Thursday, June 21, 2012
Books That Changed Me
Posted by Will Knight at 12:00 AM
Sometimes I look back at my teenage self, and it makes me want to slap the back of my younger self’s head. I’m sure you get that feeling too, 'cause if you don't then I’m a weirdo. Not that I’m not weird in other aspects... but I digress.
The reason for this is that I used to hate reading. Oh, I can hear gasps! Yeah. Basically, I sucked. My most disliked subjects in school were – first up – Math, because math is evil *whisperandIgotreallybadgradeswhisper*. Evil! They should make you do fractions and calculus and all that crap instead of waterboarding and pliers and probes... but I digress. Another one was Spanish (Spanish is my native language, olé!) because it meant reading books. I used to not even try to read them and got constant Fs and Ds on book tests. Not only did I suck because I didn't like to read, but I also was kinda stupid. All that changed one time when I was walking down the street, and I saw The Fellowship of the Ring for 4 bucks. For some reason, I had to have it. My family wasn't in the best of economic conditions, and 4 bucks meant something even if now it doesn't, but I had to get it. So I did. And it changed my life. I read it in one day, and when I finished, I read it again. I was hooked.
Hobbits, elves, rangers, GANDALF! OHMYGODGANDALFISSOAWESOME! Jejeje. There was no going back. I didn’t have the money to get any more books, so I kept rereading The Fellowship on and off until I could get The Two Towers. Fantasy made me its willing servant. No going back for me. And then I found Sci-fi.
Dune was another big change in my life. In part because of the writing and story, which are awesome, but mainly because of Mentats. It actually changed the way I thought and faced life. Dune's Mentats made me think (not something I had very much practice at) before I acted, before I spoke. They taught me to not over think also, which is as important if not more.
Books were an escape for me during troubled times. A window that let me look at other worlds, filled with magic, creatures, sword fights, world shattering, and world saving. When you’re having a bad time, a book can rescue you for a time. Make you feel better. Make you smile. Even when you’re having a good time in your life, a good book just makes it better. Fire up your imagination and help a PI wizard to battle the Red Court of vampires, pick up your sword and go escort a caravan across continents, engage your cruiser’s impeller drive and go save the empire. Anything. Everything. Books are amazing things.
As for many of you, books changed my life. And it got me to thinking, how did books affect other people’s lives. How about you, fellow reader? Which book changed you and how?
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Thanks for sharing that. I wish I had loved The Fellowship of the Ring the first time I read it. Tolkien was tough for me until I got to college. Thankfully, I love him now.ReplyDelete
I really have trouble pointing to any specific book that changed my life. Books are basically the fabric of my life. Reading has been a part of my life since I was born.
When I was a baby and child, my parents read to me all the time (well, not all the time, but probably every day). As I got older, they had me read to them. I've never stopped reading. In fact, I read more now than ever.
Without books, I don't know who I would be. They've been my friends when I had none. They've reminded me that I'm not alone, and they've given me perspective on how other people think.
If I've said it once, I've said it one hundred times - The Hobbit is why I learned how to read. I didn't get to LoTR until high school. *ponders* Yeah, I was a teen. I bought them all at a pawn shop. :-D I was working fourteen hour days, so it was a welcome escape at night.ReplyDelete
I don't think I could do a "Books That Changed Me" post for myself because I'm like you, Christina. I've *always* read. I will say that my outlook on life widened a bit after I moved away from only Piers Anthony and similar authors. Maybe I can thank Stephen King for that one. *shrugs*
Books were the same for me. I don't think I would have ever understood other people at all if I wasn't a reader. Imagine me more socially awkward than I am already. *shudders*
I don't have a specific book in mind, I've been reading since I was a very little kid. :)ReplyDelete
My parents separated and divorced before I could walk and talk.. so one thing that I *DO* recall vividly, is that my dad would buy me a book every single week when it was my turn to see him. (Best parenting strategy? LOL probably not) That definitely fostered my love of books.. and the fact that my parents always had books on hand.
I was 11 when I wanted to see Jurassic Park and the deal was I had to read the book before I could go see the movie. I remember being REALLY excited, my first *adult* book! Whoopee! I read some more Crighton before moving on to various authors.
There's nothing quite like books. They can take you anywhere, to any time in history (or hey the future).. you can be anyone you'd like. There is no limit :) Plus, I've met some awesome authors and fellow booklovers, what's not to love about that?