Do you remember back in school when books were only read by the uncool, geeky kids who would spend their lunch hours either in the library or a grassy lawn, nose in a book, hardly communicating with anyone outside their circle of friends?
I do because many years ago I was one of those kids.
Books, as I discovered at a young age, were a way to escape my reality by exploring a world that was filled with fascinating story lines and heartbreakingly real characters that you wanted to be friends with.
I cannot remember how many hours I spent scouring the bookshelves of the school library, always looking for my next adventure but it was so worth it when I’d find a great book to read. Within the folds of those pages Id lose myself for the entirety of the lunch hour and many a time I just made it to class on time after struggling to close the book up when the bell rang and all because I was so engrossed in a story.
The kinds of books I read in my youth were Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park, The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C S Lewis, The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn and The Secret of NIMH by Robert C O’Brien but I soon found books like The Deverry Series by Katherine Kerr and Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Series by Tad Williams.
The whole library was my oyster and between those who loaned books from the library and those who didn’t, I practically had it all to myself.
These days however, everyone from all walks of life, are reading books. From the jocks at school to the celebrities on twitter – book reading has almost become a fashion statement rather than a geeky pastime.
It’s nice that so many are reading books and enjoying them but it also means that due to their popularity almost everyone these days wants to be a professional author thus the sharp increase of people publishing their works online and in turn making it twice as hard to find a great book to add to my collection.
And those libraries I loved as a child? The ones I loved to find a good book in? Well good luck with browsing their shelves because there are hardly any books to look at due to people loaning them out in record manner. Before I only had to compete with the other geeky book worms like myself but now everyone it seems has one of those blasted library cards.
So how does one find a great read these days?
I’m not entirely sure but I do miss finding them and although places like Goodreads is helpful due to the reviews posted about books, what about those ones which are not on anyones popular read list yet they are still great reads all the same? How do I find them?
I don’t think there is an easy answer to this question but in an effort to to help some people find something new to read I’ve started to compile my own must read list which will be updated as I remember books I’ve read in the past which left their mark on me. (Bare with me whilst this page is filled with more books I’ve read as well as my own words on them).
Feel free to leave me some recommends of your own choosing in the comments. Maybe you too have found an overlooked gem which you feel made a great impact upon you.