“Seeing someone reading a book you love is seeing a book recommending a person.”
I’ve been a reader all my life. I took to Dick and Jane like a duck to water, and then got bored in seconds. Soon I was reading Green Eggs and Ham and a host of I Can Read Books.
In grade school we used to get these catalogs in school called something like Scholastics. You could order books and I did so. Legions of books (thank you Mom!). Around that same time I discovered Charlotte’s Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and that just let to more books. I loved to read!
In junior high school I was forced to read a few books—like The Contender by Robert Lipstyle and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton—that I wound up loving and that led me to new books and writers. Soon after that I found the Star Trek books by James Blish and they led me to many other wonderful writers, like David Gerrold (The Man Who Folded Himself is still my favorite time travel book ever), Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Block, and many more. Reading took me to other places and other worlds. I might be trapped in a class room or my own bedroom at home, but reading could take me anywhere and any time. Oh, how I loved to read.
It was through reading that I came to discover my sexuality—when I stumbled on the Gordon Merrick books or Patricia Neal Warren’s The Front Runner. How could anyone not want to make discoveries?
Once I was sitting in the break room, reading, and this lady came up to me and said, “I didn’t know you were going to school.”
“I’m not,” I replied.
“Then why are you reading?”
I didn’t even know what to say. How do you respond to that? “Because I love to read,” I finally answerd.
“Well!” she stated. “I’m proud to say I haven’t read a book since I was in high school!”
And again, what could I say to that?
There are so many books I’m forgetting. Books that have taught me, shaped me, changed me, made me a better man, made me more spiritual…. I feel sorry for that lady and for so many people that don’t read. To me, they are one of life’s greatest blessings connecting us to so of the oldest and greatest epics of all, and taking us into a future we can’t imagine!
And even better? Now I’m writing stories myself! And who knows what those words are doing for other lives?
PS: What’s some of your favorite books?