Posted by: faultlessfinish | March 25, 2013

Yet Another Love Affair

“She’d become an English major for the purest and dullest of reasons: because she loved to read.” – Jeffrey Eugenides

Last week I wrote about my love affair with music, which began at a young age. But then I got to thinking about which came first: my love of music or my love of books? Some of my earliest memories are of my parents reading to me. I’ve been a word nerd for as long as I can remember.

One childhood memory that stands out to this day is from kindergarten. The teacher gave us fifteen minutes of free time (I guess so we could take a break from all the rigours of kindergarten?) and my classmates hurried to the play area. I spent the time with the teacher, learning how to read. Each new word was a thrill to comprehend.

As a teenager, I was perfectly content to spend a weekend night in my room with a good book. I grew up in a house where words, stories, and language use were valued. And so when I received the WordPress prompt What was your favourite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now? I knew I had to devote some time to this topic.

To this day, my favourite series is the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It was my introduction to the world of fantasy and adventure, and I listened eagerly as my mom read it to me each night before bed. When I read it myself as a teenager, I was surprised to find a whole other level of themes I hadn’t picked up on as a child. Today, I have a great respect for authors who can write stories that appeal to both children and adults on different levels.

One of my closest friends recently had a daughter, and I decided that for every birthday, I would buy her a book. Given my career, I thought it fitting. I jokingly said to my friend, “I’ll bet your daughter will think of me as crazy aunt Rachel, the one who always gives her those old-fashioned things instead of the latest reading gadgets.”

While I will always be an avid supporter of print books, in the end, the reading’s the thing, regardless of the medium. Growing up listening to and reading stories greatly shaped the person I am today. I cherish the craft of writing and a well-told story. And ultimately, it determined my career path.

What was your favourite story growing up? Do you enjoy reading today? Print or online? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Namaste 🙂

Rachel

 

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Responses

  1. I used to love the William Brown books. For a small boy he seems to have life pretty well summed up

    • I never read those but would still love to check them out!

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  3. Wow! Could I ever relate to your sentiments in this post. My favourite book as a child was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I think it was the first ‘big’ book that I tackled, but many others followed. Reading has been a daily habit for me since the age of 7 or so. I just have to have a book. I am a great fan of the Roseau Public Library in Dominica, where my reading tastes have truly evolved. I am now reading genres I would have turned my nose up at years ago. The collection is small – but very diverse and endlessly fascinating. I am still hanging on to hard copies. I haven’t caved in yet to electronic versions, if the “real” physical copy exists!

    • I’m very much the same, Gwen! I still love holding a “real” book.

  4. There are too many stories for me to count! I was a huge fan of Judy Blume and Roald Dhal, but also R.L. Stine, and lots of classics (like Black Beauty and My Friend Flicka). Oh and Anne of Green Gables, of course. I read everything I could get my hands on.

    I haven’t re-read though – that’s definitely something I need to try! Thanks for the idea 🙂

    • I was always too scared to read R.L. Stine haha. Yeah, re-reading puts the old favourites in a whole new perspective!

  5. Honestly speaking, I only read Comic books in my childhood! 😀
    But as far as the ‘serious reading’ is concerned, I remember reading a Spiritual book (which my father frequently brings from the Spiritual Guru he follows) when I was 16. It was meant for children only and it basically talked about different realms and creatures on earth and how the whole universe is connected by a single thread of life. I really liked it and then onward I was into reading such spiritual stuff! I’ve never been fond of reading fantasy or fiction, but I understand many people enjoy it a lot! 😀

    • I still read Archie Comics 🙂 Sounds like a wonderful book – do you remember the name of it?

      • Actually these are some local books written in Hindi. The name of the book was “Aatma ka Safar” meaning ‘Journey of the soul’ in English. I’m afraid if such books can found elsewhere in the world, but you can try. 🙂

        This is the link of that Spiritual Group: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radha_Soami

        Hope it helps!

      • Thank you! 🙂

  6. I was obsessed with books as a child, I’d read them over breakfast even! I loved the Famous Five books and later Sweet Valley High. I would definitely install reading if I had a child 🙂

    • Ooh Sweet Valley – I definitely got into those for a while! Breakfast is my favourite time to read 🙂

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  8. Hello! I visit from countingducks. 🙂 I just wanted to chime in and say that the first book I read was also ‘Narnia’ when I was about ten. I had a collection of six books I believe but once I read about Lucy enter the wardrobe, I was hooked. I will never forget her love for Aslan. Maybe that’s when I fell in love with books. C.S. Lewis! So beautiful. Thanks for bringing back such a wonderful memory. I think one of the others in the set was Prince Caspian. Julie

  9. Hi Julie!

    Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Yes, such a beautiful story – it was one of my first experiences being able to “visit” another world, as a young reader.


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