Monday, August 30, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

Recently a conversation with a friend got me thinking about the books I grew up reading, especially as a teenager, and their influence on my life. Yes, romance books introduced me to more sex than my mother wanted me to know about, but I also learned a few other things along the way.

Two important things that come to mind—

1. Falling in love meant respecting each other.
Even if they started out surly, heroes did not belittle, dismiss, or tell the woman they wanted to spend the rest of their life with how stupid or useless they were.

2. There is hope for a better way of life.
No matter what life throws at you (conflict, sorrow, betrayal, etc.) there is hope for a better life, a better love, if you keep striving for it. And above all, there is hope for someone who cares to go through it with you.

I think I’d be in a very different place in my life, a much darker place, if I hadn’t learned those lessons and many more. (I’ve also learned that those lessons are also true, instead of just fairy tales, like some people claim.) Which makes me very grateful to authors like Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, Francine Rivers, and so many more.

So tell me, what did you learn from your early reading? What change did your life’s direction take because of those books? Who were your first favorite authors?


Coming Soon!
Join us this Wednesday, September 1, as we welcome debut inspirational author Melanie Dickerson!


Problem Child said...

Yes, romance taught me not to settle for a man who didn't think I was the most amazing thing ever -- and treated me like it as well. It's a lesson I'm glad I learned (even if it took a few false starts and ex-boyfriends before it sunk in.)

I also learned a heck of a lot of British history from romance novels...

Linda Winstead Jones said...

Mary Stewart. {{sigh}} :-)

Christine said...

I learned to expect to be treated with dignity and respect, to yearn for the fantastic, and to treat life as an adventure. One that has hills and valleys, but one that if we choose to can always be filled with laughter, hope and love.

Lovely post: btw, I read The Road Less Traveled. Good book.

LeaAnnS said...

I learned a lot about real life from reading fiction, ironically, including common sense. Thank God I never enjoyed heroines who were too stupid to live! :)

Playground Monitor said...

My early reading was all Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, so maybe that's why I like crime drama TV shows so much. I didn't start reading romance until about 8-9 years ago. Too bad I didn't start earlier. 'Nuff said.

Cheryl said...

I learned there are really heroes out there - you just had to get through the detritus first. I love dark and brooding heroes. Now I have one of my own.

Liza said...

I started reading romances when I was 11 or 12. I would sit behind the sofa and go through the bags of books my mom had read. I know I was too young for most of the stories, but loved the HEA.

I learned to wait for the right person. I've kissed a few frogs along the way thinking this is the one. Now I know the wait is worth finding the right man. Just wish it could happen a little faster. ;)

Smarty Pants said...

Romance taught me... mostly things I shouldn't know at that age. I did pick up quite a bit of Elizabethean history (not sure how accurate it was, really) reading the Skye O'Malley series.