I love to read. I really struggled to learn this incredible skill when I was little. My Mum came in to help out with reading in infant school and I remember her saying to me, whilst I was attempting to read a book about pirates ‘Come on Sally, just let’s get through this one’. I can’t help but wonder whether my utter boredom about what I was reading (with no offence to pirates intended) delayed me any, but within a few years, it became one of my defining characteristics.
The first book that genuinely filled me with a sense of possibility was The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. It was the first book I remember that gave me a sense of over worldly, the idea that humans can be so much more than we currently perceive. I am sure that I had seen these ideas portrayed in films and television, but this was my first experience with a book. I saw a world written through someone else eyes. And it was good.
There have been so many books that have elevated me in some way. Showing me a new idea or a new complexity of the human existence that I had not yet discovered. Worlds were formed and broken with each page turned. Books by Douglas Coupland, Alex Garland, Toni Morrison, so many incredible authors with amazing new perspectives.
Alongside these incredible books, I am sure that I have forgotten a good deal of what I have read. And this is okay too, some things can inform our lives without us having a direct memory. And some books I have had to abandon, curiously most of these I do remember. My bookshelf is a place of incredible memory.
Seeing different lives, different viewpoints, different worlds is so incredibly important to personal growth. If I consider everything in my life as a new possibility, a new opportunity, then I can make the choice to learn.
Map Point. What was the last book that I read?