2020 Daily Writing Challenge: August 5
For my writing challenge, I am going to be working with daily prompts from the book “The Daily Writer: 365 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life.”
So, today is: Reverence for Books and Reading: “Describe your favourite kinds of books. Or better yet, think back to a childhood experience with one special book. How did it affect you? Which characters were the most memorable? What did you learn? What long-term influence has it had on your life?”
So, I had thought a lot about this a month or two ago when my book club (which I have been lucky to attend again since they started Zooming – it’s the book club I left behind 13 years ago when I moved) had a theme of YA or children’s books. I chose to dig up books I read when I was younger, so re-reads, but definitely trips down memory lane. Now, the books I chose for this club meeting were Little House on the Prairie, Are you There God, It’s Me, Margaret, The Secret of the Old Clock, and all the Harry Potter books (ok, I confess that I did NOT read these as a youngster…but they took me back to younger days).
But, you know, thinking back, three books come to mind which really affected me when I read them: Black Beauty (I remember crying when one of the horses died), the Narnia books (I remember babysitting and seeing the one book in the series I had NOT read and spending the whole night reading it), and The Lord of the Rings, which had a huge impact on me as I really got into fantasy books for a long time. In all honesty, it’s hard for me to pin down specific books that had an impact on me as a child. I read everything – the librarians had to limit how many books I could take out at a time, and I would always read ALL the books I took out. I can see in my head the children’s library I used to frequent, and can even see the inside of the book mobile we used to have in the neighbourhood over the summer, back in the days when those were still a thing.
So, I think my biggest memory is just reading, being encouraged to read by my parents, and endlessly hanging out at libraries (public, school, bookmobiles) to find something new to read. And, of course, I still read all the time now, just not on paper or at a library. It’s all Kindle app on the iPad now. Purists will hate that, but it’s so easy to make the text bigger and these days, well that’s a deal breaker.