Acolyte of the Written Word

I read my first real book at eleven or twelve. I’m defining ‘real book’ as a book longer than 300 pages. I’d done my share of reading adolescent literature, but up to that point books had existed primarily as a school-learning exercise. 300 pages was 200 more than I was used to reading.

My first book was a fantasy novel, the fifth in an on-going series. It wasn’t a terribly good book; against the blank canvas of my experience, however, it proved interesting enough. I finished it feeling over-full; I felt as if I was trying to digest an unusually large meal. I was stretching myself, testing unused muscles, and I spent the next day or two trying to figure out of it I liked the taste of it.

Apparently, I did. I was now a Reader.

The floodgates opened. I went back and started reading that series from beginning to end. It took me a while, but I was hooked and stubborn. My father was also a reader (it was one of his books that got me hooked) and we had a few bookshelves filled with a miscellany of sci-fi, fantasy, and spy novels. It took me about a year to go through those and then I started on my mother’s books (Perry Mason, Sherlock Holmes, and even a few Sidney Sheldon books).

I got a library card and went through the local library’s fantasy section in six months. I branched out.

When my parents surprised us kids with a road-trip to Disney World, I walked down the main boulevard with my nose in a book. I read at restaurants. I read at lunch at school. At college, I read while I walked between classes.

I still read. Not quite as much, but enough to garner comments from those who see me reading at my desk or while waiting in line. It’s not about escape for me; I like my life. Reading books is relaxing. They entertain me, engage my mind, expose me to new ideas – and grant me the knowledge necessary for world domination.

Alright, maybe not so much the last part. But it was through books that I became an acolyte of the written word.

I write because I read.

6 Responses to “Acolyte of the Written Word”

  1. Viviane Says:

    I got my first library card when I was 6 years old. I can remember the librarian coming to first grade and telling us about how we could borrow books.

  2. lea Says:

    In some book i read as a preteen, the heroine of the book “devoured books like a wolf” .. and that became my goal. I read constantly … except in most lines. Other conversations are too distracting.

  3. MangledTulip Says:

    In class, head down on the desk, book in my lap. Through the halls, somehow managing to deftly sidestep the “madding crowd” between classes. At stoplights, while driving.

  4. Elle Says:

    There wasn’t a TV in my house growing up, so I started and reading and never really stopped, since then I’ve had two jobs in libraries, its great you get to see everything befroe other people can come in and swipe them, hehe. Do you have a favorite?

  5. wordslut Says:

    Ahh … Something else we have in common.

  6. Christina Says:

    My parents read me stories from the Book of Grim’s fairytales.
    I purchased and have about 20 NancyDrew mysteries..
    I have 4 RobertLudlum novels…He’s deceased but someone is writing for him..His books got really deep in thought – one couldnt just skim thru.
    Ive read my full of “chicklit” books…some very good; some very bad.
    Ive read and have some books on ‘Erotica”; some good/some crapola.
    Now Im interested in reading about the History of the free world – got any suggestions????

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