Growing up, I wasn’t overly fond of literature. There were a few books here and there that grabbed my attention, but my hands always reached for the Game Boy first. Reading was an intimidating hobby back then because I never knew where to start and there were very few books that I truly enjoyed.
That same tradition continued throughout all of middle and high school, except even more so. You’d have thought that the teaching curriculum introduced broccoli and cauliflower because I turned my nose up at anything bound and paged, just like I would to those nutritious veggies.
It was only when I was recommended two books, about five years ago, that I finally began to appreciate the art of literature. Do you want to know what those books were?
Good ol’ Chuck sold me immediately with the outlandish and explicit recounting of his alter ego, Hank Chinaski. I’d never been one for narcissistic stories, especially ones that related so heavily to the author, but I gobbled up Factotum like it was Thanksgiving dinner.
I’d been texting back and forth with a friend one afternoon and she recommended Light Boxes because of my unconditional love for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Let me start by saying that Shane Jones’ whimsical little story is nothing like Azkaban, but I understand why she recommended it. The story is nothing short of zany and genius. It rekindles the sensation of a classic fantasy book with a vivid setting. One that makes it nigh impossible to want to leave.
After reading those two, I searched bookstores far and wide to find more works that were similar. Some came close, while others fell very far from the red delicious apple tree. But if it hadn’t been for the magical experiences that I’d had with Factotum and Light Boxes, I don’t think I would have uncovered the evident truths of literature for a very long time.
Did you stumble upon a book that had the same effect before you blossomed into a bibliophile? If so, which one(s) did it?