Reading is a love affair. Okay, it’s a lot of other things too like being able to follow the layout of putting toys together, getting the news, ordering at a restaurant, knowing where to catch your flight but the love part of reading comes with a book. You read a book for your own personal enjoyment. It’s a relationship. It’s all about you and the book and nothing else matter. Have you ever finished a book and felt sad it was over?
That’s what happens when you love a book so much that it draws you deep inside you’re no longer sitting in your chair eating junk food. You’re suddenly in Africa, fighting a war, in the mountains, at the seaside or the bakery with friends.
What was the first time you felt this way? Can you remember the book where you were one with the characters and doing what they were doing? Did you feel cold in the snow, hot in the south in August? Did you get hungry reading the dinner party scene or suddenly crave a cup of tea because the characters where having a tea party?
My love affair with books started with Nancy Drew. I grew up in the Mad Menera when the world belonged to guys and girls didn’t have sports teams, and only went to college to be nurses or teachers. Law firms didn’t hire women, women weren’t stock brokers or engineers or doctors. They were the nurses.
When I read Nancy Drew my guy world blew apart. Nancy did everything. She drove a sports car, went to college, was smart and clever and humble and she was the one who got the job done. She pulled out her flashlight and went into old houses, dark caves, scary woods no matter what the danger. I loved that she sleuthed not just for mystery sake but to help others in trouble and didn’t go whining to some guy to save me.
After reading Nancy Drew I was braver and wanted adventure and it carried though my whole life. I asked more questions, went to college when my parents didn’t want me to and I actually did work in the stock market when it was pretty much a guy thing.
Nancy Drew was not only a terrific read for an eight-year old but she gave me a path for life. So what about you? What was the very first book that drew you in where you were part of the setting, the danger, the romance? Where you actually became one of the characters?
When I read Murder on the Orient ExpressI truly felt as if I were on the train. When I read Gone With the WindI thought Damn those Yankees and I live in Ohio and am indeed a Yankee. I could feel the heat when Atlanta burned and felt hungry when Scarlett felt hungry.
The first time I read The Christmas CarolI think I actually saw the ghosts. When I read Jurassic ParkI was so afraid I had to remind myself to breathe and no there were no dinosaurs outside in the back yard.
Are there books that have affected you this way and what was the very first one? Is there a book like Nancy Drew that changed your life like Nancy did mine? I hope so. This is the romance of books, when they become part of us, part of who we are and we love it.