Guess who’s back? After a brief hiatus – during which I got a new job and cut a ton of my hair off – the blog is back and raring to go. I’ve missed it quite a lot. Never fear – I would never abandon it! Life has just been rather busy currently.
Today I thought I’d give you an insight into the books that have made me who I am today. These are the books that made me a reader from a young age, the books that got me back into reading, and the books that I just cannot live without. So snuggle in and learn a bit more about me!
Alfie picture books
I’ve mentioned many times before on this blog about the books my parents used to read me when I was little, and I really think that those books are the ones that start a love of books. I used to adore the Shirley Hughes books, but it was her Alfie series that truly had me captured. The books capture the day-to-day life of a little boy named Alfie and his sister Annie-Rose. They would get up to all sorts of things – collecting shells at the beach, going to birthday parties and going to visit their grandparents. The books would also cover topics like shyness, sharing, sibling jealousy and much more. They were a fantastic series and I still love them today – they were always a go-to recommendation when I was a bookseller.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
This series gave me a love for slightly quirky, darker books. I remember getting the first book and flying through it, and after that asking for a new one for every birthday and Christmas. It was a sad moment when I got the last book in the series, aptly named The End as I knew it was all over. These books gave me a passion to read the next book in the series, and I was obsessed with Violet, Klaus and Sunny. I remember wanting to tie my hair up in a ribbon like Violet whenever I was thinking, or trying to expand my vocabulary just like Klaus. I stupidly gave my entire set to my cousin when I was a teenager and thought I would never read them again. Recently, I’ve found hardback editions of books 1-5 (with book 5 being a first edition) so I’ve got them tucked on my bookshelf safely.
It would be rather stupid not to mention Harry Potter. I have so many fond memories from reading this series as a kid; playing pretend Quidditch in the playground as our favourite characters, listening to our teacher read one of the books and do every single voice so well, snatching the parcel out of the delivery driver’s hands and not being able to put the final book down. Harry Potter has a special place in many readers hearts, and it has one in mine too.
Fruits Basket came at a time that I hadn’t read for a long time. I had fallen a little out of love with books, and at the time there was hardly a huge section of teenage books that we are lucky to have today. There wasn’t much that interested me. I remember so vividly how I came to find Fruits Basket. I was out shopping with a couple of friends and their mum and we were in a shop when I spotted a spinner of books. I’d not seen manga books before, with their bright covers featuring cartoon characters and the way they read right-to-left. I picked up the first volume of Fruits Basket, intrigued by its story of a young girl who discovers a family curse linked to the Zodiac, and read the entire thing once I got home. I devoured it. I bought the next volume and devoured that too. It opened me up to a whole new world of different books – and started my love for manga and graphic novels. Without it, I wouldn’t have got back in to reading and I wouldn’t have had a creative kick.
Yeah, I know. Twilight captured everybody when it came out – vampires and werewolves? ‘Yes please!’ my friends and I screamed. We ended up running to bookshops to buy it as our library had such a huge waiting list and none of us wanted to have to wait. We were desperate to read the book. And I was obsessed. Ridiculously obsessed. My best friend bought us all t-shirts that represented what ‘teams’ we were on – Team Jasper for those interested – and me and my group of friends ended up assigning ourselves character names because we were that hooked. Twilight was a huge part of my reading life, and just because it’s cringy doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it credit!
I may not really like Fangirl now – it’s awkward and the main character is rather annoying – but I have to admit that it opened me up to seeing a whole world of contemporary books that I didn’t really know existed. It was interesting to read something about fandom at the time when I was an obsessive young adult. It made me aware of a lot more books out there.
Six of Crows
What? You thought you’d escaped a list without hearing me bang on about Six of Crows? Yeah right… I read Six of Crows last August and although that isn’t a huge time for a book to mean so much to me, it really has impacted my life. It’s the only book duology that I own more than two copies of (three sets of the books and the collectors edition – shoot me), and I really don’t know what it is that captured me about it, but it’s left a lasting impression on me.
So there you have it – some of the books that made me the person I am today! Some of them are series, some of them are standalone, but all of them have made some sort of impact on who I am today, both as a person and a reader. What books made you the reader you are today? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
In fact… I’ll tag some people here! There’s no obligation to do it, but I’d love to hear more books that built people I know!