Before Harry Potter, my childhood included a vast array of books, and I devoured each one I opened. My mother insisted on mandatory trips to the library during school breaks. I eagerly checked out the maximum they allowed. A few days later, I would beg her for another trip, which elicited groans from my siblings. To make my reading material last longer, I added my excess to their weekly allotment of one easy read and snatched them back as we headed to the car.
I remember impressive titles like Where the Wild Things Are, Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, Artemis Fowl, The Polar Express, and The Neverending Story. I also read every entry on the school’s summer reading list and borrowed the recommendations from the next grade level to feed my habit. During my freshman year in high school, I encountered a tale that changed everything. The Once and Future King by T. H. White altered my reading trajectory. The worlds of science fiction and fantasy fit. Huge tomes and epic series guaranteed I would never run short of magnificent work, favorite characters, and escape.
Tolkien, Asimov, Huxley, Well, and Bradbury became household names. Robert Jordan ensured countless hours of full immersion into a Wheel of Time and created a gaping void of sadness when he passed. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Dune, Fahrenheit 451, and The Mists Of Avalon can transport me to the exact place where I first read them. They whispered to me, woke my sleeping muse, and ignited a fire. Those authors stand behind me, taunting me, they dare me to defy the undeniable urge, they challenge me to write the stories living in my imagination.
What book altered your reading?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer