I was 10-years of age when I first started to visit the local library, and my memories conjure up images of Rene Goscinny’s French comic series The Adventures of Asterix and Georges Remi’s The Adventures of Tintin. A few years later and my next journey into the literary realm came as a result of my interest in the Dungeons and Dragons fad. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone mixing monsters, dice, pencils and rubbers to make reading trendy and exciting when a Wii was just something you did in the toilet.
Every man’s memory is his private literature – Aldous Huxley
Onto comprehensive school, and the books that populated my school curriculum have seeped from my memory banks with one exception: Roald Dahl’s Danny Champion of the World. It wasn’t the quality of Dahl’s writing that placed the book into my psyche, but instead it was my friend Paul Evans’ artwork. The importance of literature was the furthest thing from my mind as I stood in front of the headmaster trying to explain how a giant penis had found it’s way into the pages of my book.
True art is characterised by an irresistible urge in the creative artist – Albert Einstein
Suddenly as my boobs began to harden and my face flood with spots, books became uncool; and it wasn’t until I was a grown man that I ventured back into the silence of the library. I started in the fiction section, inspired by the movie Trainspotting and it’s creator Irvine Welsh, before developing a strange fascination for the paranormal, aliens and serial killers. Then one day somebody bought me a book by Steve Jones called Almost Like a Whale. That Darwinism journey was important because it made me realise that I could actually become smarter through reading. The wind had changed direction blowing away all of my fiction and sweeping in a new type of book: non-fiction. At first my collection centred on evolution and the history of the world before I read a book that changed my life.
I find television to be very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book – Groucho Marx
What was the name of that book? Well I am afraid you are going to have to wait until I reveal the answer in the coming weeks. Books have the power to change your life so I am going to write about the ten most influential books in my life. As part of my literary lesson I am also going to read 52 books in 52 weeks and will blog about each and every one of them. Each book will be selected through various sources as I continue my journey from Sleepwalker to Daydreamer. I hope you not only gain value from reading the books that I suggest, but also from the process I go through to find them in the first place.
The book that I am reading this week is Book 1 of 52 – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.
Photos courtesy of Zimpenfish & cdrummbks (cc @ flickr)