28 – The Bookworm Part of Me

When I was younger, I used to look upon novels as my best friends – my portals to different worlds. I didn’t like the world I saw around me. The books offered me an escape. A different reality. In books, I could reinvent myself – become a character of some sketched out fantasy, some adventurer of a distant land. I could slay dragons, chant spells, or simply enjoy a walk along the river alongside a lovable companion of some nature.

I ravaged my elementary school library. Literally. I read anything. If it had words in it, it was mine to read.

I was a lover of the I Spy series, I liked to spend my lunchtimes in the library just looking for objects among the pictures. A friend of mine would always accompany me. I miss her. We don’t talk much anymore. I flinch a little when I see her running by in the high school hallways. We used to be so close.

I read the typical elementary level series such as the Magic Tree House, The Series of Unfortunate Events, How to Train Your DragonDr. Seuss, Harry Potter, et cetera, et cetera. I enjoyed them and they kept me company through summers of idleness – summers when I didn’t do much but sit around at home. I was never really active with my friends.

There was this one phase in grade five, I believe, when I became completely obsessed with animals and nonfiction. That year, I indulged myself in biology – picking up facts about animals from a couple dozen of nonfiction books. I squealed on and on about Emperor Penguins. And when we were forced to watch March of the Penguins, I was one of the few who was genuinely engulfed in the film. A good documentary, it is. Completely captivating.

I bought myself a little encloypedia of animals around the world. I still reference it to date. I adored dolphins – knew every single thing there was to know about them. Not that I remember much now. I always liked how Killer Whales weren’t really whales but actually dolphins called Orcas. Everyone else called them whales – I knew in my heart they were dolphins. Not that they’re not from the same family anyhow. I remember reading a couple of books on amphibians and reptiles – learned a little, recited a lot, and forgot it all now. I was also particularly fond of horses and bunnies. I liked to draw them in my free time. I can still pull off a pretty good sketch of either now.

In grade 6, I discovered the author love of my life: Shannon Hale. When I first picked up The Goose Girl, I figured it’d be like any other book I’ve ever read. I was, of course, severely wrong. The book captivated me – the female protagonist posessed so many characteristics I could relate to, so many situations I could really feel the emotions to. I fell in love with the book, recommending it blindly to anyone. Not that anyone else really got the same experience. I idolize her. She became the inspiration that propelled me to write fiction, to indulge in fantasy. And so I did. In the same year, I discovered Stravaganza – another series that blew me away. I fell in love with the genre of fantasy. Of alternate worlds.

Finally in grade 7, I floated back down to Earth. I normalized myself. Stopped reading as much and worked harder to fit in. I kind of regret doing that now because slowly it caused my tendency to read to just drift away. In grade 8, I discovered manga. Graphic novels. V for Vendetta awoke a love of comics for me. Manga like Fruits Basket enticed me. I left the world of the written word for the word of graphics. I’ve never really gotten myself back into a state of adoration for reading. I’ll try again this summer. See what happens.

At the moment, I am very much infatuated with Margaret Atwood after enjoying The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake – two lovely books that brought out my love for dystopia. I now focus a lot of my writing and thoughts into that genre though I’m not sure if this is for the better or for the worse. I am also very much in admiration for Ellen Hopkins and her poetic style of novelling. Crank brought in a whole new world for me. Identical being my favourite. I still read a lot of manga, being a total introverted otaku at times seems to suit my soul. I’ve read over a thousand manga in the past four years.

People change. And nothing, nothing can change that fact. I’ve happened to change a lot over the years and reflecting on the past like I have in this entry helps me remember and rediscover myself. I love nostalgia. In fact, I’m addicted to the sensation. Memories…are more than just memories to me.

So kind adventurer who dared to read till the end of this post, do share with me your own story. Flood me with nostalgia – tell me about your own struggles with the written word or the graphic world or any another world you wish to discuss. I’m listening.

 

 

—tumblr: books, books, and more books.

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16 thoughts on “28 – The Bookworm Part of Me

  1. Though my dyslexic slowness prevents my reading in quantity or as constantly as my hunger for entertainment could desire, I still love to read. So I’ve found a new and different home in reading blogs’s shorter formats and episodic stories. Not so far different from one of my favorites, Dickens, of course, who wrote so much of his best stuff in installments, so who knows but what I’ll return to braver days and attack the big books fun once again. For now, I certainly don’t feel cheated when there’s so much food for both thought and heart out here.

  2. The truth is, I’ve never been much of a Reader… And I don’t know why. I did Love “The Sword of Shannara” when I was a Teenager… It was the First and Only Book that I basically couldn’t put down… I remember we were goin to dinner and I was reading it in the back of the car… And the rest of them went in the Restaurant, and I stayed in the Car and Finished it, ha… Man did I love that Book… I Recommended to both My Brother, and My Dad, and they both read it… In fact, My Brother went on to Read the Whole Series many times… I Read the Second Book of the Series “Elf Stones of Shannara”, and didn’t care for it… And thus never went any further, lol

    Though I don’t read much, I do “Love being Read to”… Love it.. My First Girlfriend/Love used Read me “Interview with a Vampire” (Which I Loved), prior to seeing the Film… She also read me “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Universe” by Douglas Adams… What a Truly Amazing Book.

    Other than that though, the only Books I’ve really read all the way through, Are Shakespeare…

    I was Extremely Shy when I was young, hardly talked to anyone… My Brother and I also missed a lot of School, as our Mom hated Public Schools, so let us miss often… My Brother would then Have Huge what we called “Wars” with Hundreds of Action Figures… We called them “Wars”, but really they were “Epic Stories”… We were very different than other kids… We would make very Complicated Story lines, and often they would end in some sort of Peace between the Remaining Armies…

    This is probably one of the reasons both My Brother and I became Passionate about Films/Movies, and I later Pursued Film Making.

    When I was 10 or 11 I did start Writing a Fantasy Novel, and I showed it to my Dad, who I didn’t live with, and he told me I was a Good Writer… And ever since then, he has thought of me as a Writer, even when I was Pursuing Film Making, lol

    Ironic that I now “Am” a Writer, lol I suspect though he never pursued it, he also is a Writer… Or at least has a “Writer” Soul.

    My Childhood was Both Amazing, and Difficult… Amazing when I was with my Brother Being Creative, and very difficult when I was at school… As like I say, I was very shy… Also, people game me a hard time, or didn’t like me, because I missed a lot of school… I suspect they were bidder about it because their parents forced them to go.

    The truth is, our Mom later started to get threatened from the School System that she needed to make us go… And we went more, but still missed a lot… At least through 8th Grade that is… In 9th Grade I moved out to Arizona to live with my Dad, and knew he’d make me go, so I only missed like 3 days that year… Then moved back to California, and didn’t miss much in 10th or 11th… Truth is, Junior High was the worst time for me as far as School went, Kids were just terrible.

    When I was a Teenager, My Brother wanted to be a “Film Actor”, and so joined a Theater Group, and convinced me to join as well… It was one of the Best Experiences of my life… Not only did it help me be less Shy in general, it also Introduced me to “Shakespeare”, and “The Theater Experience”, both of which are Amazing.

    We stayed with that Community Theater Group for some 3 or 4 years, and did Shakespeare in the Summer, Children’s Plays in the Spring, and one year we did a Version of “A Christmas Carol”… It was one of the best periods of my life…

    After that, we mainly Played Dungeons and Dragons… I had always wanted to play it, but never knew anyone that played… So finally, I just decided to learn it myself, and so I Ran The Games/Was Dungeon Master… Which was just awesome… Not only did I get to Create Worlds and Characters, but I also got to Portray Tons of Characters.

    Some 10 years later, in my Late Twenties, after spending many Grey Depressed years with little Creating, I finally started doing Theater again… First “Hamlet”, and one year later “Measure for Measure”… Also, I Wrote, Narrated and Directed a Children’s Play Called “The Dragon Within”… A lady at my work had heard that I did Theater, and asked if I could Write something for her Youth Group, and so I did… That was Awesome.

    After that, I Bought an Electric Guitar and Wrote tons of Songs… I played Rhythm Electric, and Sang in the band… I then moved to Eugene Oregon to where my Brother then lived, to reconnect with him… And also to start Pursuing Film Making… I Pursued Film Making for 3 years, and got a Short Film into a Film Festival in New York.

    After that, I had some Medical Issues, and decided to switch from Film Making to Screenplay Writing… I got my health back, but stuck with Writing… I then took a break from Writing and started to spend time Listening to Music, Watching Baseball, and playing World of Warcraft, lol… I actually met my last Girlfriend on that Game, lol

    We met, and were together 4 1/2 years…

    After we broke up in June 2011, I Started My “The Written Word” Blog last August, and the rest is History… I’ve Written a Novella, 74 Poems, and over 300 Total Posts just on that Blog alone… Basically I returned to Writing, lol

    So there you go, My Basic Creative History, which has only included “Some” Reading… Actually I read more than ever now, as I Read Several Peoples Blogs, but still not many Books, lol

    Great Post By The Way

    DarkJade-

    • Reading through your comment was like a rollercoaster ride. You took me everywhere in your past and I suppose I can understand you a little better now. To transition from acting to gaming to music then to film and finally to writing…what a huge journey of discovery. I’m sure that you’ll continue to add on to your journey from here on out – we’ll always change for as long as we live.
      Thanks for sharing your story, Jade. (:

  3. I lived in books the same ages you did. Lived in kangaroo the same ages you did. And lost the love for both. I’m trying to start reading again. In grade six, I was obsessed with the Holocaust. In 7 it was mythology, especially greek. I don’t remember much about what I read about the holocaust except strange looks and comments. Mythology I remember a bit more.

    I never read the normal grade level book series. My mom wouldn’t let me read the Crank books even though I wanted to. I don’t remember reading many typical books.

    I would, and still do sometimes when I’m at my moms house, go to the clearance of a particular store and buy armfuls of hardback books. I prefer hardbacks and could only afford them that way. I met Ted Dekker. He was my favorite author for a long time. I’d bring a book of his home and read it the same night.

    I have lost reading again this semester of school. I think I had that semester too. I haven’t read any manga on much of a scale for years. Like you, this summer i hope to get both loves back.

    • I’m surprised to see that your mom prevented you from reading. But I suppose, the content in those books are things that might be censored.

      I’m a little bit jealous of your experience with those hardback books. My mom approved of me reading and would take me out to the library whenever I urged her, but she never really liked spending money on books. I suppose, in her eyes, it was a little wasteful as I was not the type of person who liked to reread books over and over. Once is quite enough – unless I’ve forgotten the book.

      Then let’s both work hard this summer to get our loves back. I’m starting to build a list of books to read so if oyu have any die hard favourites, do suggest them for me.

      Hehe. I’m a little flattered you took the time to respond to this post. ❤

      • Awww don’t be flattered. I wasn’t responding to anything for so long because since,,,, February sadly I don’t think I hardly ever read a single blog. I’ve been in a dark place and I’m forcing myself to climb out. Even though I know I’ll fall again, i just have to do what I can.

        My mom is insanse. That explains a lot. Also we have a history of drugs in the family she likes to hide. lol.

        My absolute. ABSOLUTE. Favorite is John Dies at the End. The sequal comes out in october and I’m preordering it as soon as I can afford it.

        The books I bought generally were no more than $7 so mom didn’t mind that much. Some I got as cheap as $2-3. They had epic sales. We also had a discount card with the store. I reread books from time to time. A few I bought there I’ve read maybe 5 times. My mom actually never took me to the library after 7th grade. I don’t know why.

        So I will recommend three to you.

        John Dies at the End – Comedy Horror
        The Android’s Dream – Hard Sci-Fi
        The Book of Lost Things – Darker Fantasy

        These are all ones I have read at least three times. Sometimes I reread as soon as I finished. (JDatE, which I think I’ve read 5 times and hear it calling my name again…).

        What do you have for me? 🙂

        • It seems to me that you’re slowly pulling out of that dark place and I know you’ll be okay even if you fall again. You’re a strong person, Amber, and I believe in you. ❤

          I shall take your suggestions and put them onto my list. (: I'll let you know if I ever get to read them. I'll definitely look into John Dies at the End first since you enjoyed it so much.

          Favourites of mine? I've been obsessed with Margaret Atwood as I've said.
          I'm currently in love with The Handmaid's Tale. It's dystopia and so wonderful.
          I adored the Uglies series. it's sci-fi and completely enchanting. Scott Westerfeld is a wonderful writer.
          Hehe. Read them if you haven't already o: Or when you have time.
          Your life comes first, of course.

        • I LOVED Uglies series. Just never read Extras. Dystopias are a good read and I’m going to add these to my list. I will do my best to get them read.

          Thank you for having faith in me. ❤

    • Oh nostalgia. I can’t wait.
      And I immediately googled the book. Now added to my list of books to read this summer. (: I’m always open to recommendations though it may take me a while to go and read them while in the busy state I’m in.

      • Well, here;’s a start – my older brother, the one I referred to in confession is good for the soul ,,, had two children with his ex wife, his son, I saw a a baby, and his daughter I never met. Through Facebook I found his ex wife, and we friended each other, tonight I just contacted his daughter, the niece I have never met, so thirty years later …

      • and I think you’ll love JLS, it is an inspired work, was a best seller in it’s day, and tells so much about the universe through a story of a seagull trying to reach beyond his boundaries..

        • An interesting reunion…I hope your meeting and communciation with your niece yields some success. (:
          And I did read the summary and it sounded like the perfect book for a sunny afternoon. I can’t wait to pick it up!

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