When I was young, my mother used to read to me. My sister and I would hurry through our nightly ritual of baths and teeth brushing, especially if there was a good book to read. We'd settle down in bed, blankets tucked around us and my mother would sit next to the bed and open the book. I can still hear her voice and cadence as she read. In moments my mind would soar, envisioning far lands and great adventure. I'd beg my mother to finish "Just one more chapter!", sometimes she would, sometimes not. She'd read books like Bed Knobs and Broomsticks (based on the movie), and Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers.
Thus, began my love affair.
I don't remember when my first visit to the library was. I do remember the feel of a book in my hands. The hard cover, the smell of the musty pages. Some picture books I loved were Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, Curious George by H.A. Ray, and Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. At that time my adoration was instinctive.
The exhilaration of reading my first chapter book clinched it. I read, Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now, my mother no longer read to me, instead she took me to the library. To this day, my heart leaps when I walk into a library, the quiet atmosphere, the rustle of pages, the smell of leather, and old paper. I sense now, what I sensed then...possibilities, opportunity, and the search for the good story. I was and still am never disappointed.
As I grew, so did my taste in books. I was captivated with Dragons of Pern series by Anne MacCaffery (Especially, Dragon Song & Dragon Singer), Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. (Yes, I did read contemporary books, but as you can see these really flavored my writing path.)
As I grew and hit my adolescence, I discovered Romance. Ah, the joy. Books, I'd never would have picked up before, I found enthralling. Would you believe I read Barbara Cartland? I read a lot of Harlequin Historicals- and for awhile that's all I focused on. The more I read the more I wanted. I discovered other books by authors such as Jude Deveraux, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Johanna Lindsey. (Can you see how my taste matured as I did?)
New authors have come on the scene for me: Charlaine Harris, Susan Sizemore, Anne Bishop, Garth Nix....I could go on and on.
My love affair of books and stories has never faltered, but only strengthened. It has never let me down. I get excited every time I open up a new book for the first time--it's like that first kiss! It is that love that has pulled me into writing to share the stories that have been inspired by a life time of reading.
Tell me, when do you remember the beginning of your own love affair with books? What were your favorite stories and authors as children? Adolescent? Adult?
What do you love the most about the books?
I love it ALL.