Book Love Part 1

books

books (Photo credit: brody4)

I honestly do not know if there will be a part 2 or beyond of this but I wanted to leave it open, because I like the title and may recycle it. I get to work in a bookstore now so I have books on the brain more than I usually do. September is banned book month, but we have left our display out for it well through October because it is an important issue. So I will probably get around to talking about banned books sometime, but not today. Today I want to talk about our first loves among books.

I want to do that because the books we remember loving first can say so much about where we are coming from and what sort of person we are. We get our values, not just from our parents and peers, but the media we consume and while there are no data that I am aware of, I am willing to bet the more effort you put into the consumption, the more of an influence it has. I could be wrong, but I am betting I am not.

For me two books, years apart come to mind. The first is Yrtle the Turtle. My dad would read it to me regularly, in part because he wanted me to question authority. I am sure there were times as I was growing up that he regretted that a little. The message stuck and I never, to this day, take anything at face value, but more importantly, I am oh so willing to speak up when I think something is wrong (I know, hard to believe, right?)

The second was the first novel I ever read: The Hobbit. I was about ten years old. I had seen the old (well, I guess not at the time) Rankin and Bass cartoon version but the book had so much more. It showed a much richer world than the television special had, but more importantly it did a better job of showing that the most unassuming of characters can be a hero in the most surprising way. Like Yrtle the Turtle it had the little guy who was willing to step forward and who made his presence felt though no one expected he could.

So it is no surprise then that eventually I felt myself pulled to making my voice heard, for those who have no voice of their own. I do it through the activism I have been engaged in, I do it by volunteering, and I do it by railing against the injustices of the world here. In my heart of hearts I see myself as Mack or Bilbo, the unsuspecting, unsuspected hero, changing the world how I can. That is what books have done for me? What have they done for you?

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