Do you ever wonder about the intricacies of our life choices? Accidental choices, if you will?
Earlier today, I was visiting various blogs for Teaser Tuesdays, and came upon one in which a book was featured by an author I hadn’t thought about in many, many years. And yet that author informed many of my reading choices during some of my most impressionable early moments. The blog was Beth’s Thoughts, and the author she spotlighted was Grace Livingston Hill.
Wow! I thought, what a blast from the past.
A very long time ago, when I was a child living in a rural community, I visited the village library regularly to check out books that I would pore over into the dark of night (when I could escape from the inevitable chores!). My first book from that library was Tom Sawyer, at the age of eight. From there, I began idly perusing the shelves that were filled with treasured books to choose. And that’s when I discovered Grace Livingston Hill books.
I probably read every single available Hill book in that library. Later on, I “graduated” to the larger library in a slightly bigger town a few miles away. And continued reading those books.
Of course, I would go on to read all kinds of books in those libraries and in many libraries over the years as I moved, like a nomad, from towns to cities. Exploring the world of books became a grand passion, soon to be followed by my passion to write.
Was it an accident that took me to those shelves and those selections? Maybe…but it was a deliberate choice that I continued reaching for those favorite authors, and not just because the small library had fewer choices than a larger one.
What was the appeal? At the time, I loved that each tale delved into hardships and obstacles, with love winning out in the end. Sort of like the fairytales I’d loved earlier in my life, but with a distinction: these books had a “moral” to each story. Not only did love win out, but good trumped evil every time.
After the reminder of these books this morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about the attraction these books held for me. Then I wondered if I might find them on Amazon, so I had to check it out. Sure enough, there were several of them, and some were in collections. But before going crazy about it and ordering willy-nilly, I decided to get the Kindle version of one I remember as a special favorite. Not only because of the romance aspects, but the “makeover” feature. The Enchanted Barn is the tale of a poor family moving into a barn that they transform, with the help of others, into a home.
So now I can rediscover what, if anything, is so appealing about these books after all these years.
And I requested a few others from the library, one of which was Rainbow Cottage. And suddenly it makes sense why, seemingly out of my subconscious mind, that name sprang into my thoughts when I was choosing a name for my guesthouse a few years ago!
My own creation, An Accidental Life, is filled with incidences (or coincidences) in the lives of my characters. Perhaps my reading choices in my formative years set the tone for my creative ones, as well.
What do you remember from the first book choices you made? How did they affect your life in later years? Do you ever want to go back and reread some of them?