I often try to remember what I read as a kid. I was a voracious reader, but it wasn’t novels I was interested in. I was always reading science books, science magazines, and of course, encyclopedias. My mind was rooted firmly in reality. I wanted to know how things worked. I want to know what everything was. I was a young scientist in the making. In grade five, I was reading at an advanced level, ahead of the rest of my class. But these were graded readers that I found mildly interesting.
I can’t remember what the first novel I read was, but I do remember getting a few Hardy Boys books when I was in elementary school.
The Clue of the Screeching Owl, the 41st Hardy Boys book. I remember reading it. I read it fairly quickly, and I remember reading it in the car. However, it didn’t make me want to read novels very much. Also in elementary school, I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. I remember cracking up at the second book during class. In junior high and high school, we were assigned several novels to read. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham stands out. But what really turned my interest on was during grade 8. In class, we read The Hobbit. I found it. I fell in love with fantasy. And I never looked back. In fact, a year before the movie was released, I read Jurassic Park and loved it. And every year in high school, we read a play by William Shakespeare. Now I want to read all of them.
My novel reading remained low until university. That’s when I got into Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, and later Terry Brooks’ Shannara series. They remain two of my favourite authors years later. I have many more favourites, but they’re much more recent.
My old Hardy Boys books are somewhere, but I don’t remember what happened to them. I don’t think we kept them. That’s unfortunate, because I probably would’ve enjoyed reading them. Maybe I will someday.