Friday, August 5

Follow Friday: 8/5

Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).

Well, I do remember the first books that got me into reading as a teenager.  It was the fear street series by R.L. Stine.  Looking back I don't quite get the appeal but they worked for me at the time.  After those books ran dry I started looking around.  Naturally, through assignments in English I read some classics.  That was the next area of books that fed my reading need.  My most favorite from the classics is Jane Eyre.  I have owned a copy since high school and have read it so many times it feels like a friend.  I felt bereft when I misplaced it during college.  But somehow the copy found its way back to me even though someone had marked it up a bit.  I don't know that any one book has changed my life but I am sure they have helped to shape who I am.  Books are mostly an escape for me.  I use them to calm my troubled heart or rest my weary mind.  I feel as if they can pull all the unwanted feelings and concerns from my mind leaving me a bit more ready to face the world.  On top of that I believe that when reading these books I get to have more control.  I can decide how much energy to invest in the characters and thereby feel more or less emotion.  Real life isn't so easy.  Plus, if things are going horribly wrong in a book I can close it walk away and imagine a happy ending for the characters.  Besides when I read a book I become a non entity.  I exist as an observer not someone with troubles of their own.  It isn't until I leave the book that I become a person again.  The books provide a temporary haven of comfort.