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Discovering Worlds -- Writer's Poke #141

For Writers:

I came to reading fiction rather by accident. Before I entered college, I read, but mainly just magazines like Sports Illustrated and Newsweek. It was not my habit to haunt bookstores, and my experiences in high school English classes gave me little encouragement to see what I might be missing. It's difficult to imagine a time when the names Vonnegut, Hemingway, and Steinbeck meant nothing to me, but the truth is, I had no one to show me the way.

Then, one of my first college English instructors gave our class her personal reading list. Here were over 500 books that she had read from cover to cover. That intrigued me. Why would anyone dedicate so much time to reading? But she asked each of us to read a book from the list, and I selected Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

It sounds cliche to say, but Shelley took me to another world. And in short order, I read Animal Farm and 1984 and Lord of the Flies and Slaughter-house Five and on and on and on. It was never my intention to major in English, but I found that I couldn't quench my thirst for fiction. So while my reading interests continue to change and evolve from year to year, my desire to discover new worlds remains constant.

What do you consider to be the greatest discovery of your life?

"I do not seek. I find." -- Pablo Picasso


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