Do you remember what got you hooked on reading? Do you remember those words, that novel, that author that blew you away and created a love for story within you?
When I think about it, there were two strong influences on me. Neither knew of the other, but yet they pointed me in the same direction.
Despite my best efforts at distancing myself from my mom (as kids tend to do) she was a big influence on me. She was, and is, a voracious reader. Her favorite author of all time is Stephen King. His books were always in our house. I recall one day as a copy of Pet Cemetary lay on our coffee table. I looked at the book, figured it didn’t look too long, and decided to read a novel (and find out why my mom liked his books so much) I was blown away! I read that book in no time and started reading his other works. My favorite at the time, and to this day, was The Stand. I loved the contrast of good vs evil. I got caught up in his world and loved every minute of it.
My other influence is someone I’ve never met. It was Scott Ian, the guitar player and heart and soul of the band Anthrax. I got into the band about the same time I read Pet Cemetary. I’d read interviews with the band or see them on MTV (when it had music) and quickly learned he was a well read individual and his tastes were similar to mine. The band has several songs based on Stephen King books (Among the Living based on The Stand, A Skeleton in the Closet based on Apt Pupil, and Misery Loves Company based on Misery just to name a few) One of my musical heroes loved reading! I felt like it was just the right thing to do. I was also introduced to one of my favorite comic book characters of all time, Judge Dredd, because of Scott Ian (see the Anthrax song I Am the Law)
Because of my mom, and Scott Ian, I grew to love reading. It was something enjoyable. I could relate to others through popular writing. My mind was opened to worlds and stories way beyond my small life. That feeling of being caught up in someone else’s created world drew me in so far that I started creating my own stories.
Reading, to sound like a PSA, is so crucial. It can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and enrich our lives in ways we never imagined. No matter how you get started, as long as you start that journey, you will be rewarded for it.