Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to be 4 years old. Because it was at this age that I’ve first learned to read. Even to this day I am amazed at how words can transport you to so many different places and letting you experience so many things.
I can’t remember how many times as a child I used to read with a flashlight under my bed or under the covers when I was supposed to sleep, becoming so engrossed with the story that I completely lose track of time. We had a whole box of Bollie’s that I have read over and over without end.
In Grade 1 I had this little blue material book bag, that I used to protect the book I could borrow from the library once a week. But most of the time I would finish reading my book even before the library period was over and I had to wait impatiently for the next week’s period to be able to borrow another book.
We were a family of readers. On any given night you will be able to find our whole family clustered together, each lost in his own world created by their most recent choice of reading material. Even when Dad bought our first TV, reading was still more popular with all of us!
When Dad came home from work on Fridays, we will all be ready and waiting for our weekly visit to the library. At this stage I was still too young to be able to borrow books from the adult section, so I always tried to find my books as quickly as possible, and then headed down to the main library to lose myself in the grown-up books. One I still can remember reading was “Die Swart Kat“. Of course these books couldn’t be finished in one sitting so you always hoped that it will still be there waiting on the shelf the next time you returned.
Like so many eager Afrikaans teenage readers, I have also grown up with Saartjie, Trompie and many other series. I think I, like a lot of other young girls, was secretly in love with Dr. Serfontein, the principal in Keurboslaan and wished that I could be as popular and clever as Kobie in the Maasdorp series. Eventually I’ve shifted to love stories of which my most favourite author was Ena Murray.
As a student at Pretoria Normaal (Onderwyskollege Pretoria), strangely enough, the books that I coveted the most, was all the different fairy tale compilations. I have read most of them many times over. It is during this time that I’ve also shifted to reading more English.
Even to this day, reading is still the one constant in my life. I love reading fiction – my first choice being archaeological novels, but I also enjoy crime fiction and suspense.
I can research (translate read) to death anything that interests me, ranging from psychology related subjects like self-improvement, mindfulness etc. to more concrete subjects like photography, technology, gardening, cooking and so forth. And of course about my pet – because I need to know everything about my Japanese Chin child, Pixie!
Reading is definitely the one thing that has influenced me most in my life. Most of the lessons I’ve learned was from books, and even the lessons learned from life, was somehow influenced by something I’ve read.
Now over to you: all my fellow reading-addicts! Please share with us in the comments how reading has shaped and influenced your life, or even if you have specific books to recommend that had a great impact in your life!
Thanks for Reading!