Just a quick post today to talk about a new book, that’s really an old friend.
Throughout the years I’ve gone back and forth trying to pinpoint how, and why, I became a “reader”. What was it that made me love books so much?
As a small child I remember my mother reading to my sister and me; in fact, I still have a photo of the three of us sitting on the living room sofa, a book in my mother’s lap. As I learned to read myself, I read everything in sight. I would pore over the backs of cereal boxes as I crunched my Cheerios, and every new school year I would read my English books and Social Studies & History books – cover to cover – within the first week. I was also very lucky to have a full set of encyclopedias to pick up and read at random, and learn about anything that caught my eye that day – I think that was probably the beginning of my love of research.
But what was it that turned me from reading things in snippets and bits & pieces, to someone who loved holding a book, and disappearing into a full-fledged story? Well, I think I have finally figured it out – I know where it all began, and like all great stories, it begins with…
Once upon a time – I was introduced to my school library. Now I can’t remember how old I was, only that it was a long, long time ago, but the first book that I checked out of that small school library was “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell. I’m not even sure how I found it, but I can bet it was because it had a picture of a horse on the cover. What I do remember, however, was that I fell in love with the story; and I read it over and over throughout my childhood.
Narrated by Black Beauty himself, the book chronicles all of the good times, the adventures, and even the bad times of his life. I can vividly remember how this book – for the first time – made me feel emotions about a fictional character (and a horse, no less) that was brought to life in the pages of a book. I think that’s when it clicked! Books could bring me to places that I would never visit; introduce me to characters that feel like friends; and put me in the middle of a mystery that I can solve along with the amateur sleuth. Books truly opened up my world. And it all began with a book about a horse.
So, what prompted me to think back to my fond memories of Black Beauty? It was a simple Facebook post from The Folio Society. They just issued their beautiful new version of Black Beauty, and I knew I had to add it to my collection – because as weird as this seems – I never actually owned the book. It was always a book that I borrowed from the library. But, that has been remedied, and I’d like you to take a look at this gorgeous version of my beloved “Black Beauty”
So what was your moment? What was that first book that clicked – that made you realize that the love of reading was with you forever? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Happy Reading!