‘I’ve always had this passion for reading since my childhood and now I’m going to share my favorite books with you’… Isn’t that how most of these blog articles begin? It has become quite a cliché now but frankly, it’s still not a boring topic for those who love to read and even for those who are interested in looking for new books to read. But really, everyone who likes to read books and who are blogging, inadvertently always land up with at least one article about what are the books they are reading or have read which have made a great impact in their life.
Am I also going to tell you about the books that somewhat made my life the way it is today?
Am I going to bare my soul out and list a few of my favorites?
The answer to the above questions – not exactly!
I grew up with a military background. Although I went to a regular high school in New York, my father was a strict disciplinarian which may be related to the fact that he was a Captain in the army. So my life was a regimented one with fixed times for school homework, tutorials, sports, dinner time you name it.
No, there was no time for books according to my father. Topics of recreation did not go down well with him. Sadly, he is no more.
With the death of father died the regimented lifestyle. I had some time to breathe and this was sometime towards the end of middle school. That was the time to get over the withdrawal symptoms of that rigid lifestyle and I did it by reading.
I read a lot when I was undergoing this phase in my life. Sadly yet again, my mother was taken from me during this time and I drowned my sorrows in books, studies and sports.
Gradually, somewhere down the line I left the ‘sports’ part of my life behind and became a sort of ‘nerdy weirdy’ only interested in books and studies. I graduated and went on to college to study creative writing.
Today I am a professional freelance writer and ghost writer.
Did books have anything to do with it?
The answer to that is partly ‘yes’ and partly ‘no’.
Maybe if I had read at a younger age instead of doing push-ups in the backyard with my father, then maybe I would have seen the beauty of Peter Pan’s Neverland much earlier than I did (age 18).
Maybe if I had concentrated less on academics which was a major priority for my father and read a bit, then maybe I would have travelled down the rabbit’s hole and entered Wonderland when I would have been almost the same age as Alice, but I ended up in it much later (age 20).
Maybe if I had gone as often to the library as I went to the sports field to run till my lungs panted for air, then maybe I would have enjoyed the adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne and Georgina (George) and Timmy a bit more than I did eventually (age 22).
Maybe if I had looked more carefully at my mother’s little bookshelf in her and father’s room, then maybe I would have met with Nicholas Nickleby much before when I actually did which was after mother passed away (age 16).
Maybe if I had really stopped weightlifting everyday and tried some of the books which a kindly pastor gifted me every year on my birthday, then maybe I would have been enthralled by the chariot race in which Ben Hur won against his arch nemesis much earlier than I did (age 21).
Maybe if I ignored my father’s gym set when I was a toddler and read a bit for the fun of it, then maybe I would have discovered the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss and laughed my guts out in joy which I did much later (age 23).
There could have been many possibilities, yes I agree. But I believe that everyone gets what they deserve at the right time. For me, books came later, quality time with my parents came first and I’m glad it did, for I will never get to see them ‘in the flesh’ again.
These days, I read at my leisure, but quickly.
I live alone, have a few friends and dive into different worlds that books offer me from time to time in the middle of my freelancing writing work.
Right now I’m reading:
- Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (emotional)
- Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames (funny, funny, funny)
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (literature at its best)
- The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martínez (intriguing)
Maybe I am a bit late in reading some of these wonderful books. Then again maybe I am not. This life we lead is full of surprises and I love surprises at whatever age it may hit me, especially if it is a book! My life has taught me one lesson and that is, never to ignore other aspects of life that have made you the person you are right now, and the person who you may become a moment later.
Yes, I love books but there are no favorites. My favorites keep changing as I grow wiser and older every passing moment. If it doesn’t, then I know I’m doing something wrong, something that is making me static or stagnant, which I will never want to be.
So have no favorites, acknowledge the vast expanse that is your world and live life to the fullest.
I’ll be reviewing the books mentioned above soon.
Happy reading, at whatever age you begin and happy living, whenever you think you are ready to do so, cheers!
Copyright © 2016, Michaelangelo Zane
Image courtesy: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/101574