Reading: A Saga of Young Love

Image credit/source: Custom created by writer_angela.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

How does a gangly teenager with buck teeth (and a gap to boot!), glasses, and an innate introverted nature find romance, travel to mysterious and captivating locales, and accumulate the wisdom of a lifetime? Through reading, of course! I would be remiss to allow February, the quintessential official repository for the celebration of amour to pass without regaling you with a saga of young love.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for reading. My parents tell me that I could read even before I could walk, and by the second grade I was testing on a college reading level. For birthdays and Christmas, while other little girls requested dolls and dresses I asked for, and got, books.

As a fifth grader, I was hooked on the Nancy Drew series and wanted desperately to collect every book that Keene had written on the ginger-haired sleuth, and to my great joy on that bright and early Christmas morn I awoke to a tree encircled about with every volume carefully placed for dramatic effect, each adorned with a bright red bow.

I was the girl who stayed awake under the covers with a flashlight long after everyone else in the household had retired for the evening perusing the current tome of my fancy.

I was the girl who had a walk-in closet that held more books on its shelves than it did shoes, toys, or games.

I was the girl whose love of reading naturally translated into a gift for writing and who used that gift to express all of the hopes, dreams, thoughts, fears, and passions that were bottled up inside. I pushed to inspire, empower, and motivate.

Yeah, that girl. That one. That was me.

I’ve often wondered over the years why as I considered the different career options that were available to me that I didn’t choose that of librarian. I was always in my happiest element when surrounded by books and all of the learning and entertainment that they provided. They were the outlet for my curiosity, the panacea for my problems, and the guidepost for my future. In the end, though, I was redeemed as I made the conscious decision in my 50s to make writing my full-time work.

Life may morph, change, and contort into different seasons over the course of a single soul’s existence and create a hodgepodge of memories, but one never forgets her first love. In my case, I have had the added benefit of not only remaining with mine, but there has been no wane in my passion over the passing of time.

Reading is love.

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