story in English. Grandpa has always been quite the kidder.
So I suppose there are multiple things that eventually pushed me into my love for reading: great teachers, family, friends, love of story itself, the whole shabang! It's because of all of those people that I have an overstuffed bookshelf quite contently sitting in the corner of my room. Thanks you guys. The books and myself really appreciate it!
Now tell me what it was that first got you into reading? You can leave it in a comment, or, if your story is long as mine turned out to be, you can send me an e-mail. Maybe I'll even feature some of your stories in coming posts, eh? How's that sound? In either case, I loved to hear from you.