I’ll let you in on a little secret....
...and the big secret is....Up until grade six, I hated books.
Yep, you heard that right. I hated books. I hated reading. And I hated school most of all.
Sacrilege!!! I know you’re all hissing and jeering at me, but it was true. I was such a tomboy—I loved the outdoors, and hated anything that kept me inside. It wasn’t until I met a certain grade six teacher everyone called Mr. B, that I discovered the joy of books. Mr B was a somewhat imposing figure. Students feared and respected him in equal parts. He was always encouraging students to try new foods and take interests in things outside our own culture. But I think Mr. B’s greatest love was for books. His classroom was always filled with them. He gave them away as prizes, gifts and awards for jobs well done. He even gave out books at Halloween. As a child, I didn’t understand just how generous he was—now as an adult I do. All those thousands of books came out of his own pocket.
It was from him that I first found a book I loved. It was a YA fantasy called the Blue Sword. From that book I learned reading wasn’t a chore. Instead it allowed me to escape to new worlds where anything could happen. In one summer, I turned into a Book Monster. I read everything. I read morning, noon and in the middle of the night. LOL. I think I exhausted the children’s department of the public library in less than two years. When they told me I could read books from down stairs, I jumped for joy. I’ve been reading fantasy ever since.
Fast forward fifteen years, and guess what. I work in that same library. Oh, and I write.
A few more years came and went, then one day I heard we were getting a big donation of books from a private collection. The gentleman had included the public library in his will. It was Mr. B. I was greatly saddened to hear of his passing, but happy the library could give his book collection a home.
Thank you Mr. B. You made the world better.
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