Saturday, 5 November 2011

Give Thanks For Good Books: What Book I'm Grateful For

Beth Revis is doing this amazing competition where a boatload of books can be won if we do a blog post about one book we are all grateful for. As you might have already guessed, this is my entry.

So here it is:

I bet you didn't expect that huh?

There was a time where I hardly ever used to all. I know, shocking!

But then, during English lesson at the beginning of my high school years, we had to do a book report on anything we had read recently as a sort of oral test.

I didn't choose Lord Loss if that's what you're thinking. No, no. Back then I never would have even looked at a book like that. I remember choosing Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (I actually still have it) and doing my report on that. I loved the book, but it still didn't encourage me to read more in any way.

So where does Lord Loss come into this little anecdote of mine?

My friend read it. My friend did a report on Lord Loss because she absolutely adored books by Darren Shan. And I was completely and utterly captivated. I just desperately wanted this book.

Of course, the next time I was in Waterstones I just had to buy it and then I finished it in a day, bewildered that ever such a book could even exist. I was completely hooked.

Keep in mind that I did read Harry Potter and Roald Dahl - they were like my whole childhood, they were everything to me at the time, but they never seemed to make me want to explore anything else. I never read any magical story not set in Hogwarts, nothing remotely resembling science fiction and definitely no horror.

Lord Loss though. It just blew my mind. I immediately wanted the next book in the series, and the next and the next until I was just like every other fan of Darren Shan eagerly anticipating his next masterpiece.

From there my mind seemed to have been opened to every sort of worlds, characters and stories and I started to read like I have never read before.

There is a quote from W. Somerset Maugham, which just so happens to be one of my favourites:

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

That is what I felt Lord Loss did for me. I just delved into a whole other world filled with demons and characters with amazing powers and I felt sort of disconnected from everything that was constantly playing on my mind, whether it was schoolwork or friends, enabling me to give myself a brief respite.

As for after that, I read loads of books -some of which I loved, some of which I despised - and I felt the need to share my thoughts with someone. Then along came this blog.

So I am grateful for books. They've given me a way to voice my opinions and open my mind to new ideas and knowledge and for that I am grateful. Everyone learns something from every book they read and for that I am grateful. They allow us to escape, for a little, from a world that can be horribly unfair and for that I am indeed grateful.

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