There is something about books: the bright covers, the nice smell as you flick the pages, and the characters that come alive as you read the chapters … I’ve always considered books as some of my most treasured possessions. When I was a child, there’s no word to describe the thrill I used to get every time my mum brought me books home from work. I couldn’t wait to turn the pages and discover what magic they contained.
My interest in books waned somewhat when the internet became popular in the late 90s. For about two years, books’ magical ability to transport me to different worlds lost its appeal as I preferred web to printed pages. But, and I have to admit Harry Potter is partly responsible for this, I soon rediscovered joys of printed pages. Below are some of my favourite books and you will notice that all of them are fantasy titles!
The Chronicles of Narnia
Mrs. Utting, my English teacher at school, introduced me to the seven magical books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia. From the first pages of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I knew that I was in for a treat. We were required to read only four of the books in class but I sought and read the rest of the Chronicles with a passionate hunger for more. Over the years, I have reread every one of the books several times and purchased at least four sets of the series. Most recently, I’ve started collecting the audio books. I enjoyed watching the movie in December 2005 too! Wanting more of the same, this series led me to The Chronicles of Prydain.
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
What can I say? So much praise has been heaped on this novel that anything I say would sound like a repetition. But I will say this: Tolkien’s masterpiece is my all-time favourite book in any genre and I have every sympathy for those that haven’t read or have no desire to read it. It’s the greatest book of all time and that is no exaggeration. Like with many other readers, this trilogy left me with an insatiable hunger for fantasy and I’ve been reading countless of fantasy series by Tolkien clones ever since. None of them will ever replace Tolkien as the king of fantasy but Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, David Eddings’ The Belgariad, Terry Brooks’ Shannara books, and Robin Hobbs’ Farseer Trilogy also make fantastic reading.
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
In 2001, I picked up a copy of the first book Harry Potter and the Philisopher’s Stone to see what the fuss was all about. Everyone was raging about the series and the hype made me feel as though I was missing out on something great. I went on to read Books 2 to 6 and I am anticipating the release of the final book but the books still lack Lewis’ charm and Tolkien’s depth. The books are undoubtedly entertaining, however, and I applaud Ms Rowling for managing the impossible feat of making kids think reading for pleasure is “cool” again.