Like Trying to Herd Cats
When I sat down to think about this post, I almost gave myself a stroke… How the Dickens am I supposed to chose a literary favorite after *mumble* years of reading, and not just reading but LOVING books? I was first infected with readeritis at the tender age of six, when an aunt started reading The Hobbit to my cousin and me as a bedtime story one summer. I needed to know what happened, thought she was reading too slowly, and while the other kids were swimming and playing on the beach I kept sneaking back to the house to read. I still have that book–the exact volume from that summer–which has survived a hurricane that destroyed most of my other books and umpteen moves, and it’s my go-to book when I need to clear my head.
But the best thing about that summer was the long-term effect. I was hooked on books, read anything I could get my hands on. It was a strange time back home. Lots of people were leaving the island, going to the States or Canada mostly, and they were giving stuff away. I snagged so many books during that time–three of the Anne of Green Gables series, which led me to hunt for others, a copy of Heidi, The Odyssey, Olive Twist (Dickens phase!), to name just a few. I devoured them, turned into one of those geeky kids who would read all the books on the English Literature list for the year as soon I got them and was always haunting the small school library for new stuff to read. There are books I lost and haven’t been able to replace– Lady In Waiting (about Sir Walter Raleigh and his wife Bess), The Black Rose, about a medieval trip to the Far East, a la Marco Polo–and they’re still on my favs list, although they’ve no doubt been out of print for years.
I discovered Lord Peter Whimsey, by Dorothy Sayers, went through a mystery stage. Loved all the Shakespeare books I had to read for school, discovered there were some truly depressed writers out there (Thomas Hardy, anyone?), learned to read everything anyway, because you never knew whether you’d like it or not by the cover or even the blurb. It’s a life-long journey. I’m still discovering new authors, like Charles de Lint, whose writing I fell in love with right after I moved to Canada ten years ago.
It really is like trying to herd cats for me to try to pick a favorite or even a definitive list. Each time I try I remember more books I’ve loved, and it’s impossible to quantify how much I love one in comparison to another!
I’m Anya, and I’m a book fanatic…