Thinking back to my younger years, I realize how crazy I am about books and reading. In grade 4, at 10 years old, I had finished almost the entire Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series (that's hundreds of books, and to this day, I love mysteries and crime thrillers and stories about psychos!), and was starting on Mills and Boon and Loveswept (a bit early to start reading about steamy sex scenes, yes, but I skipped those all the time). In grade 5 I finished all the Barbara Cartland books I could lay my hands on (and thus started my decades-old affair with Old England, castles, rolling green fields, horses, contained passion, swashbuckling knights and damsels in distress). In grade 6 it was Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High, in my early high school years it was Jude Deveraeaux, Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen and the like. One time I discovered M.M. Kaye's epic THE FAR PAVILLIONS, and despite being almost, or more than, a thousand pages long, I greedily feasted on it and finished in less than a week! Later on I became bored with all the historical romances and fairytale endings and started reading "heavier" books, those that required me to think and reflect and not just squeal in delight when the guy gets the girl. Now I enjoy reading books by travelers and adventurers, food critics and chefs, historians and Asians; books about China, food, Victorian England, intelligent fantasy books, mysteries, thrillers, classics, exotic locales, science, war, finance and pretty much anything I can borrow, buy, beg for and in rare instances, am given as a gift.
Books feed my brain and nourish my soul. They cut boredom, stop time, take me places, fire my imagination, and make life much more pleasant and much less the routine it is. I can live without TV but not without books. I discovered them at a very young age, and will continue to be drawn in until my eyesight gives up.
So here's to authors the world over, thank you for cementing those thoughts on paper for book-crazy people like me.