I mentioned in my Resolutions post that I wanted to read more books that aren’t on my University curriculum. Whilst writing that post, I nearly had a full on nerd sesh writing about books, so I thought a whole post dedicated to my obsession with literature was a good start. I might make this a little series, with this one waffling about why I love books in general, but other posts about specific books I’ve read that I recommend.
Ever since I was little I was always holding a book. There’s one picture of me laying on my living room floor with a big grin on my face reading and that pretty much sums up my relationship with literature. I think (I’m not 100% sure if this right) that the first ‘proper’ book(s) I read were the Milly-Molly-Mandy books written by Joyce Lankester Brisley. The series was full of little bedtime stories and I loved reading them with my Mum before I went to sleep. I remember always wanting to dream about adventures with the eponymous character and hoped that reading one of the stories would let that happen. I also remember reading and re-reading Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five. If you can guess, I loved reading books about kids that go on adventures, probably because whilst lying on my living room floor I wanted to be transported to Narnia or discover secret passages underground.
Leaving reality behind and having your mind be transported to a myriad of places, all over the world, is one of the main reasons for my love of literature. Even today, reading novels like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, I want to feel like I’m in the lab with Frankenstein or at one of Gatsby’s infamous parties. For me, and probably millions of other people, reading is a way of placing all of your stresses to one side for a few hours and relaxing.
I have an incredible amount of respect for authors and their ability to conjure up an entire world and write, in minute detail, the lives of fictional people. One thing I so desperately want to do is be able to write a whole novel and be completely immersed in a world that I have created all from my own imagination.
And that is what writing and reading encapsulates: imagination. I truly believe that reading as a child broadens your imagination and makes you a more creative and artistic individual. Creativity is something I want to put into all my work, present and future, and reading novels truly helps my imagination to grow.
One author that springs to my mind, and probably yours too, when thinking about literature is probably J.K Rowling and that’s no surprise. Rowling’s incredible imagination and creativity allowed her to dream up this whole world of magic, and even the names of her characters astounds me because of their connection to astrology and mythology. The research she put into her work for years interests me and I recently watched a documentary called Harry Potter: A History of Magic, discussing her research whilst writing the infamous series. This documentary surrounded an exhibition at The British Library and, of course, I booked a ticket for this exhibition for my upcoming birthday and I am counting down the days. I will probably write a post about the exhibition but if it sounds like your cup of tea, I’ll leave a link to the website here.
It was inevitable that this post was going to turn into a complete waffle about books, but I should stop before it becomes a whole essay. I’m looking forward to future wafflings and writing about the books I truly love.