Okay, so they title is a little misleading, but hear me out!
I hated reading.
It’s true. Growing up, my sister always had a book in her hand and you could always find her in a corner by herself eating up every word on the page. It was like she was living through the book.
My sister Kimme was the oldest, so she was in charge of dinner for the four younger siblings, but her love of books always left us with burned dinner.
I never understood how she could get so wrapped up in books that she couldn’t see anything, smell anything, or do anything else in those moments. Books were an all-consuming hobby for her. Heck, I can’t say I ever read an entire book in all of my middle and high school years!
I hated books, and her, for choosing books over our dinner. I don’t really hate my sister, but I remember being extremely angry because I had to eat burnt beans until they were gone because we were poor and didn’t have food to waste. Mom did not play that, but the unmistakable smoky (and charred) taste of burnt beans wasn't enough to keep her from doing it again, and again, and again...
I get it now. I see why she loved books so much!
When you find the right type of book for where you are in your life, it’s like the air you breathe! It’s necessary to sustain life!
My good friend Kim Figueroa (yes, she and my sister have the same name) took me to a bookstore years ago while we were on vacation in Myrtle Beach and I told her I’d sit on the couch and wait for her.
She asked me why didn’t like books, and I told her. It wasn’t just my sister, but I had bought several books that my friends recommended, and I couldn’t read a single one of them from front to back cover. I could supply a library, yet I hated every book I had in stock.
She very simply said, “I think you are reading the wrong books.”
Huh? What? I don’t think so! I had tried all kinds of books, and none of them interested me.
BUT… she was right. She asked me a series of questions, and then said, “Can I choose a book for you? If you don’t like it, no worries, you can say you don’t like to read, but I don’t think that will be the case.”
She bought me two books, you know, just in case the first didn’t work out.
Jodi Piccoult and Kristin Hannah, changed my life!
Kim picked the PERFECT books for me! I suddenly realized how and why my sister was so obsessed with books. It’s because they allow you a sneak peek into another life. They allow you to escape the world of chaos all around you.
They open your imagination to the possibilities, they give you an appreciation of what you have, and they are just darn good! At least when you pick the right ones!
That trip to the bookstore literally changed the trajectory of my life. I began inhaling the words on books regularly I’d carry a book in my car so I could read in between. I’d plan a trip, just so I could go to the bookstore in the airport and find a new prize to enjoy on the plane.
I found when you have a book and put on headphones, most people leave you alone. I was, for the most part, able to enjoy my books in silence.
Books are also a conversation piece! I can’t tell you how many times my “great idea” failed, but in a good way. You have the person on the plane who taps you and says, “That’s a great book, how do you like it so far?” What I want to say is, “I just got it so I don’t know. Please leave me alone to find out.” But, instead I engage in the conversation knowing I can always read it in my hotel room or on the flight home.
I’ve met so many amazing people that way!
So, back to the I hate books part of my story. Actually, I love books! So much so that I decided to become a writer. I want other people to have the same experience I had. I want them to experience that “ah-ha!” moment, and to open their mind to the possibilities that lay within two book covers.
Today I have two published books of my own, I have written and published a few other books for my clients, and I am working on a few projects right now! My children, now 25 and 17, have a love for books that I am proud to foster. You will never catch either one of them without a book within arms distance. Books are a part of who they are.
So, if you hate books, maybe you haven’t found the genre that appeals to you. Don’t give up on reading, because books contain so many gems needed to navigate this life successfully, find an avid reader, tell them your interests, and let them suggest a book for you. It may change your life!