For the Love of Literature

When I began writing, I wasn’t sure why. It was a tough time for my twelve-year-old time (the peak of adolescence, you may call it) and writing gave me solace. I found myself veered into a world where I didn’t have to think about reality. The funny thing is, I never liked books or reading. Yes, I had read a couple of Emily Eyefinger and Harry Potter novels in the past, but that was nothing short of mainstream.

Only after I started writing did I fully love literature. I began “researching” for my novels by reading fictional books of the genre I wrote, worked out grammar rules and how to “show and not tell” (although I still haven’t mastered it yet).

This may seem quite mundane to some of you, with artistic families and literature-loving relatives. But for me, daughter of two science-adoring doctors and a mother who brags about reading two books in her entire lifetime, it was a huge contrast to my parents. My friends, at that time, read books but not excessively, and always preferred movies and television shows. There were little external influences for my love of literature. 

Then I found a cause. Sometimes, I would say something relating to literature, and my dad would give me a look and say, “That’s exactly what my mum said.” My idea of the perfect leisure activity –curling beside the fireplace on a winter’s night, overflowed with blankets, and a good horror book in my hands– is something else I unknowingly quoted from my grandmother. Likewise, my love for reading other opinions of certain works and criticism of my favourite books to open my mind is something else my grandmother did.

The last time I saw my grandmother was when I was four. I have no memories of her. It was also around that time we moved to New Zealand and visited only after my grandmother’s death, when I was eight years old. Yet, I feel close to her, even if it’s only through stories I’ve never experienced with my own eyes.

Near her death, her eyesight faded completely, but her love of literature continued through audio-books and the occasional radio. She loved biscuits with tea, and had a huge container with all varieties of cookies. On my first birthday (I believe) she gave me a white dress which, in my opinion, continues to be the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen.

In the first ever novel I printed using Createspace (and the third novel I had written), this was the dedication: To my grandmother, for sharing the love of literature in my genes. Obviously, I had to work hard to get where I was (finishing the novel, editing, etc.) but I feel as if the aspiration to be like my grandmother, the admiration for her connection drove me forward.

It may not be genetic. I suppose a lot of things aren’t. But I see a lot of myself in my grandmother, and that gives me hope.

*

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17 thoughts on “For the Love of Literature

  1. Good winds to you! I love your story of how he discovered the magical adventure that literature provides. What a beautiful and amazing person should have been your grandmother, just like you … 😉 Cafuné and lots of light

  2. I have a friend named Diane. She is having some issues no putting a book on Create Space. I gave her your link. I hope maybe you two can speak to each other through here with helpful advice for her. Thank you, Terry

  3. I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who adores reading, and a father who came to it later, just because he was sick of her keeping the light on all night.

    My siblings also read, and we have wonderful conversations, and share books.

    I think it’s wonderful that you came to literature of your own accord, but that this is something you can share with your grandmother, despite not being together.

    Lovely post 🙂

  4. Hi! I started with the love of reading. That was MY escape for so long. I think my love of reading helped teach me to write well. I don’t have any writing genes that I know of, like you. It’s so nice you know who it came from.
    Thank you. You have a beautiful blog.

  5. so glad that you discovered reading, even though you didn’t grow up with books. I work in a library where I’m surrounded by books. Can’t imagine living without them. Good luck with your writing.

    • You have my dream job! A library is one of my favourite places in the world, and I envy you so much right now. xD And thank you for wishing me luck! Have a wonderful time with your infinite number of books. :3

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