I started losing myself in books almost as soon as I learned to read. Books became a gateway to other landscapes, ideas, places and experiences. I learned about things I never would have learned about, went on adventures, and learned to dream, all in the pages of a book.
I was with Alec Ramsey the first time he rode The Black Stallion after being shipwrecked on a desert island. I went on adventures with Assistant Pig-Keeper Taran, his furry friend Gurgi and a spunky Princess named Eilonwy. I travelled from Barbados to Connecticut with Kit Tyler and learned about friendship, family, love and being true to who you are. I ran away from home to live in The Metropolitan Museum of Art with Claudia and Jamie. I had a mouse friend named Ralph who rode a motorcycle. I rode into battle with Harry Crewe and her blue sword, and I fought a dragon with Aerin Firehair in Damar. I explored the American frontier with the Sacket family. I travelled to Mars with John Carter. I survived a plane crash with a boy named Brian and his hatchet. I ran with wolves. I joined a fellowship in order to destroy the One Ring. I went to the Rats of Nimh for help. I found a secret world at the back of a wardrobe and met Aslan there and I had many more adventures in the pages of books over the years.
Books were my great escape. Most family gatherings found me curled up in a corner with a book at some point. I stayed up late into the night reading. Reading broadened my imagination, and took me away from the drudgery that life could sometimes be but it also returned me home with a greater appreciation for who I was and what I had. Books taught me lessons, gave me something to look forward to, and sparked ideas in my head.
Sometimes life makes me restless. I long for an adventure, or just to get away from the stresses of life. I'm happy to say that I am still able to find solace and imagination, even if it's only for a little while, in the pages of a book. Join me won't you? Pick a destination, open the cover, and escape.