What started my love affair with reading? I'd like to brag that the book that first made me a reader was a great classic or somethiong avant-garde but that's not how it happened. Nope, I was the kind of kid who only read when my teachers forced me to. That is, until I was eight or nine and my
|The book that started it all|
Yes, it's a Baby-sitters Club book. More specifically, the junior series staring Karen, the little sister of a Baby-sitters Club member.
Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I read all the other books in the series then moved on to the real Baby-sitters Club books. After that I was on the hunt for more series and I found Nancy Drew and the Boxcar Children. Finally I discovered of the Chronicles of Narnia (which I pronounced as "Nara" in my head for the longest time). Those books sealed the deal and made me a lifelong reader.
Besides making me a reader, I also have to thank/blame Karen Two-Two for one other thing. In the books she switched between two pairs of glasses. One of those pairs of glasses were big and pink, which I thought was awesome except I hated pink so I got my glasses in the next closest color:
|My big red glasses|
Not only were they hideous, but it was also the early 1990s which saw this handsome fellow on TV wearing big red glasses:
|Steve Urkel from Family Matters|
I had never seen Family Matters, but my classmates had. They convinced me to hitch up my pants and stomp around the classroom while saying "Did I do that?" over and over. Good times!
So what's the lesson in all this? Don't discount the value of a light, formulaic book. It has the potential to connect with readers just as much as something outrageous or experimental.