My earliest memory is of escaping into a book. I wasn’t always the outgoing person I am today. I was a shy, introverted child. I spent most of my time alone. Well, not really alone. I had my books and the worlds inside the pages and the characters that populated those worlds. The happiest day of my young life was when I was old enough for a library card all of my own, because that meant I could take out seven books a week from the town library.
So every Saturday morning I would nag my mom to take me to the library so I could pick out my seven book for the week. My mom would browse for a book for herself too. While she did I would dig through the card catalog looking for Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Crime and Adventure. All the kind of things to thrill a young boy’s imagination.
We would be home by noon and I would settle in on the sofa upstairs and begin to read and by dinnertime on Sunday I would have read all seven books and would have to be satisfied by my school’s rather more sparse library until the next weekend rolled around. In a way that was a good thing because it forced me to read a wider selection of books because the selection was geared to a very different audience. In the end I read everything in my school library and a vast swathe of the town library.
My love of books and reading has never waned since. I am a voracious reader and I will devour almost anything on any topic. I think it is this adoration of the worlds I find in the pages of books that has driven me to try to tell my own stories. The ability that writers have to tell their tales is frankly astonishing and something I have always envied. I try each time to let the story out and somehow what was perfect in my head gets lost on the way to being the words on a page. That doesn’t stop me from trying and I am not sure I could even if I wanted to.
I will always glory in a book. All the adventures in the universe captured for me to live and relive over and over again. But ask me what my favorite books are and that will vary day to day. Ask me what I think you should read and I will want to have a talk about what you have read already. Who you are and the things that inspire you tell me what I think you might like to read. There are a few books I have suggested so far to Lillith as we navigate our new relationship together and sharing books with her that I think will have an effect on her just as they had an effect on my brings me great pleasure. What have I suggested so far? Well, obviously The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. The Talisman by Peter Straub and Steven King. and the second book in that series Black House. I have suggested a few more and I can’t wait until she has read them to see if they inspire the same feelings in her as they did in me. I also look forward to reading things that she suggests because that will help me know her better.
I am not precious, or snobby about what I read. I don’t believe that a book needs to have won awards or gotten amazing reviews to be good, all I care is that I open the book and if it captures me, well then it is a good book even if I am the only one who likes it. I don’t care about genre, a romance or an erotic book can be every bit as engaging as my favorite science fiction stories.
So don’t ask me what I like, tell me what you like and I will tell you what I think you might enjoy that you haven’t read yet. Then we can know each other better. I think, that for me, that the only regret that I will have at the end of my life is that I didn’t say I love you enough to those that I love and that I didn’t get to read the next great book that was written the day that I died.