In every instructional book I read, the first rule of thumb to be a writer was always, you must be one of those people who loves to read. I was a bit of a late-bloomer.
I was 17-years-old when my friend Yvonne introduced me to a paperback Chivalric romance novel. After reading the fictitious tale about the rogue and rich Samuel and his undying quest for Catalina’s heart, I was hooked. I identified myself with the female character. Catalina was strong, fearless and courageous. She had a body to die for. Catalina was the kind of woman I wanted to become.
I started shopping for books at the local drugstore. The spinning display held a large selection of paperbacks with covers of handsome, masculine men who made their protagonist women swoon with desire. Those distressed damsels had the kind of confidence and demure that I bestowed only in my imaginary world. Jobs and money, or the lack there of, was never an issue. The author was careful about hooking your identity to the rich, or at least allowed you to believe there was a chance your place in society would be that of the upper class by the story’s end.
By the time I was 19, I was a home-owner, married, and pregnant with my first child. I was disappointed when I found my life absent of the romantic adventures that I loved reading about. We never had any extra money for vacations to a glamorous city. The romance and undying support I hoped to get in my marriage became more of a life-lesson experience. After eight years of marriage, we got divorced and were faced with a new challenge of co-parenting our four children. I gave up my Chivalric romance novels and started shopping in the self-help section of the book store. It was there that I found a connection to people like me. Throughout the years, I never had to be alone to deal with the challenges and struggles of life. I could always find a book on the shelf that was written by an author who survived the exact thing I was going through.
Books have always been a way for me to find a sense of balance. I have visited and read stories from most of the literary genres. My favorites are Comedy, Mystery, and Romance. When I read for entertainment, I want a story that promises a happy ending. The only category I avoid is horror. Those plot types cause me to lose sleep and have nightmares.
Do books make a difference in your life? What is your favorite genre? Is there a category you avoid?