I was talking to one of my friends yesterday and they said I appeared to be obsessed with someone. What my friend didn't realise is one of the other subjects of our discussion was a lot closer to an almost 30 year true obssession of mine. However, it wasn't a person - it was the search for an object which you might be thankful for the existence of as it has a big connection with this blog.
If I were to ask you to name the most influential book you have ever read I am sure you would come up with various titles - maybe ranging from "War And Peace" to "Pride And Prejudice" to "A Long Walk To Freedom" to Religious Texts and Holy Scriptures, etc.
The books we like and have the most influence on our lives is a very personal choice.
My most influential book is actually a children's fiction book which is now out of print (but I finally managed to order a first edition copy from Amazon last night - nearly 30 years after I originally read it).
How can a children's fiction book be so influential that I searched for it for so long??? More to the point - what is the connection between it and this blog???
(You mean apart from me having been told by various people who have read my ramblings on here that my blog could almost be called a "Spellbinder" - which also happens to be the title of the book???)
Well, that children's fiction book actually did its Author's day job for him in a way - as well as convincing me that daydreaming was OK.
"Spellbinder" taught me how the English language can be used in different ways to excite, inspire, educate, and relax people.
Apart from that - the biggest influence it has had can be seen in this blog. If you can almost hear the author of a book reading it out to you as though it is part of a conversation with them I would say you are reading a very good book. The best thing is when you wish you could have a cup of coffee or a glass of something alcoholic with the author and just listen to them as they speak for a few hours.
I try to write as I would speak to you if we were face to face. Yes, I can get very passionate about things and people who are close to my heart. I can also get on my soapbox about subjects I feel angry about. What I never try to do is influence your thinking one way or the other - you have your own mind and I have mine. I will occassionally attempt to make you think about things you wouldn't otherwise have contact with. I will introduce you to some of the people I like and admire for whatever reason.
Er - Ineke - rewind for a minute please. What do you mean the book did its Author's day job in a way"??? How do you know what the Author's dayjob was???
Ah - I knew I had forgotten to mention something important. I was standing in a classroom the first time I laid eyes on the book - and the expression on the Author's face in the photograph on the dust jacket of the book is one I ended up knowing extremely well over the course of the year I was in his English class.
In fact, Stephen (or Steve) Bowkett was my favourite teacher of all the teachers I have ever had - and he still inspires me today (just under 25 years after I left school).
I know how lucky I am to have been in his presence during some of the worst times in my life - and his methods of teaching (both intentional and unintentional) have stayed with me.
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