For this delightful Friday, nearing the end of the Olympics, I decided to do a fun post. For those DEMANDING reviews, I will probably have a review of the Cybils winner (woohoo! click to find out! SUSPENSE! JAZZ HANDS!) very soon. Also, that Harry Potter love triangle post will be coming along soon. But today, I want to look back upon the days of my youth.
A lovely friend of mine once posed the following, paraphrased, question: What book do you think made you or defined you as a reader? A fascinating line of inquiry, if you ask me. And one I’d like to answer for all the world today.
First, the background. I would never characterize anyone in my immediate family as “habitual readers.” They do read, but only occasionally. Me and my voracious reading habit, apparently, comes from my great grandmother who read a lot, and frequently late at night. But, my tiny town had a public library and my family frequented it. I could ride my bike to it. So, even though the fam went to the library a lot, I went to the library by myself a lot more. I frequently wandered the stacks. I checked out super random books.
But the one I checked out the MOST was Anne of Green Gables. I frequently went back to it – again and again and again. (While I read the entire set of 8 books, I mostly skimmed the last three.) I loved the spunkiness of Anne. I loved Rachel Lynne’s super weird but fun sounding sayings. I adored Gilbert’s cockiness. And I loved Diana’s kindness (and when she accidentally got drunk). But most of all, I loved Prince Edward Island. Lucy Maud Montgomery made that tiny island seem like the only place in the world worth living. And it transported me.
You would think, given the flowery prose that LMM uses, after loving Anne, I would’ve fall into other classics with no problem – but it’s hardly the case. I’ve yet to make it through Austen (even though I love the adaptations) – and I’ve tried and tried. The classics I read in high school I only remember with disdain and boredom. It’s just not how I roll. And I think that’s interesting, considering my fave book of choice in elementary school. (Aside: I recently found my book report on Anne. It included a drawing of Anne with green hair.)
So, I don’t think I fell in love with that particular writing style (although I do try to read as much LMM as I can) while reading Anne. I don’t think that’s what made it the marque book of my youth.
I do think my love for books with romance, books about friendships and books with strong, well-written settings can be linked directly to Anne of Green Gables. (And so can, incidentally, my demand for awesome book adaptations.)
And for that reason, Anne, PEI and Gilbert Blythe will forever hold a very special spot in my book-loving soul.
For the record, if we were to talk about a book of my youth that most affected me in a BAD way, there’d be a tie: Johnny Tremain and War of the Worlds.
What about you guys? What books influenced you?
Have a lovely weekend!!!
P.S. – the silver and gold to most influential in a GOOD way are def. The Fairy Rebel and The Perilous Guard.