I hold an intense love for fictional stories with memorable characters. And nothing is ever going to change that.
(I'll give you a briefing of my readerly-beginning...)
I've always been read to. When I was a kid, my mom would read to my brother and I before we went to sleep. We have many, many children's books - Bernestain Bears, Franklin the turtle, Princesses Are Not Quitters, it's sequel, and Barbie books among that lot (Yep! A few...). In my first year of school or so, I was read the Little House on the Prairie series. I began writing (and sometimes copying!) short stories on the computer when I was maybe seven or eight years old. I'm guessing eight is more likely. I would print them out and hand them to my friends at church. (Whether they all read them or not... I actually really don't know, now that I'm thinking about it.)
I've been writing for years. I mean, I went through phases of 'I want to be a singer' (which is still a dream of mine) or 'I want to be an astronaut' (this was really big in my eyes after I had watched, for the first time, Space Camp. The other day my younger brother said, on this subject, "Because you thought it was so cool to be almost dead." Haha! Seriously!? But, honestly, if you've seen the movie, you know what he means. He also mentioned never wanting to be an astronaut! I was a loner in the respect. ;) I guess the adventure and excitement inspired and intrigued me.). I've wanted to be a fashion designer, too. And an actress (still want to).
But the phases have done just what phases do. They've...faded. I was born with the desire to write ingrained into me. I may not have seen it for a while, but it was there all along.
When I was ten years old, I went into a Borders bookstore with my mom, my sister, and my younger brother. We shopped in there for quite while, and I ended up finding three novels that I wanted to get. Mom bought them for me. And I devoured them. (I think. I mean, I was ten, so devoured might not be the right term. I don't remember how fast I read them.)
Ever since then, I've been reading. And I love it. A series that had a big impact on my reader-ship was the A Life of Faith series, originally written by Martha Finley, and updated or rewritten or based on her original works. I adored that series. It's what I owe my love of the Victorian era to. It was my introduction to the time of tea and horse-drawn carriages and hoop-skirts. Over the course of a few years I greedily read many of the books. Beginning (I love how this happened...) with two books from the Violet series, Violet's Bold Mission and Violet's Perplexing Puzzles. I picked them up at a second-hand bookstore that we were donating a bucket-full of books to. I spied those two hardbacks sitting on the shelf in the small kids' section that the store boasted. And that's when it started. I now own all twenty-four A Life of Faith novels and adore the Millie Keith books the most of the lot. I really do still love many of the Millie books, and many of the characters. So very much.
Over the years since then, I've broadened my scope and read fantasy, classical works, contemporary, a western, a thriller (ONE, people. Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker. And, true to its genre, it was thrilling. ;)), biographies, more historical fiction of different sorts, and even a few sci-fi novels. The conclusion to this rambling? I love fiction. I love stories. I love reading.
And, one of the best things about story-worlds? The message you can portray through the characters and their individual journeys. Sometimes, life is too messy to clearly see things. But when we read a book about a character who's going through something very similar in structure as we are, we pick up on things and see different outcomes and we're encouraged. The way God's grace can shine through made-up people is really incredible! Books can change you. They make you laugh, they bring you to tears, and they wrap you up in a world so unlike your own that you can't help but be fascinated. You get to see things from someone's point of view who may be completely opposite you in personality. It's an amazing experience, and I'm never giving it up! Reading takes you on a journey. It's an adventure. And don't we all long for adventure, in some way or another?
Books make an impact. I've been touched by books, and I want to touch others with my own someday. I do wholeheartedly believe God can use novels to touch us and reach us and help us along. Give us a glimpse of something utterly beautiful and make us wonder.
And besides... Reading is just fun. Seriously! For some reason it has become one of my favorite things to do. I even dedicated a Pinterest board to the hobby.
And I am so glad!
What book has impacted you in some way? What were your 'readerly-beginnings'? I'd definitely like to know!