Disclaimer: I love recalling, and writing about, past events in very boring detail, so please bear with me through all the boring details that are a big part of who I am, and naturally this post as well.
As a kid, I wasn’t a huge reader. I just read whatever my parents got for me, or what I had to read for school. It’s not until I read my first Enid Blyton book that I realised I actually love reading. That book was called The Six Bad Boys, and as far as I remember, it followed a group of six boys (obviously) who deal with difficulties at home and with their parents. They form a secret hideout where they meet, and keep food and books among other things. This book does not have a happy ending like most children’s books, no. I sometimes can’t even understand how a kid my age (nine years old at the time) could comprehend the enormity of the themes the book dealt with. I suppose for me it was still “fiction”; at the time, I hadn’t reached the book-obsession stage, where I deeply empathise with the characters. But now I can tell I was learning to.
I remember reading a particular chapter of that book, where one of the boys was talking to his mother (who I found very obnoxiously cruel most of the time). I remember her angrily talking to him, and punishing him for offences as small as ‘eating’ extra food, or rather stealing it and keeping it in that secret hideout (but she didn’t know that). I remember that scene almost made me cry, and the proof of how much it affected me is that I am here, eleven years later, still remembering it. I also remember that boy’s name started with a “P” (boring detail, huh?)
Most importantly, I remember thinking that the boys weren’t really “bad boys”, as per the book title, which is something I probably will never understand until I re-read that book one day (yes, I still own the tattered copy my parents bought for me eleven years ago!) After that, I sought out Enid Blyton’s books in particular, and came across two others of her stand-alones; The Family at Red Roofs, and Those Dreadful Children, the former being even more heartbreaking than The Six Bad Boys. I still wasn’t an avid reader at that point, though.
Further down the road, I read two other Enid Blyton books, which were part of her Five Find-Outers Mysteries series. I also came across a series by Anne Mazer, namely The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes. The books in this series follow a diary format for most of the narrative. However, what I found unique about the series is that the main character, Abby’s, mother gave her these very weird calendars, with a weird quote for each day. So to go along with that, at the beginning of each chapter in the book, there was one of these random yet peculiar-at-times quotes. (I actually remember writing all these quotes down on a paper a few years after I stopped reading the series). I remember flying through these books, staying up late on many hot summer nights just to finish them. These books were what shaped my reading experience as a child.
The weird part is that, at some point down the line, I completely stopped reading. I do not remember any reasons, or how exactly that happened. I just remember the day I rediscovered reading a few years later. I was sitting in class, my senior year of high school, and I see one of my classmates crying over a book. I am intrigued, “what is this book that is so sad it’s making my friend literally weep?” Curiosity got the best of me; I found out which book that was, and the next day I was reading it as well. You guessed it right, that book was The Fault In Our Stars. Now, although I think it’s extremely over-rated, I always credit it as the book that brought me back [to reading]. I did not cry like my friend did, but the book gave me the push I needed to keep reading; after I finished it, I looked for similar books.
This eventually lead to the discovery of my favourite author, the author that truly reignited my passion for reading; Sarah Dessen. The first book I read of hers was Just Listen, which I remember loving much more than The Fault in Our Stars. However, that did not stop me from seeking other John Green and Sarah Dessen books. I read Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines soon after, followed by Dessen’s The Truth About Forever, and Along For the Ride came a little later. To this date, I consider The Truth About Forever to be my all-time favourite book; the main character was very relatable, and her journey to acceptance is one that is quite inspirational, as well as emotional. Fun fact: one of my close friends recently got me a signed copy of The Truth About Forever! Needless to say how ecstatic I was!
I have to admit, though, I lost interest in reading John Green books soon after, but vowed to one day read all of Dessen’s novel. And I am happy to say that at this point in my life, I actually have read all her books, even the newest Once and for All. Perhaps my life is not as much of a failure as I think…
That was the point when I started reading again, and I haven’t stopped since. I mostly read Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Dystopia, and Contemporary, but I do try out other genres from time to time. Some of my all-time favourite series are The 5th Wave, Shatter Me, Throne of Glass, The Infernal Devices, and The Maze Runner. When it comes to YA Contemporaries, I usually prefer stand-alones (the reason there aren’t any contemporaries among the favourites I’ve listed). More about that in the following posts.
That is all about my journey towards becoming a reader. Being a reader is a journey in and of itself, and not simply a destination. So I am proud to say that my journey has been successful so far, and there are no signs of my slowing down any time soon!
Until later! Wishing everyone a good night (or morning, depending on your time zone)
Currently reading: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas. I haven’t read much yet, but so far so good. Let’s hope it stays that way, and that I get more time to read tonight.
Currently listening to: Where Is the Edge by Within Temptation. A very beautiful song, by one of my favourite Symphonic Metal bands.