One of my favourite pastimes in this world is reading. I haven’t always been a reader and used to struggle with reading a book to the last page, but generally my family is a family of readers and to that effect, I remember a quote on my mothers fridge many years ago in Chingola. It read, “a room without books is like a body without a soul…” My reading was very good and I enjoyed reading but I just couldn’t seem to finish a book. I would get a book from the library at school and would read it the first day I got it and would soon forget about it. My elder sister on the other hand could read almost anything and had pretty much read every magazine in the house and many more books; I think the only thing she hadn’t tackled was dad’s side of the bookshelf that stood between the Dinning area and living room; she even got prizes at school.
I remember willingly reading “Are you there God? it’s me Margret” by Judy Blume and I loved it. I’ve probably finished reading other books but that one stands out for me. I think I should have been about 10 or 11 at the time. The next book I remember reading (even though there were others) after that was “Helen Keller” a biography, followed by “Blubber” , another Judy Blume book that I loved and finally, Ben Carson’s “Gifted hands” All these books, my father bought, and I think caused me to start reading more than the reading that was required for school.
I remember I went down the Mills and Boon route, when I was about twelves years old, a move that I wish I had not made, because of the sexual content I exposed myself to. I remember in boarding school when I was 13 reading two great pieces of writing by a friend and they did in fact come with sex scenes, and had I known what I know now, I wouldn’t have indulged. I won’t lie about enjoying the two stories, I did and believe that this friend of mine has a gift and her work would be good even without the sex scenes. I read some Daniel Steel novels as well. I have since moved away from anything with sex in it as sex scenes are not good for my system be it in movies or books I can’t handle it and it doesn’t aid my growth as a person or as a Christian.
In senior high school I didn’t read many novels and I can’t even remember any of the books I read. Don’t know why or how. One thing I remember though is I made a book lover out of my best friend :). After my grade 12 exams, I discovered an Author called Francine Rivers. The first book I read by her was “Redeeming love”, which till today is one of my favourite books, if not the favourite. Francine is a Christian and writes with a Christian perspective, but even for non-Christian’s, I believe, her books would make for good reading. That year I read another book called “Presumed guilty” by James Scott Bell and loved it. Lately, I mainly only read books by Christian authors because they are usually safe and are not explicit. I also found a website that has free books by a Christian author, Judith Bronte, and while I enjoy her books, I do not really read them anymore, for personal reasons.
I generally read fiction and rarely ever read biographies because very few actually draw me in. I also find science books interesting and generally enjoy them better when I’m not going to be assessed on them or when I can take my time reading them, especially human biology books. I’ve gone from not being able to finish a book unless required to, to staying up late to finish a book and feeling the emotions of the book as I go…even getting angry at the characters. Would I enjoy reading as much as I do now if not for the environment I grew up in? probably not! I wonder where reading will take me next. Do any book lovers out there remember their reading journey?