When I was a lot younger I really didn’t like to read. It took me ages to get to the standard the other’s were at in my year at school, and I didn’t like that it took me ages to finish reading what they’d already read. I didn’t read for pleasure and all the books I was supposed to read at school were boring and tedious. The funny thing is, both my parents are librarians so it didn’t make sense I would have an aversion to books. They just never held much interest for me, and didn’t understand why someone would want to read a book when they could watch a movie and get more of the effects in less time, with much less effort.
I can’t remember the first book I read an enjoyed. I know I read the Jostein Gaarder books and enjoyed those. But with ‘Sophie’s World’ I found myself skipping a lot of the philisophical letters nearer the end, finding them unnecessary to the plot. Which they were….. I enjoyed reading things like The Diary of Anne Frank because you could read it easily and fast. Mostly because they were short entries, I could assess my progress whilst reading.
I came onto the Harry Potter books late. During all of the hype for the 4th novel, I thought it was something I was missing out on and so bought the 3 preceding it, so I wouldn’t be left out. I’m glad I did that – it’s a world I’m happy to be part of!
It wasn’t really until I had my hiatus a year and a half ago, that I found the intense pleasure in filling my time by immersing myself into a world of someone else’s. I’d done this, of course, through my various obsessions of TV and Movies, but never with a book, or a series of books. Last year I read a total of about 11 books, which was a huge deal for me. The highlights were The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen’s Fool (both my Philippa Gregory) and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I found it was easy to get involved in the stories and feel the emotions of the people involved. Sure I’ve read some duds in that time too (Cloud Atlas anyone?), but mostly I’ve enjoyed them.
So that brings me to my latest finding (and yes I know I’m slow on the uptake!) A while ago, Gary told me about some books that had come out, that he thought I’d like. I hadn’t heard of the stories at all, but he said they were for teens and they were about a teenage girl who had fallen in love with a vampire. As an original Buffy fan, I rolled my eyes, and said ‘how original’. I didn’t think anymore about them (except how cool the covers were!) until two saturdays ago. A girl I work with, Sarah (Hi!), told me she’d just finished reading Twilight, and that it was amazing, and I should read a little bit and see what I thought. I bought my own copy that night. And I’ll hasten to add, it’s now two weeks later and I’ve read all four – and I’m a slow reader!
I was amazed firstly at how well written the characters were. You could immediately become Bella and understand how she was feeling. I have to say as well that Stephenie Meyer (I love you!) has managed to capture, with words, exactly the feelings of a teenager feeling in love. As Sarah pointed out, an experience that’s so personal to you, and it’s there on paper. Incredible. Anyway, I flew through the first book and fell head over heels in love with it. The second and third books were purchased and inhaled straight after. I kept saying it this people, but it wasn’t like I was reading the books, it was more like they were reading me.
The final book was bought straight after I had read the second and third and I finished it last night. I’m just reading the draft of Midnight Sun at the moment. It’s nice to go back to the start and read from another perspective. Even though it’s not finished yet, I’m enjoying it a lot, and it’s like visiting an old friend – even though I only read it two weeks ago!
I saw the Twilight film and enjoyed it. Obviously not a patch on the book, but it was nice to see it all there in front of me. I’m looking forward to New Moon.
It’s been a long while since I was this emotionally invested in something like this. And it’s nice to experience it again. Twilight is right at the top of my favourite books now, where it belongs, and I can’t believe I resisted involving myself in it for so long.