Tuesday, 3 March 2015
World Book Day: Literature, Blogging and Me
In all honesty, I didn't know why I loved books so much until I started blogging. I just saw myself as someone who liked reading- it was a fact. A irrefutable part of me. Now the question always comes up, and I find myself really thinking about it. Why? Why do I love to hungrily devour words on a daily basis? I think it's best to start at the very beginning...
There are pictures scattered around photo albums of me as a baby. The scene of little bald me surrounded by magazines is one of my favourites, personally. It's just me; unable to keep a smile off my face and surrounded by words. Gosh, I've always loved words. I could listen to my father's stories of when he was a boy for hours. I would sing song after song as a child, doing actions galore and never ever going by without a grin or a spatter of clapping. Nor have I ever been able to shut up. I learned to talk and never stopped, and I never want to. I have too much to say, too many opinions to shout, too many debates to take part in. The thing is, I don't think I realised that till I read.
There are so many bookish milestones I can name off the top of my head. The Portuguese 'Camilla' books were my favourites as an infant. By Year Three I read all the Horrible Histories books and knew how Egypt had formed off the top of my head. I was always sad there wasn't a Rainbow Fairy called Rita. War Horse was the first novel that I read on my own to make me cry, because Pig in a Wig was that book that when my mum read I would bawl. I hated seeing the pig being laughed at. Like any other child, Harry Potter was also right there. It was the book that made me fall in love with fiction, that led me to The Hunger Games and stuck me right on the path to YA novels. In short, Harry Potter made me a complete and utter fangirl. But it doesn't end there.
I also went full-on fangirl for The Hunger Games. I read each book four times, fell in love with the characters and was so in love that I didn't want to begin a series that I could possibly like more than The Hunger Games. Nevertheless, that soon passed. I read YA novel after YA novel. I sobbed over pages and blurred words, laughed uncontrollably at the best quotes and fell in love with my long list of book boyfriends.
Amongst that, there was so much discovery. I felt so strongly for my characters, so strongly for their struggles and strength and fights. They became mine too. Remember those opinions I told you I had? They started to come full force then. I read The Help. In turn, I gave a full speech as an answer in an Ethics and Philosophy lesson, not daring to hold back on the force of my sadness that such horrific discrimination could happen.
That was only the start. I recognised myself as someone who wanted the equality of all, who wanted rights. Who couldn't think of a reason why something like gender or colour can make someone better than another. I know that whilst they are opinions that have always been with me, those stories of a boy with a scar or a girl with a braid have made me refuse to ever think of relinquishing my beliefs for a second. I have learned to never ever shut up when something is wrong. I have learned to take the thoughts of others into account and use them to help mold my own. I have learned that I can think, I can speak, I can act and I will make use of it. I will not quit.
So literature, for me, has made me want to explore every corner of the most obvious picture. But if it started with YA novels or Harry Potter or even the rainbow fairies? I don't think so. I remember loving a book my mum would read to me as a little girl. It was titled Princesses are Not Quitters, and was a story of three princesses who decided to be maids for a day in the castle. I'm a bit foggy on all the details of the story, but I do remember that they didn't quit. And my mum still to this day likes to tell me, if I'm tired, sad, frustrated or just about ready to give up: "Princesses are not quitters." And I have every thought in mind to be a Princess.; just a lot less reserved and a lot more opinionated.
Oh, and why I started blogging? Because of the hope that this could happen to someone else too.