The first hardcover book I read as a kid was Watership Down. I was unsure of it because it was such a radically different form factor than my young adult paperback serials, but my dad convinced me that it would be like playing one of the video games I loved because there is a map printed on the inside cover. I didn’t know that books could have maps in them, especially a book without pictures. Unless you count the picture of the map, I suppose…
Though this book had words I hadn’t encountered and was four times longer than anything I had attempted before, I locked myself in my room and devoured it. As the story’s characters are almost all rabbits, I began to consider myself something of a household expert. For instance: Did you know that rabbits cannot count past four (anything higher than four is just called “hrair”)? It’s true. Read a book.
After that the floodgates opened and I couldn’t read fast enough. Weekly trips to the library ensured a steady supply. Even video games received less attention than before. My dad bought me a collection of literature classics and I became hooked on Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I read all of the classic horror stories and had long since completed Tom Sawyer when my class assigned it as homework.
My nightstand became the permanent home to the book stack. The stack was four or five books high and consisted of everything I was actively reading at the time. There was usually a healthy balance of science fiction, fantasy, poetry, and history to cater to various moods. As one book was killed off another sprung up to take its place, like a zombie horde. And it never ended; I feel comfortable claiming that I’ve read more books than almost anyone under forty.
Do you know that there are people out there who “don’t read books”? #unfathomable