Do you believe that what a person reads, reflects who they are – or, maybe, who they want to be? I think that I kind of do. But I do definitely believe that what we have read, becomes a part of who we are. Shapes us, so to speak, just as experiences in real life – both in the physical and the online worlds – show our past; so the texts we read and the shows we watch and the music we listen to, shape our thoughts. And therefore, in a way, our futures. Wow – that got deeper than I had expected it to! Especially for the first paragraph!!!
So anyway, I was thinking yesterday that I want to share with… well, whoever’s out there… what books I love. What books I have read, that I have let shape me, my thoughts, my attitudes.
And it all starts with Magician, by Raymond E. Feist. That was the first novel that I remember absolutely falling in love with. I was in Year 9 or thereabouts, around 13 years old, and a good friend loaned me her copy. I remember being a little hesitant to read it, initially – being a Christian, the title concerned me, with its promise of spells, cauldrons, and all things magic. But my friend was also a Christian, and so I read the first page.
That was enough. I was hooked, and have been ever since. Writing, good writing, captivates and inspires. We rejoice and cry over characters triumphs and tragedies. From Pug and Tomas to Mara of the Acoma and Kevin the slave, from Squire James to “… you take all the fun out of life!” the Riftworld novels were exactly what I needed them to be, at the time that I needed them to be it. They have remained that way ever since.
A couple of months ago, I was fortunate enough to find Feist’s ‘new, revised edition’ of Magician in a second hand shop. Released in 1991, Feist wrote of this edition: “The book I would have written had I the skills I possess today”. The extra scenes added depth – as you would expect! – but also an insight into Feist’s thinking at the time. What *he* would have wanted included. What *he* believed important. You get more of a sense of the man behind the characters with this edition. The craftsmanship that went into the making of the novel. The sheer, incredible, talent. I love that.
It made me fall in love with the writing profession all over again. And be inspired. Watch out, world! 🙂