When did you first fall in love fantasy books?
I was about eight when I discovered fantasy books. As an even younger child, I had a whole stack of those Little Golden Books that I hoarded like a dragon with his gold. You know the ones, right? Small, 15-20 page children’s books of fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and The Little Mermaid all beautifully illustrated and bound in a hard cardboard cover with golden binding on the spine. I tell you what, I flat wore those books out. I think I still have a few well-loved, dog-eared remnants stored in a box somewhere.
Then I reached that magical age when your teacher starts taking your elementary school class to the library. I can still remember my first trip to the school library. Ah…the rich, musty smell of the books. The agony of having to choose just one book to check out. The pain of having to part with that book at the end of the week and having to wait until the next library day to get another fresh adventure. To this day, the smell of an old library is as comforting as the smell of my grandfather’s Old Spice.
One of the first big kid fantasy books I ever read was Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. I loved reading the adventures of Mole, Ratty and Mr. Toad (That Mr. Toad!). The Chronicles of Narnia soon followed as did The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Then I discovered the public library. A whole new universe opened before me.
In my hometown, the library was one of the old, original Carnegie libraries. It was an awesome, Greek Revival building complete with massive columns. palladium windows and squeaky-creaky wood floors. I posted a couple of pictures of the actual library. Impressive, isn’t it? I wish all libraries still looked like this.
Inside this classical monument to the written word were cavernous rooms filled with bookshelves taller than I could reach. Each aisle had its own little wooden step stool so you would reach the highest shelves. Each shelf was filled from end to end with books waiting to whisk me away to some new and exciting place. And get this: I was able to check out, not just one book, but up to five books at one time! Someone give me a pair of wings, I was in book heaven. I experimented with Lovecraft, Verne, Asimov, Stephen King, T.H. White and every author in between.
Now, after a lifetime of voracious reading, I can honestly say I don’t have a clue how many books I’ve read. Every available nook and cranny of my room is filled with paperback novels and since the invention of e-readers, I’ve been happily filling up those little virtual bookshelves as well. Thank goodness someone invented those things…I was about out of shelf space.
Hi. My name is Teresa and I’m a book hoarder.
What can I say? I’m a book junkie and fantasy books are my literary drug of choice. The Fantasy genre is vast and as complex and complicated as the plot of 10 book fantasy series. New genre-bending twists and intriguing blends of different genres are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. In future posts, we’ll explore the nuts-and-bolts of the Fantasy in literature, film and television.
Tell me about the first time you fell in love with fantasy books, film or television!