Saturday, December 15, 2012

Learning to Love Books

I learned to love books a very long time ago; further back than most people normally would.  However, this post's idea came from The New Dork Review of Books post from today.  He wrote about his love of books and how he came to love them so much; firstly posting it in Book Riot, then his own blog.  So, I thought to run with the idea and post about how I came to love books.

But, you know, thinking about it and talking about it are two different things.  I could think about how much I love books all day; but having to talk about it?  Well, that could take all of a month.  I don't know what it is about books that makes me go weak at the knees.  It could be their odour (for old books) or their smell (for new books).  It could be the author and their style, the particular series the books are from - and I've decided to read - or it could be that I've been collecting books on a particular author for years and just can't stop.

However, what you want to know is what got me started in to my passion for books.  I do remember learning to read; but that's not it.  I remember going to the school library at primary school whenever my friends and I had fights and I didn't like what they said to me.  I'd hide there, in amongst the only things that didn't criticise me.  But pretty soon, my friends found me; and I hated that.  I also hid at the local library when I wasn't at school; and that library was only a 5 minute walk from my house - how fortunate is that!
I'd read when I was sick with a cold, when I was at parties with my parents, when we were at restaurants... well pretty much anywhere.  And it was something of an escape mechanism I used because I wasn't a well kid; and when children are sick and are constantly seeing doctors, having blood tests, going to hospitals and having their lives interrupted by these unusual trips here and there, they tend to find an escape.  Mine was reading and books.  I read just about anything I could get my hands on.  And you know, when things get really tough in my life, I still do.  I've been known to sit and read the ingredients on the side of a shampoo bottle, what was in the laundry liquid and how to wash my favourite black skirt.  And that was just today.  I didn't read a book; I read anything with words so I didn't have to think about losing my pet budgie.  I have always done this since I was kid to work through hard and tough times in my life - weird but true.

Reading has become more of an escape mechanism in the last decade or so.  Since I've left school, I've loved reading more and more.  There's nobody telling me what I can and can't read (as if I'd take anyone's opinions over what I could read anyway; my parents didn't stop me from reading what I wanted).  Now, don't get me wrong, I had some great teachers at school who recommended some wonderful books to me; and the set reading was brilliant too.  However, my teachers also didn't turn around and tell me that what I read in my spare time was wrong; and neither did anyone else.
So, I found myself picking up books I had always wanted to read and getting right into them.  I loved reading just about anything; from non-fiction to fiction, romance (which I normally found horrible) to horror, I was reading as much as I could and loving it.  And the best thing about it all was that I beginning to get into more complex books because of one website:  Bookcrossing.  This site - and its members - pushed me to cross over some boundaries and work on my reading habits; that the books I was reading were keeping me in a rut.  So, over the last few years, I read books I didn't normally read, found myself in genres that were unusual for me to be in and really stretched the good ol' imagination.  Now, reading has become an absolute pleasure to me.  I'm not escaping anything, I enjoy it as much as the next person and that's how it's supposed to be.

So, how did you come to love books and reading?  Love to know how you got into reading; be it the way I did or another way perhaps?  Well, until my next post, happy reading!      

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