I have loved books for as long as I can remember. I can’t really pinpoint the time when I fell in love with reading, but I guess it was probably in elementary and middle school.
In 4th and 5th grade I had the privilege of working in the school library. I read books, but mostly I was the person who helped organize the stacks – back when libraries still used physical card catalogs and the dewey decimal system was an exciting new code that only the literarily enlightened could understand. My time with the elementary school library was what eventually led to my romanticized dream of working in a book store. That dream was never realized, at least not in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s a completely different world since that time.
Although I read books in elementary school – particularly the Nancy Drew series – I wouldn’t say that I loved reading. I enjoyed the world of mystery and suspense in those books, but it wasn’t until 6th grade that my love affair with the written word began.
Every year at my middle school we would be treated to a book fair. Hundreds of books would be set up in the library and students would beg their parents for some cash to buy anything that caught their eye. Mad Libs were very popular, and I was also swept up in the fun of creating crazy stories with my friends. But, one day after talking about a book in my English class, I found a copy of it at the book fair and used my Mad Lib money to buy it. I have been an avid – almost obsessive – reader ever since. That book was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.
I cannot really explain why it was that particular book that sparked the fire, but I’m not going to complain. Now I just recognize that it was a very humble beginning for a lover of paranormal and vampire fiction. Particularly considering that one of the other books that I bought at the fair was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I actually didn’t finish it! I got bored with Dracula. Me, lover of all things vampire, bored with the father of all vampires! That’s right. It was actually Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that got me interested in paranormal-type fiction.
I have since reconciled with Dracula, but still think that Frankenstein is the better book – and as you will learn, this says a lot about the writing styles that I enjoy today – even if they are more of the pointy-tooth variety.