Ever since I was a little girl, my mom Lucinda, encouraged me to read, I loved the Berenstain Bears books. Once I graduated to chapter books I began reading more. I branched out from the imaginative books of Roald Dahl, coming of age books by Judy Blume to my first book series: The Baby-Sitters Club. Once I started reading them, I was hooked. Each book in the series came from the point of view of a different character. I loved the idea of peering into the same world but from a different perspective, not to mention, the characters were relatable for a pre-teen. Once I out-grew The Babysitters Club books I started reading Sweet Valley High and then Sweet Valley University. One year for my birthday, my dad arranged for the local bookstore to order the latest Sweet Valley University book, to which there was nearly a one book released each month. This fueled my love for reading. I looked forward to getting the phone call with the news my book was waiting for me. Growing up, my mother was an avid reader, I am sure this made her happy that I too had fallen in love with books.
Of course as high school takes over a teenager's life, reading books of my choosing became less and less. I found myself reading only for class. However, I still managed to enjoy many of the books that were assigned. English was always my favorite class, and I even dabbled in poetry and creative writing. Each summer, I found myself diving back into reading.-discovering new authors and genres. Towards the middle of high school I found my love of reading waning. Then a dramatic shift occurred. It was the summer of 2000. I was 17, between my junior and senior year and my love for books was about to be re-ignited.
Introducing the "Harry Potter Effect". I was hearing from my friends, Mollie and Beth, how great these books were even though they were considered to be geared for a slightly younger age group. In fact, my sister who was five years younger, had read the first three books. I was encouraged to read them quickly because the next book in the series- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was coming out in July. Once I opened the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I was officially hooked. I read the first three books in rapid-fire. Once the fourth book was released, I remember my sister and I fighting over who was going to be the first to read it. I don't know who won the battle, maybe it was Mom, but I remember when I did get my hands on it- I began early in the morning and read straight through to the wee hours of the next day. A book that I had dismissed as being a "kid's book" completely changed the way I thought about books and reading. Subsequently, I watched people from all age groups flocks to stores as soon as the new release was available. In talking to my friends we made sure to check where we were in the book first, before discussing it, we didn't want to spoil anything for each other. Looking back, I can say without a doubt the Harry Potter series were the books of my generation. People were excited to read again despite the controversy- being banned in some places because they were about magic.
My passion for reading has not dimmed. As an avid reader I devour a wide-variety of books. I am always looking for a new paperback or discover the next greater author. Have you read any good books lately?