I love to read. I think I’ve made that pretty clear by now. Whether you know me personally or simply from these posts, I make no secret about loving stories and books. They are an important part of life in general, but particularly important to mine. I don’t care how much of a nerd it makes me, and I’m actually proud if it increases my nerdiness. It’s brain fuel and rejuvenates the spirit. I also believe that the characters we meet in books impact lives as much as any non-fictional person. Some of them stay with you forever.
It never stops unless you stop. I will soon hit my 37th year on this planet. That makes for a good amount of reading. Some of it has been wonderful. I’ve also read some crap I’d never pick up again, even with a set of tongs. I’ve read some books that in the big scheme of things are glorified love letters to a genre, but still succeeded in creating a character or two I’ll never forget. And there are “classics” that I’ve read that left me with nothing. So much of it is a variable factor, different for each person who turns the page.
Characters that I’ve been impacted by have, in a good number of cases, found their way into TV and movies. You know the old phrase “the book was better” that gets tossed around? There is a lot of truth behind it. This is nothing against the adaptations. Yes, some are awful. That’s going to happen just as frequently with original work. I’ve made some attempts at original work that was probably the written equivalent of my cat launching out a hairball. There are also great adaptations from comic books, classics, modern novels and short stories. And yes, comics qualify as far as I’m concerned. Deal with it.
This is not going to be a particularly long post, but it does have a purpose other than me talking about my raging book boner. It is a simple thank you. To authors but also to characters. You mold us. You teach us how to think. You show us how to jump the hurdles and take the punches. For me, you gave me the chance to live different lives while I built my own. So thank you. Thank you for shaping some of the better aspects of who I am.
I will leave you with a short list of characters and the places to find them. I could make it very long, but consider this a suggestion if you need a place to get started or restarted with books.
Carrot Ironfoundersson: The Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett
Shadow: American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Gandalf: The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
Fiver: Watership Down – Richard Adams
the Creature: Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
the Cowardly Lion: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
Rorschach: Watchmen – Alan Moore
Death: The Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett
Harry Dresden: The Dresden Files Series – Jim Butcher
Bilbo Baggins: The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
Rubeus Hagrid: The Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Grendel: Grendel – John Gardner