If there’s one thing that’s defined the course of my life more than anything it’s reading.
I can scarcely remember a time now when I wasn’t reading some novel, history book, magazine or comic book. Becoming literate, for me, seemed as natural as a bird taking flight or an otter swimming in a river. It’s enriched my life, defined it and led to my current career path of journalism.
Of course, it wasn’t that smooth. I got into reading as heavily as I did as a kid because my dad, keen to reduce screentime and save money, switched our TV from a cable package to rabbit ears when I was around seven. This drove me to hit the books and fall deeply in love with them.
Throughout elementary, I was a voracious reader to the point my after-school care attendants would forget I was in the room and to the point where I got in trouble in Grade 3 for reading during class. As I aged, my capabilities expanded well beyond my theoretical reading level as I read whatever I could find at school and the Lois Hole Library in Edmonton.
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Animorphs, Redwall, The Wheel of Time, various Star Wars novels, the Leviathan Trilogy, the Bloody Jack Adventures, Two Against the North, the Edge Chronicles, Bruno and Boots, and hundreds of other novels delighted and inspired me as a kid. Today, while I’ve slowed down slightly due to my job, I still enjoy a good novel from The Blade Itself, the Powder Mage Trilogy, Ciaphas Cain and the Discworld series.
All of this reading inspired me and made me want to write my own books one day and become a celebrated author. While that dream has not gone away, I figured the best way to learn how to write well would be to get a job where I write 24/7. With a little nudge from my dad and a newly discovered talent, I went into journalism and eventually found myself here in 100 Mile House.
For me, promoting literacy, creativity and reading is critical, especially among children and students. I really do believe a good book and a good idea can change your life and if not that, at least enrich it.
It’s through reading that we can expand our minds and perspectives on the world in a way that nothing else can besides travel. We can leave behind our pandemic-wracked world for adventures in a galaxy far, far away or an adventure far closer to home. The realm of literature is a rich one and I hope one day to add my own stories.
With Literacy Week upon us, crack open a good book – be it a smooth noir detective thriller, a colourful children’s tale or a non-fiction breakdown of politics.
You never know how it might change your life.