My Life In Books: The 11 Year Journey

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I am afraid that the title of this article might make it seem more epic than it actually is. That is, unless you think me describing the change in my reading taste over the years is epic. But while the process in itself might not be a great adventure, the books involved certainly are.

I started reading when I was about 13 and I am 24 now. As a little kid, I was anti-books. The mandatory school reads might have had something to do with it. But either way, I was a late bloomer. Everything just clicked into place the first time I entered a bookstore. I came out with two books, both the 4th entry in their respective series (basically me buying books in a nutshell haha). They were part of the Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney and The Children of the Lamp series by P.B. Kerr.

I read the Wardstone book first and I fell in love. After that I acquired the rest of the series and devoured it in a few weeks. Wardstone is in a way the beginning of my journey. When asked, I always say Harry Potter turned me into a reader (which is true, because after Wardstone I took a break for some reason). But I can’t really place Harry Potter sometime specific in my reading years. And that is because I read those books a few times every year. They are more than literature for me.

For that reason, when it comes to a book/series I loved as a kid, I will choose The Wardsone Chronicles. The novels chronicle the adventures of Tom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, who ends up being the apprentice of a Spook, in a world where spooks are the only thing between humanity and the Devil and his minions. The books are not very long, they are quick paced and gripping as hell. They are also surprisingly dark. A lot of people think of Darren Shan or R.L. Stine when they think horror for kids, but Delaney is a better writer than both. I reread the series last year, for the first time since I was little, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it remained just as captivating, a feat not many children’s books achieve. The novels inspired a movie too, but in classic Hollywood fashion it was a loose adaptation. So loose that it only kept the name of the characters and not much else. The name of the movie was ‘The Seventh Son’. So make yourself a favor and never watch it. But please do read the books. They really are underrated gems.

When it comes to my teenage years, I think the most representative author is Dan Brown. I remember even now that my high school’s library had a few copies of his books and you had to write your name on a huge waiting list to get them. Fortunately I had good friends who gifted them to me. To this day, my favorite Dan Brown book is Angels & Demons. I think most people already know what it is about, but for the few that don’t the novel follows Robert Langdon, a symbolism expert, in his race against time to save Vatican City from being destroyed by the Illuminati. It is probably the best suspense book I have ever read. Fully recommend it.

And now we came to what I like reading nowadays. The answer: high fantasy. I am in love with immense fantasy worlds, rich in detail and world building. A good example of that is The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan – a sprawling epic, composed of 15 books and over 12.000 pages. It is slow going at times, greatly descriptive and utterly fascinating. I talked about this quite a lot on my Instagram page. About how my preference for fast paced books has mostly change to slower, more detailed writings. Series like The Wheel of Time are the reason why it is very hard for me to enjoy smaller fantasy works these days. And that is because I am addicted to expansive world building and for some reason most authors seem to think action can replace a well constructed fantasy universe. But I digress. Wheel of Time follows the story of Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, and his struggle to unite the realms of men against the Dark One before Tarmon Gai’don, the end of days. If you like Game of Thrones you will LOVE this one.

And that sort of concludes my reading journey. There is much more to say, but hey, why waste the time when you can start one of the excellent books I just mentioned?  

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