Inspired Post – Please Comment


I just finished reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carolos Ruiz Zafon. Early in the book, the narrator writes: 

Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the fist book that finds its way into his heart.  Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later – no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget – we will return. For me those enchanted pages will always be the ones I found among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. 
My question for my readers – what are those pages for you?
I won’t pose a question that I don’t also answer. While I can’t give exact dates on the second two, these three were all read from age 18 – 20.
Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead in my 12th grade lit class was where I discovered critical discourse and fell in love.
When both my mom & brother read The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and we discussed it one weekend when we were all home, I learned how rewarding a good book discussion can be.
Through reading Possession by A.S. Byatt I gained a longing for reading good literature. 
So now I look forward to hearing from you! What was the first book that found its way into your heart?

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10 Replies to “Inspired Post – Please Comment

  1. I think for me it was my junior year of AP Literature when I read both Wuthering Heights and The Return of the Native. I was so wrapped up in the stories that I couldn’t put the books down…I was hooked! On a more informal note, one of my favorite recurring reading experiences in getting book recommendations from my sister and then having candid conversations over the phone lines (she is in Texas) about our favorites…we share a true love of books! – Amanda Gilbert

  2. Isn't that fun! My mom & I do the same thing. . .only the last time we talked about a book, we didn't have the same opinion. She HATED Time Traveler's Wife. . .it was a good discussion nonetheless.

  3. **I know I posted on FB, but wanted to post here too.**

    From childhood, The Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

    From high school, Emerson’s essays, The Catcher in the Rye and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    From college/adulthood, Bel Canto, House of Sand and Fog, Back When We Were Grownups and The Dive from Claussen’s Pier.

  4. I think for me reading Cold Sassy Tree was the point where I realized how much I loved reading. I do remember that when my Grandmother (yes, the one you have heard about:)) and I went shopping that I would get a toy and a book. She taught me from a very early age to love reading. My Mother also tells me that she memorized certain books that I loved because I wanted them read to me all the time. Elizabeth, this was a great question. It has made me think of so many memories! Mandy!

  5. Mandy, your post makes me want to give credit to the person who made me a “reader:” My Mom.

    When we were little, we were poor, but my mom took us to the public library every week, all year. In the summer, we joined the reading clubs. I read all the Nancy Drews (and the Hardy Boys!), Little House on the Prairie, Louisa May Alcott, Judy Blume. Books were an escape, a treasure, and became a love. It was one of the best things my mom ever did for us.

    Now that I am thinking about this, I wonder if the library is where by “book Nazi” rules started–after all, you cannot abuse a library book! 🙂

  6. Oh dear, let's not get Bunny started on her book Nazi rules! She (almost) cured me of reading in the tub!

    Bunny – thanks for repeating your post here!

    Thank, also, Mandy & Amanda – keep 'em coming, folks!

  7. Oh my gosh! Bunny, I was about to say the exact same thing! We didn’t have much money growing up either, and we also lived in the middle of nowhere, so we all made big trips to the library. I had my “100 books” certificate every summer, and I can remember so many times that me and my parents all woke up at 2:00 in the morning, still on the sofa and chairs in the living room, each with a book on our laps!!!! (My parents still do that)

    I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys too, Little House books, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. Probably the first children’s book to make a huge imprint was Charlotte’s Web. I loved it and cried so much when Charlotte died! (Don’t tell Jake that she died; I left that part out when I read to him when he was little! Poor him–when he’s 30 someone’s going to tell him!!!!!)

    My first book that really did me in and made me miserable once I was finished because I still wanted to be reading it (isn’t that the test of a good book?) was . . . The Great Gatsby. Probably had something to do with the teacher, as well.

    In college, definitely Wuthering Heights ( I was making bad grades on the quizes b/c I kept reading too far ahead).

    Thanks for the question Elisabeth! It’s a great one to think about! And Bunny, you mean I can’t read in the tub???!?!?!?!?

  8. It all goes back to "Who's Got the Apple". I was OBSESSED with this book as a kid. My Mom must have read it to me a zillion times. I got nostalgic the other night and actually ordered it off of amamzon…we'll see if it is just as good now that I am old.
    I think my deal is that I am in love with stories – of all kinds. Harper Lee and Shakespeare in high school were my first exposure to great literature (after reading all of my Mom's D. Steele & C. McCullough books in MS!). Since then, my quest for stories has continued. The evidence is my enormous book pile and the fact that my book club sistas cheer when they find a book I haven't read. I can't point to one book – it's the experience of magical storytelling for me.

  9. Thanks to all who posted here. . . knowing that we’re all readers, it is fun to learn how different or similar our paths were to get us to this same place!

  10. I'm new to the blog, but I look foward to learning Bunny's Book Nazi rules — I have big issues with my books. My BF breaks ALL of my rules, I don't know how we're even friends! But, when I love a book so much that I have to share it with her, I just have to accept that I'm never getting it back.

    Back to the question at hand. I feel like I have always been a reader, but one book came along at a time in my life when I needed to escape to somewhere else, anywhere else. I wanted to be transported out of my own life and into someone else's. Steinbeck granted my wish with East of Eden. This book made me fall in love with the written word.

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