Thursday, September 20, 2012

First book, first love

Maybe it's the arrival of Fall, the need for comfort food and comfort books; the thing is, every September, I go back to my favorite stories and authors. I have a long drive to my kids' school, and on the days that my baby isn't crying in his carseat, I listen to The Shadow of the Wind audiobook.

The other day, this paragraph went straight to my heart:

"Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer
say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the
first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first
images, the echo of words we think we have left behind,
accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our
memory to which, sooner or later - no matter how many books
we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or
forget - we will return. For me those enchanted pages will
always be the ones I found among the passageways of the
Cemetery of Forgotten Books."

I have a hard time falling into a book these days, but The Shadow of the Wind with its intricate plot, the real life characters and the compelling voice of the narrator is the very reason I love books. The first book that I read and touched my heart in this way was Little Women. But the book I really loved as a kid was Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach. I know, I was precocious and very much lacking in fun, appropriate for my age books. I've been making up the lost years of no middle grade or young adult. However, I gravitate to books that make me think and leave with the feeling that this beautiful life is a grand stage on which we practice for what comes next.

What was/is your first book love?


Kasey @ Mormon Mommy Writers said...

Oh, I LOVE Richard Bach! Gosh, I haven’t read anything by him in a long time.

I thought about books I loved and I think Number the Stars by Lois Lowry made a big impact on me- it was after I read that one that I made my first attempt at writing my own novel. I also really loved books by Cynthia Voigt. I was at the library the other day finding books for my kids and I picked up one of her books for me to read! :-)

Julie Daines said...

I LOVE Shadow of the Wind! I'm so glad you gave it to me!

I don't know if I can narrow it down to one book from my youth--it was a long time ago.

I do remember reading Wuthering Heights for the first time as a 15 year old living in London. After I finished the last page, I immediately turned back to the first and read it straight through again.

Marilyn Almodovar said...

Yamile, you are made out of pure awesome! I love the Shadow of the Wind so much!!

The first book that I picked to read on my own, was Little Women. It remains my very favorite book to this day. The sort of book that I can go to, when life is less than pleasant. Though I have to admit my mother had a hard time explaining why it was such a big deal that Jo wanted to be a writer. I remember all I could think about that, was that it was stupid. Since I was brought up by a mother who constantly told me that I could be anything I wanted to be.

Before I could read my own books, a copy of The little prince was read to me by my mother every night. This is the book, I share with my boys at bedtime. Hopefully, they'll learn a lot from it as well.

Scott said...

So many books have had a major impact on my life, and it's funny how the firsts you never forget include loves and books. I still remember reading Hop On Pop by myself the first time when I was four. I remember struggling to read a real story book, Little Black A Pony shortly after that and the incredible pride when I succeeded. I remember how books like The Enormous Egg opened my imagination, and books like The Cay could tug at my heart and teach me about important issues at the same time. My lifelong fascination with Iceland can be traced to the Hardy Boys Arctic Patrol Mystery, which eventually led to my love of medieval Icelandic sagas, which led me to one of my three or four favorite novelists, Halldor Laxness. I still read a lot, and new (to me) books, as well as some rereads, continue to inspire me and change me. One of those, thanks to Yamile's recommendation, was Shadow of the Wind.

Scott said...

Another one that's kind of funny. My book club when I was a kid sent Harriet The Spy, which I refused to read for a while because it was about, you know, a girl, and I ddn't want to read a girl book. I was bored one day and gave it a try, and it ended up being an all-time favorite and helped increase my desire to write. That taught me some important lessons too.

Yamile said...

Kasey, I haven't been able to see a small plane without thinking of Richard since I read Illusions :-)

Julie: Yes! I know a book made an impact on me when I turn to page 1 immediately after finishing it!

Marilyn: I'll never forgive Jo for not marrying Laurie and leaving him for Amy! And The Little Prince! What great memories I have of it. I got my own copy last year, finally. I wish I read French better so I could read the original.

Scott: That feeling of accomplishment is priceless! Like the light being turn on in the mind. I love it when I read a book I have bee avoiding for a while and then I discover I can't put it down!