In grade two my teacher purchased a book for each student in her class as a Christmas present and while practically everyone else in my class received a Berenstain Bears “chapter” book I received Abel’s Island by William Steig. I thought this meant she didn’t like me as much because she gave all the other children the best books and simply gave me one of the leftovers, so I put the book on my shelf and didn’t look at it again for about two years. But just after Christmas during my grade four year, I was cleaning my room (in a new city) and found Abel’s Island. I decided to give it a chance, and I adored it. I couldn’t put the book down and I read it about 50 times. I recommended it to everyone I could think of and I even read it a couple times when I was in my early teens, just because I love the story so much. I came to realize that she didn’t dislike me; it was actually quite the opposite. Abel’s Island was a higher reading level and she knew the story well, she knew I could handle it and would enjoy it. After realizing this in my sixth grade year, I started reading everything I could. I went through my Nancy Drew phase, the Harry Potter obsession and I was recently struck by the Twilight fascination. But in between I have read all of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables tales, some Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, many Mark-Kate and Ashley detective stories, and many, many others.
In my grade twelve year I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the perfect classic for a girl my age to have begun the classics with. I had attempted many other classics in my Advanced Placement English classes, but I never understood what the teachers were trying to push into my head until I reached my grade twelve year, and a teacher that helped me to love the literature I was reading. Since then I have been hooked on reading the classics and literature of the ages (and I’ve also been able to spew off excellent essays with little effort – Thank you Ms. M!)
Now, there’s something about new books that gets me giddy beyond belief. Even though I have plenty of works that I have yet to embark on, I love the feeling I get when I come into possession of a new (to me) book. I especially love getting the classics, the books that my professors recommend or quote from – even though I know it’ll take me time to get through them, I always feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I have actually read something that a professor mentions when discussing a different work in class. Tonight I bought six books:
Inferno by Dante Alighieri
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Metamorphoses by Ovid
And an Anthology named Love Stories that includes, but is not limited to, works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Margaret Atwood.
These books made the top of a very, very long wishlist/list of books I want to read. Which books make the top of your list?