I don't exactly remember when it started but I do know I have memories of myself reading as a child all the time. I also remember my first chapter book, Charlotte's Web.
I also remember my first adult book, not YA, but adult book. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. I know most readers know who V.C. Andrews is (was) and what her books are about. A major recurring theme in her books is incest. I remember being intrigued by this and wondering if it all was true. At the time, I couldn't fathom, still can't, the nature of incest. Anyway, I remember her books being one that I read all the time.
Once I was over my shock of what is V.C. Andrews and her books, I got a hold of Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty books. By this time, I was in college. That was the first time I'd ever read anything about bondage and submission. They were quite interesting and I enjoyed them. Hmm... maybe that's where my enjoyment for smut stems from.
Up to this point, books were just that, enjoyment for me and still are though now they are more than just enjoyment. No other book had touched me to the point of me bearing my soul out in tears. Only one person did that and he can still do that to this very day. Yep, I'm talking about Nicholas Sparks. What a writer. His first book, The Notebook... I shed tears when I read that book. Sadly, I loaned it to someone and didn't get it back but that's okay because the memory of reading that book and what it made me feel is still with me. Nicholas Sparks is my favorite author. My favorite book of his is A Walk To Remember. I have a favorite line/passage of that book. (Though it is not my favorite book passage of all time. I'll share that with you in a bit.)
"This is my story; I promise to leave nothing out. First you will smile, and then you will cry - don't say you haven't been warned." - Landon Carter, A Walk to RememberWhile Nicholas Sparks is my favorite author and I know that I can always count on him for a wonderful romantic story, his books aren't my favorite of all time.
That honor has been left for the best series ever written. The best series of all time, IMO.
There's so much I can say about this series. While some will argue about the evilness behind it, I don't see it. I see a series that proves LOVE to be a very real force that is not to be reckoned with. Love can overcome any obstacles standing in the way, including evil. Yes, there's magic and we all know magic isn't real but LOVE is. Good always triumphing over evil is. Loyalty and friendship is. It's an epic adventure that takes you on a magical and non-magical ride. I experienced all that the characters experienced. I laughed with them. I cringed with them. I was scared with them. I loved with them. I fought with them. I encouraged them. I cried with them. Oh how I cried, how I CRIED! Reading the last two books in the series, I don't think there was ever a time that my eyes were dried. I cried because of the adversities the characters faced. I cried because my heart broke for them. I cried because my heart was overcome with joy when they won. I cried because I knew that the end was near and Harry Potter would be no more. I'm getting misty eyed as I write this, lol The point is, Harry Potter is my favorite series of all time and will always be.
My favorite passage of the series and I suspect it's a lot of people's favorite too is:
"After all this time?"
"Always," said Snape.I mean... while there was so much more in the story, this always stood out to me. Snape being the one I hated from the beginning, is the one who I had the most respect for in the end. He loved only one person his entire life. That love fueled him to go against the most evil creature that existed. That love is what made him a hero.
See, there it is again, Love. Love is what makes this series great!
During my time as an adult, I've read many books and have enjoyed them all. I will admit, I read the Twilight series and loved it. I've read the books more than once. I know I'm in the minority here.
I've read Stephen King, Anne Rice (as herself and her pen name) Dean Koontz, Dan Brown, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and many more other traditionally published authors. Lately, however, I've been reading lots of Indie Authors, whom I support.
All in all, reading provides me with a wonderful escape from reality. I get to meet folks I'd never meet. Get to travel to places I may not ever go. Get to experience things from someone else's perspective. Sometimes I'm glad it's them and not me. I get to live another life, if for a brief moment in time. I read most genres. I like discovering new things.
Reading will always be a part of me and if that makes me a nerd/geek, I will fully embrace it with open arms. I'd rather be a nerd or geek than a non-reader. :-)