Sunday, June 21, 2015

Childhood Books and Writing

So, I've been thinking about books a lot lately.... (Okay, that's lame- I think about books everyday, sometimes all day. Reading books, reviewing books, how my book is doing with sales, how my other book is doing with editors, how my third book is coming along, friends' books, books, books, etc.)

But I've been thinking in particular about the books I read as a kid. The books that really stuck with me, that even now I can remember everything about. Maybe this is because we're getting ready to tackle bookcase cleaning tomorrow (Yes, this is monumental. Like, Olympic sport monumental. We have literally thousands of books...- there's going to be a blog post on this event, I promise), or maybe it's just the nostalgia of summer setting in. Either way, childhood books have been on my mind.

I read a lot as a kid. A LOT. But here I'm thinking of the books that changed me. That I can remember not only the story of, but the actual experience of reading the book. Where I was. What I felt. Who I thought I was at the time. Those books that I read over and over from the age of seven to ten or so, when I was really coming into my own as a reader, and as a dreamer who would one day become a writer. Books like The Call of the Wild and Where the Red Fern Grows. Bridge to Terabithia and Island of the Blue Dolphins. Hatchet. You know, THOSE books.

The one book that stands out the most for me was actually one that I read in school in the 4th grade. Roald Dahl's Danny the Champion of the World. I read it for class and then I read it again. And again. And again. This was my gateway to every other Dahl book that I immediately scoured the library for- James and the Giant PeachThe B.F.G., The Witches and so on- but I always came back to Danny. It was a book that contained such magic for me and made me fall in love with the art of storytelling.

I haven't done this in a while, but I'm opening up the floor here and would love for you to share: what books from your childhood can you distinctly remember? What books made you fall in love with writing or reading or just reminded you that a story is a world that you can carry around you? What books have you or will you pass on to your own children? And why?

Happy reading!

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