How a Love of Reading Grew Into a Love of All Genres
I’ve always loved reading books. When I was younger, I actually used to get myself in trouble because I would take a book and a flashlight to bed and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. But I would get caught because the light from my flashlight would leak out under my bedroom door. So, being the smart boy that I was, I learned that if I put my head, book, and flashlight under the covers my parents couldn’t see the light under my door. Problem solved! Except I would be really sleepy the next day. When I was even younger, I’d ask my mom to read my favorite book, “The Little Engine That Could,” to me every chance we got. Even if she was tired after a long day, Mom never told me no when I wanted her to read to me. She influenced my love for reading at a young age and nurtured it as I grew. The older I became, the more my reading preferences changed, and my interest in science fiction grew. I started reading through many of the early “Golden Age” series of science fiction, including the works by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, and Robert A. Heinlein. Some of my favorite books were the “Foundation” and “I Robot” series by Asimov, “Childhood’s End” by Clarke, “Ringworld” by Niven, and “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Heinlein. I really enjoyed getting lost in a science fiction story, and even wanted to write my own short story, but I never got serious about it. However, I eventually decided I wanted to expand my horizons to other genres and experiences. “However, I eventually decided I wanted to expand my horizons to other genres and experiences.”
From the third grade until my senior year of high school, I went to a private school in downtown Fort Worth. Classes would end around 3:30 p.m., but my mom couldn’t pick us up until she got off work at about 5 p.m., which was a pretty long time to wait. So, my sister and I would walk across the street, through a large parking lot to the Tandy Center subway that used to be in operation there, and we would take a ride to the public library where Mom would eventually pick us up. I very rarely had homework to do because I would finish it in class, so that gave me 90 minutes to browse through the library’s shelves. One day, I would go and read magazines, and the next, I’d head into the adult fiction section. I read and learned a lot about creating and building things, which I loved, and I was fascinated with underwater archeology and could never get enough of it. One time, I came across the mystery section and decided to give that genre a try, too. I plowed through Agatha Christie and the Hercule Poirot stories. While I enjoyed the mystery books, they didn’t quite hold my imagination as well as science fiction did.
It didn’t take me long to learn where everything was in the library, so if I was in the mood for a particular genre or book, I knew exactly where to go. However, when my mom came to pick me up, she never knew where to find me and would have to wander through the library, only to spot me tucked away in an odd corner. It didn’t take very long for me to learn to watch the clock and go to our prearranged spot, so she didn’t have to hunt me down every time. Today, I read a much broader spectrum of books, particularly business, biographies, and the occasional Grisham legal thriller, but I still enjoy reading science fiction, especially military science fiction. The works of John Scalzi, David Brin, and B.V. Larson are some of my newer favorites. This month, I encourage you to try out a new book or genre that you might not usually read. The great thing about trying out something new is that sometimes you discover that you enjoy it!
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