The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. —Dr. Seuss
For as long as I can remember books were a part of my life. As a child, my mom and dad would read to me every night before bed. Some I demanded that they read so much that I memorized the words and could recite them as we read them. So much so I may have convinced one of my grandmothers that I could read because of it. When I was about eight my godmother sent me one of her special packages. You see she’d pick up various items for me while vacationing or traveling and I’d get a box at odd times of the year. Whenever the boxes came I knew there would be amazing treats inside. In this box, I received a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was the first book that I wanted to read completely on my own. Every night before bed I’d read and when my mom would tell me it was time to go to sleep, I just wanted to read a little more. That was just the start of my love of reading.
In elementary school, I was the kid who wanted to get all the books from the book fair and well, since I was a reader, my mom would often indulge my want way more than she should. Then there were the library visits and my checking out as many books as I could. I was the kid who was happy about summer reading and always read as many books as I could. At thriteenish, I may have snuck my mom’s copy of Jackie Collins book Chances out of my mom’s bookshelf. I was scandalized and thrilled by what I found on the pages. Throughout school, I read and loved everything that was put in front of me and I was the one who had any books finished before everyone else.
Through the years I found books I loved by Stephen King, Clive Cussler, Thomas Harris, Dean Koontz, and Tom Clancy, often passing books back and forth with my dad. While my mom read romance books I was firmly in the horror, fiction, action and suspense camp. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Lexi Blake and her book The Dom Who Loved Me that I realized romance books could be more than doe-eyed heroines falling instantly in love with a strapping cowboy, farm hand, etc. With that one book I discovered a world where romance was mixed with suspense. Where I was seeing strong women, who were just as kick-ass as the hero that they fell in love with. To this day, Lexi Blake is one of my absolute favorite authors and her Masters and Mercenaries series is my top pick every time.
Then in September 2015, I lost my dad. The grief, pain, and anger caused serious insomnia. In the months after my dad’s death, I was reading anywhere from one to two books a day just to keep the thoughts of him away. In mid-2017 I stumbled across Luke Prescott who opened me up to the amazing indie community. Now a little over a year later I’ve read more amazing authors than I can even count and reignited my passion for genres I hadn’t read in some time.
I look at every book as an adventure, a journey to a place where I would never visit. Stories that take my mind off the things going on in my life. Stories that make me smile, cry, laugh, cringe, think or even freak me out. Stories that make me wonder what it would be like to live in the worlds created by the authors I’m reading. Stories that make me happy that I stumbled across specific authors. Stories that make me happy that all those years ago my mom and dad instilled a love of reading in me. Everyone’s reading journey starts with just one book, what was yours?