What is the one thing you’ve never doubted about yourself? I can quite confidently say that there are many things I have doubted about myself over the years. I have doubted my abilities as a writer. I have doubted my potential as a photographer, and I have doubted my own self-worth. I’m certain everyone has done that at some point or another.
But just a moment ago it hit me that I have never, ever, in my entire life doubted my love for reading and books.
My relationship with books began when I was about eight years old, learning English as a second language. It was during my free time in the ESL class with dear Mrs. Major that I found myself choosing the audio book station while the other children chose other activities. If I’m not mistaken, there’s a picture of my younger sister playing in the sandbox. In her picture she’s wearing the same sweater I am in this one, except hers is blue.
I don’t remember any of the stories I heard or tried to read along with at the audio book station, but I know that’s where the seed was planted.
I remember reading time in Mrs. Lucas’ grade two class. We’d all go to the library across the hall and choose a book to bring back to the classroom to read. I have a distinct memory of sitting next to a girl named Margot and excitedly showing her my Bearenstean Bears book. I have no idea which one it was but I remember it being the first one I could read, and I remember reading more of them after that.
Each year the books I chose became thicker and had less pictures than the ones before. Truth be told, I wish I’d hung onto some of the book reports I had to do over the years. I’d love to be able to look back on some of the books I’ve read over time and what I learned from it.
Of course, I could never forget reading The Outsiders as a class during the sixth grade. Nor could I forget how I refused to read the book the book my seventh-grade class was asked to read. I don’t remember which book I didn’t want to read, but I remember begging Mr. Ireland to let me read a different book. If I remember correctly, he loaned me one of his own books to read, or maybe he gave me the title and had me get it from the library. That part is a little vague, but the book was The Giver.
That’s a book I’d recommend to everyone without hesitation, regardless or age, gender, or faith. That one is one of those books you could read again because of how profound they are.
Oddly, though I did read a lot during high school (I know I did because I was in the reading club), I can’t think of any books in particular that made a huge impact on me. But I loved reading nonetheless, still.
Wait….I do remember. I frequented the church library and fell in love with Jannette Oke’s books. I’d borrow as many books as I thought I could read in a week and bring them back the next Sunday. Sometimes when there wasn’t anything new to read, I’d be able to borrow something from a member of my church family.
Nowadays I don’t frequent the library nearly as much as I used to. Thanks to technology and a lovely app called Overdrive, I can still borrow 20 books at a time from the comfort of my own home. And then I stay up all hours of the night reading book after book.
I’ve read three alone in the past three days, four by the time you read this.
I’ve had the idea that maybe I should start keeping track of the books I read. It occurred to me while I was writing in my journal that I wanted to start a reading journal, and then I suddenly thought, that could give me something to do with my blog again.
After all, after four months of radio silence on my end, it would give me something to write about.