I saw this post on Ashleigh’s (A Frolic through Fiction) blog and I also had this as a prompt for the challenge I’m doing on my bookstagram. I asked Ashleigh if it would be okay to steal her idea so, I did! This is obviously different content to what I normally post and it’s different to Ashleigh’s in many ways but after reading her’s, I realised I had a bit of a strange tale to tell!
I started reading when I was about 3-years-old, and the first book I read was something by Dr. Seuss (I don’t remember what it was now) and I know that probably sounds really early to be reading but I swear to you I’m telling the truth. Obviously, I wasn’t very good at the age of three but I started.
I went on to read The Fairy Realm by Emily Rodda which I adore to this day and I still have a copy somewhere. By the time I was six, I was reading very short chapter books, always needing more and more or I would get bored! It was around the end of the year that my Aunt showed me Harry Potter and that’s when it all started; however, unlike most kids, I had trouble getting into the books. I loved the movie but I had to have my Aunt read it out loud. I don’t know why; I don’t have any specific reason but I just couldn’t get into them. I kept up with the movies, watching each one as they came out. I was about 9/10 years old when I finally picked up the books again, and the first one I picked up was Order of the Phoenix. That’s right, I never read the books in order! Yes, I am weird. I don’t remember what I was reading between the ages of six and ten but it was probably The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I use to be a ‘casual’ reader. I didn’t need a book with me everywhere I went (my, how the times change us) but I use to enjoy it as a past time.
After the last Harry Potter book was released, I sort of stopped reading. Harry had always been my safety blanket, he was always there when I needed an escape from the bullying and hard times I would go through during high school so when it finished, I felt like I’d lost a bit of myself with him. It wasn’t until The Harp at Midnight by Caiseal Mór that I really started reading again and I went through so many books! I couldn’t stop reading and I remembered what it was about reading I loved: the new places I could go, real or imagined. I could imagine any character anyway I wanted and the story, while I was reading it, was mine. I was living these lives that were more exciting and far more interesting than mine, where the main character always survived the bullies and boy, did I need that at the time.
Once I got to my final year of High School (I was 16), I had started to fall out of my reading habits and I became more interested in music which was something I had always had and was now becoming dependent on. I needed music more than anything in my life and while I was still reading, music and singing became my number one thing. I read a few books here and there but I never fell in love with a story the way I use to, I did find books that have remained with me and changed me but nothing like Harry had, and I was worried I would never find that again.
It wasn’t until my first year of University that I first heard about The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. It sounded really interesting and I put it on my list of books to read but I never picked it up. By the end of that year, a now 19-year-old Rhiannon had gone through two pretty messy break-ups with two people she had considered best friends and needed an escape. So, she went to Sheol 1.
The Bone Season took me out of a slump, not enough to be back to where I was in High School, where I always had a book with me and never had my nose anywhere but a book, but it was enough to go out and buy, and read again. The Mime Order was the first book I had pre-ordered since Deathly Hallows and I still don’t know what this book did to me but it has given me so much joy, happiness, it has helped me to meet some of the nicest people I know, and has given me some amazing opportunities that I will always be thankful for. I found a book that held the same magic for me that Harry does.
Last year, around this time of year (fitting that I should be writing this now), I went on YouTube and binged a whole bunch of videos by Sasha Alsberg. I’d heard of booktube but I’d never watched any before, so she was my first. I saw her talk about A Court of Throne and Roses by Sarah J Maas and it reminded me that a lot of the Belle/Rumple shippers (Once Upon a Time) had read it because it was a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, I saw it in my local store for only $12 so I got it, what harm could it do? Almost a whole year and about 50 books later, I can see the harm it did to my bank account! All of a sudden, 16-year-old Rhiannon was back (but with fewer body issues, less bullying and way happier).
Say what you want about Sarah J Maas, but if it hadn’t been for her and the ever wonderful and kind Samantha Shannon I wouldn’t be blogging now, I wouldn’t be as content to be alone as I am now and I would be finding it harder to get through tough times. These two authors, along with J. K. Rowling and Sasha Alsberg have given me back one of my most precious joys. Before The Bone Season, I thought I was done with reading; every book I picked up was either boring to me or I couldn’t get through it. It was so bad that I couldn’t even re-read books I had previously loved! These people have helped shape me and save me, and I’ll forever be grateful for that.
I never thought a year ago I would have the guts to write a blog post, talk to people I don’t know who have thousands of followers, or be working with Bloomsbury to help promote my all-time favourite series. I will probably never get to thank these people to their faces, but I would love them to know the joy and happiness they have brought back into my life.
It was this year that I started to buy way too many books! I’ve officially run out of room! But the habit kicked in after ACOTAR and it’s bee getting
worse better since then. And by better I mean more books! And that was when I decided I wanted to talk about these books with people, not just my friends but other people who had actually read them! So, here we are! And I am so glad I started, and I am so thankful to all the wonderful people who have helped make my time here pleasant and enjoyable!
So, that’s the story of how I was and then wasn’t and then was a reader again! I know it was pretty long, and if you got to the end; have a cookie, come to the dark side.
Tomorrow I’ll have a Waiting on Wednesday up so, I’ll see you then,