One of the many things that make books magical is how they expose us to worlds, cultures, and lifestyles we might never have known about. A truly great book can get us so excited about the lives of the characters that we want to live that way too!
As a kid, I DEFINITELY spent a lot of time pretending to live in different time periods and countries, but I often overlooked how books piqued my interest in new activities. Looking back, there were TONS of subjects I got passionate about after reading about them…and it still happens today! Here are my top ten things I wanted to learn/do after reading books about it. Enjoy! 🙂
Ten Things Books Made Me Want to Learn/Do
Writing — Inkheart
Technically this is something I already do, but whenever I reread Inkheart, it supercharges my inspiration and makes me ache to write something—anything! The power and beauty of stories is an overarching theme through all the Inkheart books. The author builds a lush, magical world where the written word has power, and each chapter starts with quotes about books and writing. If you ever need a book to get your creative juices flowing, this it!
Comics — Calvin & Hobbes
A friend of mine introduced me to Calvin & Hobbes as a kid, and I now have every single CH anthology except one. After I got into Calvin & Hobbes, I experimented with drawing my own comics. It became a hobby all through school (including college). I even drew myth-themed comics on the back of my mythology quizzes…which sometimes got me extra credit!
The comic I invested the most time in was called Bungee the Wicki, which was about a world populated by stick figures. The Wickis were a theater troupe who went on adventures, led by their precocious leader Bungee. I honestly don’t remember much about the plot, but I DO remember they wound up on a deserted island once…and they had an army of coconut praetorians! 🙂
Embroidery — Gathering Blue
Even though it’s been years since I read Gathering Blue, I still remember that it made embroidery sound like a rich and rewarding process. I began learning more about it after I finished the book (no doubt dreaming of all the glorious tapestries I would one day weave)…and that’s when I discovered that elaborate sewing projects take a LONG TIME and lots of HARD WORK. I must have glossed over all the descriptions of Kira’s hours spent bent over her work with cramped fingers! In the end, I decided to admire embroidery from afar rather than take it up myself.
Sailing — The Wanderer
I was a HUGE fan of Sharon Creech books as a kid, and The Wanderer was my all-time favorite. I loved the characters and the unique POVs, but most of all I loved the beautiful, lyrical way Creech captured the many moods of the sea.
Of course, my native Illinois didn’t offer many opportunities for seafaring, so I contented myself with reading lots of other ocean-centric books. One of my favorites is Shackleton’s Stowaway!
Bagpipes — The Moorchild
Herbal Medicine — The Midwife’s Apprentice
Sleuthing — Harriet the Spy
Full disclosure: I’ve never actually read Harriet the Spy. But I loved the movie as a kid—so much that I started pretending I was Harriet. I carried a pair of plastic binoculars and kept a notebook where I wrote about the comings and goings of people in the neighborhood (which involved a lot of gardening and going out to get groceries). Once I even hopped the fence into my neighbor’s yard when they were out…and hopped right back over because that was enough excitement for one day. #ThugLife
I probably should I have been grateful that I lived in such an uneventful neighborhood, but at the time I could only bemoan the fact that it made for poor journalism. After a month or two I gave up sleuthing, but the notebooks came in handy when I discovered I liked writing! 🙂
Gardening — The Secret Garden
Pioneering — The Little House Books
Magic — Harry Potter
What have books made YOU want to learn?