By: Fiona Schneider
A lot of people have a single book they can name that made them a “reader.” I can’t say I am one of those people since I have been reading for as long as I can remember, and according to my parents even longer than that. However, I do have a somewhat list of “book firsts” I can share that chronicles my reading history and development.
I was never much for children’s literature, my mother claims I jumped straight from picture books to chapter books once I could read like a baby bird learning to fly. However, I did have a fond love for Dr. Seuss (much to my mother’s chagrin because she does NOT have a fond love for the Doc). The first book I picked up by Dr. Seuss was The Lorax, and I kind of stumbled into reading any book I could find by him thereafter. I loved the lyricism and flow of the words, and the Doctor is probably to be blamed for why I have fun writing poetry for myself in my spare time.
The next “book first” is actually about two books my father read to me when I was five before bed at the same time, switching back and forth depending on my choice each night. And these are the first books I read that tackled more depressing topics, like injuries, death, and recovery. These were Runt by Marion Dane Bauer and My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara. Runt is about a young wolf pup who is the pack, well, runt. It follows his life as he grows up and tries to prove himself beyond his small size to his father, King, in comparison to his other four siblings. My Friend Flicka is much different from the several show and movie adaptations, with the original main character being a young boy who sees Flicka, an uncontrollable yearling, at a round up and knows she is the horse he has been looking for. The story is a bit more dark than the later adaptations, and goes into a lot of the underbelly of the equine world. And if you haven’t noticed yet, I am a bit of an animal lover so I almost solely read books that revolved around animals and reality until my next and last “book first.”
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. This is the first fantasy novel I ever read when I was about nine, and I haven’t turned away from the genre since. I already wrote about this novel in a previous blog post to the main character, Meggie, but I left out details on the storyline itself. This book follows the adventures of Meggie Folchart, who learns she is a silvertongue, someone who can read words and make whatever is written a reality. She can read herself into books, as well as read characters out of books. She uses this ability to try and rescue her father who has been kidnapped and she thinks has been transported to the world inside the book Inkheart.
Now that I’ve told you a little about my own reading journey, I challenge you to try and think of some of your own “book firsts.” This reflection may make you laugh as you realize some things about yourself and just how much one book may have changed your life.