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.

The second?

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?

11 thoughts on “Bound

  1. The first grown up book I probably read was Thucydides that my dad had on a shelf. I was about age 10 or so and I recall being drawn in by its cover – a Greek hoplite’s helmet. Thus the power of a cover! Ha! After that, it was off to the races – mostly history and historical fiction novels as I went into my teens. I loved “Last of the Mohicans,” for example. And over time I discovered Washington Irving, Henry James, and Jane Austen and on and on and on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s a complex read for a kid! But I can certainly see how the front cover would draw you in. I was a huge fan growing up of the Greek mythological drawings and artistry from that era. It’s funny how we judge a book by its cover though, isn’t it? I haven’t read much in the way of historical biographies or fiction, but I’ve always wanted to delve into it more. Maybe another inspiring trip to DC will be the catalyst?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A kid is particularly, I think, drawn by a cover. As I said, I was. But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t read it as I recall at age 10-11 the way you would in university. I do remember working hard at it, and being fascinated by some parts and reading those again and again. Like a kid. Ha! 🙂


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