I love reading and consistently have. I fondly remember eagerly reading as a young girl. I would bury my head in a book and get taken away into a new world. A world that originally only existed in between the pages, but which came alive as I began visualizing it. I visited enchanted lands on The Magic Faraway Tree, went on adventures with the Famous Five, and solved mysteries with The Secret Seven, Moses and Nancy Drew.
With age, I was typically drawn to other books like the Sweet Valley High series which was irresistible to my teenage self. I also discovered successful comics like The Adventures of Tin Tin, Asterix, and the Archie series. There were many other titles I read during this period whose names am not able to recall, either because they were not as popular, or they were standalone and not part of a series. I vaguely recall some hardcover books that I discovered during the one-hour library session that we had in my primary school which featured young girls and their love for horses and riding. No one else even perused these books and there were in pristine condition. Whereas I scarcely remember their titles or authors, I know I found them very interesting. This was to the surprise of my classmates who considered them extremely serious, long and boring. Which they were not, at least not to me.
Other books that I enjoyed reading though many of my friends did not were classics like – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Little Women; Pride and Prejudice; Jane Eyre; Wuthering Heights; Oliver Twist; A Tale of Two Cities; Treasure Island, and The Three Musketeers. Looking back, I am not totally certain what initially drew me to these publications. I was slowly becoming a voracious reader, and if in print, I was going to read it!
Over time, I must have read over 500 Mills and Boon and Harlequin Romance series books! I honestly found them irresistible, even as I typically began finding the familiar plot rather predictable. I would save up my pocket money in High School, so I could go purchase a couple of these books when the school closed. Thankfully, I also discovered espionage and conspiracy genres as authored by Tom Clancy, Jeffrey Archer, and Robert Ludlum. Never has an excellent publication thrilled me as the Matarese Circle invariably did!
During my prime High School years, I read esteemed African writers like Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and A Man of the People. Also Ngugi Wa Thiong’o – A grain of Wheat and The River Between. I should have read all their books. Things Fall Apart was required reading for our exam, and we analyzed it thoroughly in class. I suspect that I did not fully appreciate the message in the other books by these literary giants, possibly due to my maturity and general awareness at the time. I therefore intend to re-read them together with the rest of their collection. It will most likely be a different, insightful learning experience.
This looks like a great reading list. Yet I have scarcely touched on what I read post-high school after discovering John Grisham and Robin Cook. Nor did my genuine love of Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins, Agatha Christie, Lee Child, James Patterson, and Paulo Coelho even come through! Or that time I borrowed a fascinating volume of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and worked through it, story by story, instead of the business book I should have been reading. Or how I am currently reading A Song of Ice and Fire after watching Game of Thrones! Nor how The Richest Man in Babylon and Who Moved My Cheese are my favorite books of all time! I now realize it is not possible to list all the authors I love and all the books I have read over time!
Possibly, what this means is that, invariably, I have lots of essential material for a lively blog on books. My reading habit has stayed comfortably with me, though it suffered a bit of hiatus at times due to extremely busy periods at work combined with after work studies! I continue reading. I love books. Books have defined me and will undoubtedly continue to do so. I proudly accept the noble title of ‘bookworm’ with no apologies. Not even to the dear auntie who always shakes her head in wonder, saying what she recalls of me as an adolescent was the book in my hand! I take it as an ideal compliment, though it is understandable she does not get how a young girl could genuinely enjoy reading so much!
Ergo, as long as authors keep writing, I will keep reading and will indeed re-read what they wrote many years ago. Mostly to see what new lessons I can glimpse that may have subtly escaped me then. And I will continue connecting with other readers to share ideas and get tips on wonderful new books to add to my collection! And who knows, maybe one remarkable day, eventually write a brilliant book too!