Monday, September 26, 2011

Out Of An Ugly Past...

...there was the light of a book.

Well...perhaps not "Ugly", but certainly a case of "ignorance is NOT bliss" Yes, author Christine London here.

Christine in the highlands

Even the best things in life can be made less appealing by well meaning souls.

When I was in first grade my (young) teacher caught me making a paper fan in class on a sweltering September day. My punishment? I had to stay after school and read. Was that a gasp I heard from you? Yeah.

Even the best intentions can backfire when implemented under the pressure of frustration or time constraints. This incident never really registered with me as a negative until later in life. When I was required to research for a term paper (pre internet) and I had to spend time in the library, I felt it like torture.

In fact I invented the term "libritis" to mirror the feelings of boredom bordering on illness that hours pouring over books gave me.

University did little to change my mind as books were 'required' reading. Now where's the joy in having to spend your precious time with a subject or author that does not interest you? Where is the joy de vivre of reading a book written about and by a person and place that has all the relevance of a slide rule to you?

How is this problem circumvented? Perhaps the love of reading is best instilled by being read to... with joy. As a kindergarten teacher some of my favorite times were spent in the reading circle on the carpet of my classroom, five year old eyes wide in delight as I animated character's voices and affectations for their amusement.

Maybe it takes someone such as myself, who has come to reading for pleasure late, to appreciate the wonder of discovering the world through the pages of a great book.

Fast forward- interior of our family tent pitched along a Montana riverside,

crickets chirping and thumbnail moon hanging lazily above. With a flashlight, I illuminate the pages of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House In The Big Woods" each evening on our way to her childhood home.

I shall never forget the utter enchantment in the expressions of the four children snuggled in their sleeping bags, heads propped on hands as they listened.

Oh how I wish I'd had someone to read to me.

What a joy to be the vehicle of this rich pleasure for others.

Read to your children.

Read to your friends, neighbors, and relative's children. Heck—read to your spouse, your best friend and anyone else who craves the balm of words a great story provides. We are creatures of story telling. We are a drop in the bucket of time away from the millenniums humans spent in oral tradition around the campfire.

We crave tales of our fellow humans—their dreams and aspirations animated through a palette of words for our education and enjoyment. We need to empathize, sympathize and participate vicariously in the lives of others. It is the most deep-seeded part of being human.

How did it all turn out for me? It took years before I was ready to crack an (adult) book after college. Then my interest was in the self-help and psychology reads. It wasn't until I wrote a piece of fiction that I discovered the joy waiting between the covers of popular fiction. Teaching five year olds turned me onto the wonders of children's literature, yes. Falling in love with a story told through the vehicle of film brought me into the world of romance. Oh my goodness. I might be a late bloomer, but what wonders await.

I've been told that my complete lack of pretense make my romances fresh and exciting. I have no formula from which to work,

no expectations to fill.

Just love and the love of words.

Read on.

Visit me at for the latest


Christine London - Author of Romance with a Brit Twist


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Inspiring article, thank you, Christine. You're a bright shining star.

Christine London said...

Awe, thanks, Joylene.