“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
As a young child, I used to read mostly comics, both me and my brother would devour those things, almost everyday. As I approached my 12th birthday, I started getting interested in novels, one of my first proper novels was “Memorias de Idhún” by Laura Gallego García (I have mentioned her in a previous monthly book recommendation) I read that first volume of 500 pages and something in one day. From there on, I have never stopped reading novels.
After all these years I can clearly see what is the predominant style that has appeared over and over in the books I read: fantasy.
You could forget me while reading a fantasy book, they provided a window to wonderful worlds from faraway lands and times, if the writer knew how to make that window properly, I felt I was there myself, as part of everything that was happening. After finishing a book I would always feel different, full of emotions running through me, I still feel like that with many of the books I read, but I noticed that it mostly happens when the book is of fantasy.
When my fiancé and I were still just close friends I used to not really process the reality that he was a real person, what I mean is that he reminded me of the characters from all those fantasy books I had been reading for years, he was magical, there is no other way to describe it. This was quite special, because I had never met anyone who was like him, who seemed to be from another world, once we met in person back in 2015, I just could not believe I was in his arms, that he was real. I feel very lucky that I have found such beautiful person that enables that window to distant galaxies that many books can as well. If you find such person, be sure they are one of a kind.
I have read books from other genres as well, even educational ones, they contain knowledge or different points of view on a particular subject. From books I have learnt about philosophy’s history as well as what it is, I learnt more about my own study (singing), about the history of different countries from different perspectives, about personal growth or child education. If the subject is of interest to you, then the reading will be interesting and most enriching.
Reading is a pleasure to me, like to many others, yet, many children do not read that much anymore, in Spain, it is partly because schools force their students to read books that they have in the curriculum, the problem is that these books, for people truly interested are a bore (too simple) and for those who are still weary of reading, an absolute torture. Reading has to come from within the child or young teenager, of course some people will read more than others, that is only natural, but one needs to let them wander on their own. I have always thought that reading, enjoying stories or informing yourself is essential to all of us, so, when I hear somebody saying that they dislike reading, I wonder why they do and hope some day they might discover the wonders of reading.
One of my favorite classic books is “Peter Pan” by J. M. Barrie; when I was eight years old I used to imagine that Peter Pan would come and take me to Neverland, where I would visit the pirate ship, the magical Mermaid Lagoon and the place where the Lost Boys lived. I actually still believe he is somewhere, then again, I also believe in the existence of unicorns, though not as most people imagine them, for me they have always been wise, calm and kind creatures, full of stories to tell, yet too shy to dare and tell them. I think, the best portrayal of a unicorn was by Peter S. Beagle in his novel “The Last Unicorn”, no other author can catch the essence of a unicorn as well as he did in that story. Why am I mentioning all this? Well, that —at least for me— books have fed my imagination even further, even now, after all those years, from imagining next to the window as an eight year old how it would be to go to Neverland, I still believe in all these magical things, even though I might not see them, I know that somewhere, in past times or faraway worlds, they exist. How can I not smile and live my life to the fullest?
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
The stories that a novel encloses also inspire, when a character or story becomes close to you, for one reason or another, it can actually help in your own life, it might give you the push that you needed for a certain decision, or to finally start and persevere at that activity that you love. Books inspire me to make my life as magical as what they have showed me within their pages, because if I really want it, I can live my life exactly how I imagine it, I was lucky that Iliyan, my fiancé, brought —and continues to bring— all the magic I always thought existed.
‘Now, my dear reader, will you delight yourself in the pleasures of reading?’