I still remember the first time my mom took me to the library. It was a magical experience! I was 4 years old and I can still picture the enchanting gateway into the library in my childhood mind’s eye. The drab concrete staircase was transformed into a pathway of sparkling white marble, and the writhed, white columns were magicked into gallant silver knights that stood tall, holding up the stately and majestic portico. As the protectors of the Library Kingdom, the Column Knights always stood at attention at the castle entrance. The doors were made from an ancient, enchanted oak tree that greeted each child as they passed under the archway and would whisper sacred, magical titles that would carry the child off into their wildest dreams.
Some would think that my love affair of books began that day in the Marietta Library, but that’d be a false assumption. The love affair truly began with the very first book that my mom read to me as a young child, a child’s book of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Those stories sparked my imagination and introduced a way in which I could escape from the unpleasantries that arose throughout my later childhood and teenage years. Books are special to me because they gave me the ability to travel to new places, to meet new friends and to have swashbuckling adventures.
As I child, I always had my nose stuck in a book. When I was on Summer vacation, I’d be spending the summer reading as many books as I could possibly get a hold of. Each Summer, I’d read close to 200 books. I loved them. I’ve always had a interesting combination of personalities. Sometimes it’s as if I have never met a stranger and I will just stand around chatting away with people I’ve never met. But on other occasions, I’m painfully shy and would rather engage with my world of books. From about the Third Grade and on, I was horribly picked on and bullied. I had some friends, but for that period of my life, my closest friends were the characters in the pages of my Nancy Drew books, my Hardy Boys mysteries or my adventures with the Babysitter’s Cub. They were my friends. Never once did they judge me or call me names or bully me and make me feel sad or miserable. Instead, they laughed with me and took me on great, funny and amazing adventures. I loved solving mysteries and trying to figure out who had done it before Nancy, Frank or Joe figured it out. Fairy Tales were my absolute favorite though. I loved the magical qualities of the stories and the battles between good and evil. Those stories and books definitely left fingerprints upon my childhood and I still love to read to this day, although thanks to my many English classes I don’t get to do it for fun very often any more.