The best part about being a kid is believing anything is possible.
My daughter has recently discovered the magic of books. Before she goes to sleep I read her a book from the Dr. Seuss collection and she giggles at the rhyming words.
It’s an incredible gift to give a child the love of reading and my Aunty gave it to me. Every birthday and Christmas she would gift me a Classic hardback book dated and inscribed. I felt great pride as I added each one to my book collection, lovingly stacked by author and height on my dressing table ?
My imagination was stretched and sprinkled with fairy dust by Enid Blyton, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia), Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking), Michael Ende (The Neverending Story), E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web), Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)…
As I grew older I fell in love with the characters from Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden), Mark Twain. I loved the fierceness of characters like Jo in Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) and the sexual awakening of Judy Blume’s feisty protagonists.
I would connect so deeply with the characters that I would grieve the last page. That’s why I loved books in a series, I could imagine solving mysteries like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, having super cool best friends like The Babysitter’s Club, driving a Fiat Spider like the Wakefield Twins in Sweet Valley High, meeting a boy like Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables.
The written word became a passion of mine, I could tell if a book was going to be good by reading the blurb and the first page. I borrowed 10 books at a time from my local library. At school I studied Shakespeare alongside S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders), J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee. I found the thriller/suspense genre of V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic), Stephen King, Dean Koontz, enthralling.
I never judged a book by its cover, length or structure. The epic tale of Gone With The Wind was appreciated as much as more modern tales of debauchery & drama by Danielle Steel.
Time travel has always fascinated me, one book that truly captured my imagination as a young girl was Playing Beatie Bow, about a 14 year old girl who is transported back in time to 1873 in The Rocks, Sydney. Even later when I worked in the media in Sydney and met with clients in The Rocks I would walk the cobbled streets and remember the romance and magic of this book.
My Mum introduced me to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and the passionate love story between time-travelling Claire and her Scottish soldier husband. These books are addictive but time consuming.
Every day I read, it’s how I relax, when I read I can switch off and just become absorbed in the words, it recharges my creativity, even if it’s only an online newspaper or a tabloid magazine, there’s always a story to be found if you read between the lines ?
Please share your love of books & the authors who wrote them ✍?️