I remember reading book from the earliest age. Books were a staple in our household. My mother and my sister read constantly. Mostly mysteries, I think. My first books were things like THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER and THE JUNGLE BOOK. Books that took me to faraway and mysterious places. Books that stirred my imagination and made me create my own stories. As I grew into my teen years my reading expanded. In high school I read a YA romance called SEVENTEENTH SUMMER that to this day still stays with me. It was such a beautiful story of teenage love and what happens when summer is over. How we grow from such a relationship.
Older still I began to read the mysteries my family loved and as I read them I found myself getting lost in the wonderful stories. These were classic mysteries, like Ellery Queen and Nero Wolf and all the books by the master of suspense, Agatha Christie. From there it was a short step to the queens of romantic suspense, Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. Their books are such classic that they are now being reissued both in print and as ebooks, so new generations can enjoy them.
I’m still an avid reader as well as now a writer who loves creating stories. My tastes cover everything from romance to thrillers to paranormal. In the pages of every book I read or write I can lose myself in a new adventure, a new romance, a new experience. On a bad day when I need comfort I turn first to my books. Where would I be without them? Where would any of us be?
How would we learn about chemistry and economics and history and mathematics? How could we appreciate people like Shakespeare who have had a profound effect on theatre and drama or Emmanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud who have had a profound effect on our thinking?
Many, many years ago I saw a movie titled Fahrenheit 451. That’s the temperature at which paper burns. The movie was set in a world where the destruction of all books had been decreed, all opportunities for people to learn or think anything opposite of what the rulers dictated. But a dedicated group gathered all the books they could and carried them to a secret place. These people then memorized every book, reciting them to each other to instill them in their memories and pass them along to their children who, hopefully, would live in a different world where the books could be converted to readable material again.
That’s how important books were and are.
They are a refuge, an escape, a resource. Without books we’d have no libraries or book clubs or authors to share their ideas. Books are the food of the mind. Let’s keep feeding it.
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