When I was younger I was a real book worm. In fact I remember one of my English teachers commenting on this during a Parent-Teacher evening. She said that although she didn’t see me reading in school much (most of my reading was at home in the evenings and weekends) she could tell I read a lot based on my writing and the fact that I would always carry on reading whichever book we were reading and reviewing in class while she stopped to discuss the chapter or paragraph with everyone else. I didn’t need to stop to discuss the chapter to prove my understanding of it; she knew I understood it, but would have liked for me to stop reading and engage in the conversation so she could hear my interpretation of it – but no, I would carry on reading silently and she would have to wait for my essay on the book to get my interpretations and thoughts about the story.
As a youngster, I remember loving Roald Dahl. Matilda was always my favorite and I’ve read it cover to cover multiple times. I read every Sweet Valley Twins book I could get my hands on (Sweet Valley were the ‘thing’ for girls back then!). The Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine were a must read for every 13 year old, my local library had these in their ‘teens’ section. I remember asking one of the librarians if I could read one book before my 13th and she crushed me by telling me no.. I had to wait to turn 13! As I got a bit older I moved to the Point Horror books and loved the thrill and mystery of these horror fictions.
I read my first Danielle Steele book, Malice, when I was around 15 or 16, a friend of mine borrowed the book to me. It was around this age that I wanted to become an author. I loved creative writing. I loved to read. I wanted to create something for a fellow book lover to love. Where that dream went I have no idea but I continued to read like my life depended on it…
It was around 17-ish that my sister introduced me to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels – I was hooked. What I’d give to have the entire selection! I had a new English teacher at this point and remember telling him I was reading Lee Child books and he looked at me as though I was lying to him. ‘Screw you’ I remember thinking and didn’t mention it to him again.
I still love to read but for one reason or another I haven’t read the way I used to – with that same passion – for quite a few years. Work and life get in the way, I don’t make the time to read. I’ve owned The Shining by Stephen King for years and picked it up to read multiple times but never got much past the opening interview. There’s no reason for this – it’s not that I’m not enjoying the book. I’ve watched the film and loved it and would love to read how an author as well regarded as Stephen King tells this story via words in a book for millions to enjoy.
Earlier this week I vowed to read The Shining – in it’s entirety this time. I’ve got a lot further than I have before (which wasn’t hard!) and am loving the book. There’s just a special unique magic in the writing, in which King so articulately builds upon each character and their strengths and weakness and brings this strange but loving family together to build one unit. I’m still reading, the best is yet to come, I know, but for the first time in a long time I’m truly gripped by a book and I can feel the passion making it’s return and a twitch to return to my own writing.