I often have a “wow-moment” when reading something.
The cliché about the pen being mightier than the sword may have some truth in it. It was reading that helped me cope with the unbearable circumstances in which I was raised. I grew up in an abusive household where books were sometimes my only means of escape from what was going on around me.
My grandmother (bless her soul), taught me that books are our friends.
When I was afraid or alone she would gently remind me that you are never alone when you have a book. She nurtured a love of literature and writing in me by reading to me constantly and I became an official member of the local library at the age of three.
I learned at an early age that there is always a lesson to be learned when reading a book. Through Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, I learned that even though people may see me as insignificant, I am able to play an important role in important events.
Through CS Lewis’s Narnia series I realised that God is in control and that there is a better place than the one I was inhabiting in that moment. Through fairy tales I learned that there could be happy endings after all and that there is always hope.
Although I am all grown up I am still learning something from each book I read. Sometimes all I learn is to never buy another book by a certain author but most of the time I take away something in my heart that I can use.
I discovered André Brink’s novel “A Dry White Season” in a box between my grandmother’s things in the very early 90’s only to have her warn me that the book was banned.
My eyes were opened to what was happening in our country as that stage and I remember being sick to my stomach. Recently I reread the novel “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd and I thought about how far we have come.
Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series has taught me that humour can soothe my broken heart and are always a surefire way of lifting my spirit when I am down while his fictional character Sam Vimes always makes me stop and think about my life.
Through his constant struggle with the evil he perceives in himself, I have learned that you can choose your behaviour regardless of the past.
Characters such as Kay Scarpetta and Temperance Brennan have taught me that you can never keep a good woman down for long but the most important lesson I have learned however, must be from Helen Fielding’s character Bridget Jones.
And it is simply this:
That every woman needs a pair of sturdy panties when tackling the seedy world of men!
For more of Tanya-Lee's writing, you can visit her blog.
What lessons have some of your favourite books taught you? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.