Have you ever come across a book that had a huge influence on your life?
Made you see things differently? Maybe motivated you to do something you never thought you’d do? Gave you that push you need to be the person you wanted to be?
If I’m honest, I know there are several books I could mention that gave me a different perspective on things. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, for one. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, another. And those books are expected to change your perspective on life. I mean, they are self-help books, are they not?
While I am not questioning the influence self-help books have, and I am grateful for some of the lessons I have learned to them, I have to say greater influence came from the fictional world. Books like the Harry Potter series taught me a little about bravery and friendship. I have never really been ashamed of who I am through my adolescent years, but I did forget who I was during life after high school and the Twilight Saga helped me remember. And the Hunger Games! Gosh, the Hunger Games. It made me understand what it is like to slowly loose your mind, except it, and taught me what it is like to come back stronger, a little broken, but stronger. And One Day by David Nicolls . . . gosh, I still can’t talk about it! It made me feel feelings I never thought I would ever experience. Everything about that book was just . . . intense for me.
But, the one book that I reflect upon the most when I think back to all the lessons I’ve learned through books, would have to be A Discovery of Witches. You could say other books and other series helped prepare me for A Discovery of Witches, but it was this book that gave me the courage to take back control of my life.
I haven’t reviewed this book yet, or the series it is apart of, All Souls Trilogy. It focuses on Diana Bishop, a witch, whose world changes when she calls up a book at her university library that has been missing for centuries. She has no idea how she did it, just that she did, and now the supernatural world won’t leave her alone, including vampire Matthew Clairmont, which is a good thing.
I won’t get more detailed than that because this isn’t a book review, but I will tell you how this book has changed my life.
In addition to be a really good story with really good characters and an amazing world of magic and mystery, this book has done the following:
- Gave me courage to go back to school
- Reminded me why I love history so I major in history
- Surrounded me with a group of fellow book geeks and amazing friends, both virtual and in real life, and even a little bit of both.
- Reminded me that the fandoms centered around books are AWESOME!
The list may seem small, but do you know the ripple effect these four bullet points had? Going back to school has connected me to a whole new world of people, places, and things. Going back to school and majoring in history has reminded me that the world is a big, and small, place and that I should be exploring it. And most importantly, putting me around people who are interested in the same things as I am, who understand some of the things that no one IRL understands, has shown me that I really don’t have to be alone unless I really want to.
Not everyone will be profoundly changed after reading this book, or this series for that matter, but think back to all the ripple effects the books in your life has created. How has reading shaped your life?
Books are such great teachers if you learn to listen and engage.