Monday, August 24, 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL: Books That Inspired My Love of Reading


Today I am excited to share with you a special guest, Jessica from Scrap Paper in honor of our Back to School month.  Please give her a warm welcome!

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Back To School – Books That Inspired My Love of Reading 

I fell in love with reading from a very early age. I was always "that" child who had her nose stuck in a book. My passion for reading was inspired through my schooling years by a wide range of books. I have hand-picked six books that I feel became the cornerstones of my passion.

Primary School 

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams - This book is my earliest memory of a book making an impact on me. I was a cuddly toy collector and used to believe that they came alive at night. Reading a book that confirmed the realness of the toys I adored made me rejoice, and probably encouraged my cuddly toy obsession way past an acceptable age! As a little girl reading about the Velveteen Rabbit's journey towards realising what it means to 'be real', I don't think I truly understood its profoundness until I was much older.

A quote that sticks with me from the book is from the Skin Horse who says:
"When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real."

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis - As well as believing that my cuddly toys came to life, I used to imagine that I was in another land/world. The imaginary land that I spent the most time in was definitely Narnia. I hoped and prayed that one day I would open my parent's wardrobe and Narnia would appear.

Middle School 

The Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling - Everyone knows the boy who lived. I think anyone from my generation (90s) would say that this book defined our childhoods. Harry Potter was my age when I first started reading the books and to follow his journey as I myself was growing up, was an incredible experience. As Harry's thought darkened and the novels grew longer, my thoughts grew more profound and my stamina coped with the additional pages!

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman - This book was when my love for the fantasy genre truly began. After reading His Dark Materials I permanently went to the fantasy section of W H Smiths, hungry for more. This book also unfortunately fuelled my imaginary friend obsession. I had a daemon follow me around for a couple of years ... I was quite a lonely child!

High School 

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison - I began reading Georgia Nicholson's series as I first discovered the opposite sex. Georgia's failings in attracting boys became my own and made me feel better about being a complete and utter loser in love.

Animal Farm by George Orwell - This book was the turning point in my GCSE choices. I vividly remember studying this book and thinking that I wanted to study books like it at University - fast forward to 2014 and I graduated with an English Literature degree. This book showed me the depths and layers of meaning that can be unearthed from the pages of a book.

The most famous quote from Animal Farm is 'All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others'. I would rephrase this sentence to 'All books are equal - but some are more equal than others.' In other words, there will always be "those" books that affect us more than others, it doesn't mean they are better than other books, it just means that they imprinted on our hearts and minds.

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