I love books. I love to read them, collect them, look at them, hold them, line them up on my shelves. In the old stories, mansions had conservatories, libraries and billiard rooms; I don’t need a mansion, but I do need a library. With a grand piano in the corner. It should also have a gleaming granite floor, polished cherry floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a bay window with a window seat like the one Jane Eyre retreated to as a child.
Visits to the local library were a staple of my childhood, and I steadily worked my way through the years from The Boxcar Children to The Hardy Boys to Anne of Green Gables to The Lord of the Rings. Classical authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens cemented my love of language. Characters like Sherlock Holmes and Edmond Dantès had a profound impact on my rampant imagination, and soon I dreamed of creating my own bestselling novels.
However, as time went on, the literary stereotype of the struggling penniless writer seemed less and less appealing to me, and the success of Jo March or Anne Shirley less and less likely. And then I found out that there were people called editors, who fixed what other people wrote. My path became clear, and the rest is history.
Nowadays I don’t have much time for leisure reading — mostly I’m perusing manuals and policies for work or parenting blogs for self-development. But I fondly remember all the tomes I enjoyed growing up.
Books had a tremendous influence on my childhood. Tell me, what were some of your favourite or most formative reads?
Some of my favourites growing up:
- Little Dorrit
- Les Misérables
- The Count of Monte Cristo
- The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes
- Jane Eyre
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
- Old Yeller
- The Lord of the Rings
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