I was actually going to skip posting today, but several authors on Twitter are talking about Book Lover’s Day and books that shaped their love of reading, and I had to chime in with at least something. I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life. When I was young my family would read books to me before bed, until I could start reading on my own. I had the book The Day of the Wind memorized, and to this day I can almost still quote the whole thing “The day of the wind was the day that Pete set out to catch a fish to eat…” I took some time off from reading in my teens to do teenage stuff, although I still picked up the occasional romance novel or teen mystery book.
I didn’t start reading fantasy and science fiction books until my late teens when one of my sisters introduced me to Andre Norton and started lending me her books to read. The Witch World: Estcarp Cycle books, and most of Andre Norton’s books, have been some of my favorite stories. She blends mysticism and science in ways that few other authors have managed.
Another author that shaped my early love of fantasy novels is David Eddings. Another sister lent me the first 3 books in the Belgariad, and then cackled while I waited impatiently for the last two to finally come out. I absolutely adored the banter in the books. Maybe this shaped my preference to wait to read a series until all the books are out, but I was so impatient for the various books in the various Belgariad-related series that I bought many in hardback. Most of the books on my bookshelves are paperbacks, but these I had to buy in hardback so I could read them on day 1.
Of course, my messy bookshelves have grown dusty since I started collecting my books in electronic format. No longer do I visit the used book store, trading in old paperbacks and finding hidden gems to take home in their place. Those of you who love physical books can probably imagine that wonderful smell of old paper. The room with all of our bookshelves has that paperback book smell that takes me back to those days, and of time spent in libraries. Even though I don’t buy physical books anymore, you just don’t get to appreciate the cover art and the feel of a book with the e-versions. Looking at my shelves has made me nostalgic.
These days, I have to find a new book to buy or an old favorite to re-read as soon as I finish the latest book. My current read is The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, a new (to me) author. It was on sale on Kindle and I’m enjoying it enough that I plan to buy the other two books in the series, and hope that this is a trilogy, not another ongoing 5 or 6+ book series. Do you love books? Then you should check out Dragon’s and Whimsy’s latest (and past) book review posts.
Tolkien was my doorway into fantasy as a pre-teen, but Eddings was a huge influence in my later teen years. I ran across Eddings by accident – found book 3 of the Belgariad for dirt cheap at a flea market one weekend and bought it (I still have that old copy, too). That prompted me to find the first books in the series to read them in proper order and the rest is history. I don’t know that I’ve read every series Eddings wrote, but I’ve read the bulk of them.
Like you, I really enjoyed the banter. It was also an influence that taught me that powerful mages were just people in the end and could act like real people. That’s leaked into most of my own stories over the years. I should really revisit them, it’s been a long time.
I think I’m going to re-read them once I finish my current series. I think I originally tried Tolkien when I was too young. I didn’t finish The Hobbit the first time I read it, but appreciated it more in later years. I could never get through the Silmarillion. I wonder how much of the upcoming Amazon series was able to benefit from it though.
Oh man, those Eddings books were a blast from the past. Probably my absolute favourite author as a teen. I discovered him with Belgarath the Sorceror, then went back from there for the preceding series. 🙂
I didn’t at first, but I think I ended up liking The Elenium/The Tamuli even more.
I must admit, though, I’ve since gone rather cold on Eddings as an Author. Some years ago, I went to start The Belgariad again and had to very quickly put it down again so that my memories could remain intact. xD
Uh oh, there must be some controversy over his views of which I’m unaware? Maybe I should keep it that way. 🙂
Hah, no — no controversy (well… Not so far as I know at least. I haven’t gone looking).
For me, it was just the writing style/prose itself. It wasn’t nearly as good as I recalled it being.