You know the old phrase, getting lost in a good book? Chances are you’ve lived it once or twice in your lifetime. In fact, it’s probably the most cost-effective cruise you’ll ever take without packing a single suitcase. You come as you are and you leave armed with stunning ideas and images, revelations about the past, the future, or a remarkable sense of how much man can accomplish in a few hundred pages. Our world is flawed, imperfect and full of maddening, often unsolved riddles. Books provide another option, a tide that swells inwards, muddied with the debris of daily troubles, yet retreats clear from the tangled webs of fear and uncertainty.
|Everyone has to start|
Ever since I was little, I have loved reading. My mother always read to me as a child, determined to foster in me a love for this magnificent art. She had little trouble striking a match there. Back when summer was actually liberated from schoolwork and other labors, I would spend hours splayed out on the sofa, or my bed, or even the kitchen floor, just reading. Those adventures inspired me to create my own stories, coated with characters who have evolved from pure imitations of the heroes and heroines that I admired so much as a child into dynamic, complex characters who reflect my own fears and desires.
Tucked away in a small wooden chest are notebooks now several years old, scripted with the looping, bubbly script of a preteen writer. They’re stories you have heard before, because back then, I couldn’t shake the weighty influence of those tales that I had come to admire. I can admit it with pride. I was hooked. I knew that no matter where life’s footpaths led me, I would always, always, always write.
|Dragons, plagues, and|
fairies, with a dollop of
courage on the side.
|"Stay gold, Ponyboy." |
Famous last words.
Similarly, I've always taken inspiration from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Here, I was struck most by the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood between Ponyboy, his family and his friends. One of my first written works, if we can call them such, consists of a tale very similar to this one, where family is paramount and defies every challenge the world can lob its way. Indeed, my favorite series to this day, an urban fantasy line from Rob Thurman, centers around two brothers whose love for each other is immovable, rising and holding fast against dangers natural and otherwise.
Like the authors profiled in Steven Gilbar's collection, I found inspiration in the world of books. Reading gave me the push I needed to become a writer and a dreamer, to believe that nothing is ever impossible. To know that with a little luck and a lot of hope, maybe we can change this world for the better, one dream at a time.
What are some books that you’ve read throughout the years that have inspired you? Books that made you love reading or writing? What made these books and others that you’ve enjoyed so memorable? Or more generally, what do you love about reading - period? Share your comments with us here or join us @GodinePub on Twitter! If you're looking for some inspiration of your own, you can pick up a copy of The Open Door on our website.