Spring Break. Laying low. That sort of thing. Now it’s time to revive. Send us your stories of books given and books received! Everyone wants to read them.
We grew up together; I watched you transform from a dopey kid with too long of hair into a still dopey man with short hair and confidence and a smile that could knock the air out of my lungs. You watched me, well, I took a little longer to change. I gave it to you after gym class junior year. I was sweaty and red faced and wanted the moment to be much more poetic and life changing than it was. I claimed it was my favorite book because it was dark and twisty and edgy—everything I wished I was. You were so interested in it; I like to think it was because you realized that in giving you this, I was offering you a tiny piece of my soul. I had discovered long before that moment that I would give you anything to make us more connected. I hassled you for weeks about reading it, checking to see if you’d started it and where you were now. You always gave vague, non-committal answers and eventually I stopped asking. I never got the book back though, and now four years later, I still think about it sometimes. I think you may have a much larger piece of my soul than that book. And even though you don’t know it, you can keep them both as long as you’d like.
Two years ago I was nursing a broken heart after being deceived by someone I truly cared about.
My friend gave me this book and suggested I read it because she thought I needed to hear the words in the book.
I read it in 12 hours straight the first time, and found hidden between the pages restored faith and healing. This book has made me believe in love and the power of God and quite literally changed my life.
I am currently reading this book for the 20th time, and it always manages to heal a part of me that is yearning for a gentle touch or a warm embrace…
My girlfriend, M, is as much of an avid reader as I am. However, she typically reads the newest, hottest thing when it comes to novels and whatnot. Her mother is the Assistant Librarian at the High School that M and I went to, so that kind of helped fuel her ability to know what was new and great and what was new and crappy. I, on the other had, typically stick to history books (typically military history actually, it’s kind of my passion/ hobby) and the classic novels that everyone knows about but not many people tend to take the time to read (like Murder on the Orient Express, the Tom Clancy Series, and Gone With the Wind).
However, M said that I should read both The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, and The Story of Us, by Jay Asher. She said that they both were books that had changed her outlook on life. Now, being who I am, I thought that this was just another one of those teen phrases that had become emotionally numbed over time, like “I love that…”, and that she was just being a typical teenager. Little did I know that what she had just done was suggest the books that have helped me survive this last year through the emotional roller coaster ride that is the application process and Plebe (Fourth Class Year) Year at the United States Naval Academy.
I can’t explain it, but for some reason the books that she suggested to me were unlike any other I had read before. The text didn’t just sit there; it popped-out at me and its meanings and phrases touched my very soul. What M had done was give me a newer, fresher outlook on life. She suggested the books whose quotes I have used to make it through many hardships and hard work these past two years, the ones that have come to shape my work ethic and outlook on life!
These books taught me that it doesn’t matter how many hardships come your way in life, because if you try hard enough and continue to trust in the Lord and the loved ones around you, and seek them for guidance in times of trouble, that you will be successful and feel happy in the end when it really matters.
I honestly have no idea how in the world I can ever repay M for what she has done for me. She’s definitely put me on the right track; to be quite honest, I’d say she changed me for the better (not that I was bad to begin with; these books just gave me a new-found sense of humbleness, a necessary trait to have for us military leader types!
So M, at this time I will formally thank you for the transformation that you’ve given me!
When I was a child, our school library always fascinated me. Every time I enter it, I feel excited because I knew I could read and discover new books again. My fondness for books and reading became greater when my older sister (who loves reading too) gave me my first ever hard bound book entitled “Life in Many Lands”—A Childcraft Book. I was so thrilled that I really took time to read each story written in the book so as to savor it and let it linger in my mind. And of course, I had to read it over and over again. It was this book that opened my mind into the different culture and different places around the world. It was my golden ticket to access the places I’ve never been to. So, when our house was flooded before because of the tropical typhoon, I made sure that my book was kept in a safe place where the water couldn’t reach it. My book survived the many typhoons and flood that have passed our house here in the Philippines. And I know I have to continue to safe guard it as long as I live because it has become my precious gem.