Reading books has always been something I’ve loved ever since I was a little kid. I quickly moved away from picture books at a young age, preferring stories with more words and just a few illustrations that appeared like a little gift every now and then. During the summer months, you’d find me at the local library nearly every week, picking up new books to read and returning the ones I’d just finished. I was able to read extremely quickly, so books didn’t last very long. But their stories stayed with me, each one creating a new place to visit again and again in my mind. As I grew older, my love of books continued and my bookshelves began to fill up. Each book was like a little trophy that I’d won by completing it. In my mind, I would make a silent promise to read it again one day, but with so many new stories to peruse that’s rarely ever happened. But just seeing reading the spine of a book will bring back bits of story, time, and place of an adventure I once enjoyed. One day still, perhaps I’ll return there.
My childhood fascination with the library lead me to begin college as an English major. I specifically wanted to be a journalist at first, but realized my penchant for imagination was stronger than my love of facts. I wanted to invent places and characters, not simply describe what was in front of me. I took a creative writing course that was probably one of my favorite classes of all time. My instructor came up with really fun exercises that made me actually want to show up to class, and more importantly, write more. She gave us the assignment of writing a short allegory and in my enthusiasm, I went home and wrote the first eight chapters of a book. I choose a library as my theme in honor of my childhood days spent there. Next class, I asked her what I should do and she smiled and suggested I simply turn in one chapter for the assignment and that would suffice. I choose Chapter 7, but I’m not entirely sure why, and although it was a fun read, but no masterpiece, I ended up publishing it years later with the admittedly odd title of Miser Snoot And The Bibliomaniacs.
I didn’t provide the illustrations, as I hadn’t started drawing yet. That would come next, as I decided to switch majors and pursue a Studio Art degree instead, with an emphasis in computer animation. Still not traditional art or painting, but thankfully, I had to take a couple drawing classes, which I absolutely loved. But, I never drew anything after that, as my career took a very different turn. Reading was something that remained a constant, however, and it’s still the same today. Though I have far less time to read these days, I can still manage to devour a book every now and then. I still love getting lost in stories of people and places that seem vaguely familiar, yet totally new and unexpected. Great stories become things that we ourselves can adapt and feel like they’re part of our own lives. No matter how incredible the tale, there are always bits that make us feel like we’ve lived something quite similar once upon a time. For these reasons, and so many more I can’t describe right now, I’ll always love the relaxing thrill of curling up with a book.
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