In my short 19 years of life about 10 of those have been spent with my nose constantly in a book. Five more of those years have been spent with a nose partly in a book. The rest of the time was spent coming out of the womb and growing from 8lbs to a toddler that can run without falling down.
My mom would take me to the library as often as once a week. When I was still a young reader, I would collect as many picture books as my mom would let me grab. The Henry & Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant was one of my favorite series. They were simple tales about a kid and his dog. Also popular were the Frog & Toad stories by Arnold Lobel.
Then I got into chapter books. I loved The Boxcar Children series created by Gerturde Wagner. Benny and his chipped pink cup charmed me. The leatership abilites of the two older kids, Henry and Jessie, helped my young brain to be confident that they would previal.
Pretty soon I was into bigger books. I would check out Frank Peretti’s The Cooper Kids Adventure Series. Franklin W. Dixon provided me with heart-stopping detective stories with the Hardy Boys series. Also very influential when still a pre-teen was C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. I devoured that series numberous times. It provided a gateway into my already healthy imagination.
Then there was Agatha Christie. In my mind, she is still the greatest mystery auther to write books. I read so many of her books it’s not even funny. Her stories were classy, yet full of suspence. The endings were brilliant. She didn’t have to resort to using sex between main characters to try and gain readers. Her best known book is “And Then There Were None” and also a personal favorite of mine.
My freshman year of highschool got me into science fiction, especially Isaac Asimov (I loved the Foundation series) and Frank Herbert (I read the entire Dune books). Sophmore year introduced me to fantasy, with the likes of Raymond E. Feist and Piers Anthony demanding my reading time. I regret those Piers Anthony books, though. Too sexually suggestive. One of the greatest series I read was The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I am still fanatical about that sci-fi, brit humor series.
Then, my junior year, I got into the classics. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky was a greatly beloved book. Chesapeake by James A. Michener was an amazing fictional look at the devolopement of the Chesapeake Bay. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair showed me how truth can be wrapped around a basic fiction storyline to cause change.
Now, with my job (ironically at a bookstore) I don’t have the time to read like I used to. The best thing I’ve read recently has been the comic strips in the newspaper. However, those books, and ones like them, have gotten me to where I am now and for that I am grateful.
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