Traipsing down to the children’s room in the lower level of the library with my mom and sisters. I tried to be quiet but our Jellies always sounded so loud as they slapped down those gray steps.
Reading as many books as I could find one summer in order to win a local reading contest – that was the year we lived in the apartments on Brimfield Drive and, to be honest, reading was safer than playing outside! No joke.
Discovering Tolkien in Dorothy’s book room next door – an illustrated Hobbit! Our new neighbor, Dorothy, was a 4th grade teacher and I thought it was heavenly that she had boxes and boxes of books. I think that was the summer I had her books more often than she did!
Beverly Cleary. Judy Blume. E. B. White. Laura Ingalls Wilder. A.A. Milne. These were the authors that brought other times and places to life for me. Their books expanded my vision beyond my little world. They helped me imagine impossible things like a mouse riding a motorcycle or a pig befriending a spider.
Then there was the year Mrs. Moore introduced us to Madeline L’Engle. (Would you believe that I still remember “fewmets” as a vocabulary word? We thought we were so funny talking about dragon poop right there in school.) That was the year I fell in love with fantasy literature and added George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis to my reading list.
With this abiding love for books, is it any surprise, then, that a book series brought me to Jesus? A passing recommendation by another neighbor led me to Sugar Creek Gang Books and a read-aloud radio story time after school on WCRF. In between their many adventures, the characters talked about Jesus from time to time. As a kid who had very little church background at that point in time, this Jesus-guy piqued my interest. I was alone in my bedroom one day when I decided I wanted to know Him like the kids in Sugar Creek seemed to know Him. I’ve loved Him ever since.
So, I guess you could say that books changed my life.
They still do… shaping me in profound ways.
If you’ll let me, I’d like to take some time this week to talk more about books. So, check back throughout the week for more musings on books and some practical tips for exploring them in your own life.
Q4U: Now, here’s a question for you to answer. (Feel free to answer in the comments below or over on our Facebook page. Either way, I’d love to just hear from you.) Do you consider yourself a “reader”? Why or why not? Do you have any great connections with books over the years?