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What did you learn from the novels you read as a child or teenager?
This one made me think for a moment. I was a ferocious reader. So there are many books I could talk/write about but I chose just one...Jane Eyre.... I first read this book at a rather young age 11, and I re-read it a couple times a years for many years. The thing about this book and the many lessons are: first it introduced me to a time and place I'd not seen or heard of before. I met a young woman who had been dealt a horrible existance but who choose to not let it define her. Every time she got knocked down she got up swinging because somewhere she knew it was not suppose to be that way. She was hurt physically and emotionally by adults who were suppose to care for her, but she never allow it to keep her from moving forward. She fell in love and was hurt by that love but also allowed that very love to heal her and she used it to learn from and fullfil her purpose.
Every time I read it I came away with something that spoke to me....to my spirit and because of that it is one of my all time favorite books.
The most important lesson was that I enjoy reading. That has not changed. Reading made me interested in writing, and because I continue to read widely in a variety of genres, I am a better writer.
Some years ago, I was on a panel of four writers at a writing conference for high school students. When I said that I credit my writing ability to spending so many nights under the covers with The Hardy Boys and a flashlight, the two other men on the panel laughed and said that they also had stealthily read The Hardy Boys with a flashlight after lights out.
On a positive note, I learned how to dream about adventure, how to view things from the point of view of others, how to do new things, and how to write better.
On a negative note, I learned some bad behavior and language that was modeled for me by the characters I read about.
On the whole, I learned that reading was a way to expand my life and that there was a bigger world out there than the one I was seeing in my small town.
Answers for many questions as I was growing up. I especially loved Judy Blume, she was my favorite author.
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