Books Can Change Your Life

My library posted this wonderful quote by David McCullough on Facebook the other day and I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea. It is true that books can change our lives and characters can have tremendous impact on us. In my own experience, I think the book and character of Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, read (the first time) when I was in the 7th Grade, had a lifetime impact on me. I read many of the books my older brother read, and I remember that after he finished Jane Eyre he told me he thought I would like that book. I most certainly did!  I have vivid memories of scenes and impressions from the book. The strength and resilience of the character, Jane, made a large imprint on my both my heart and my psyche.

Since then, I have found many influential characters and more favorite books. But that first encounter with a character that I admired deeply, and was so influenced by, was a life-expanding experience for me. And for that, it will always be my “favorite book.”

Which is your special book and life-changing character?

 

11 thoughts on “Books Can Change Your Life

  1. Marlo Quick

    I, too, read Jane Eyre at an early age and loved her. I have reread many times and each time I feel her strength both of will and of character, When I taught first grade, I read Charlotte’s Web to my students each year. It was our first chapter book together and I introduced lots of other books and poems about friendship along with it. I think Charlotte and Wilbur and their friends were a great influence on my thinking about friendship and, I hope, provided some guidance for my students too, I know we had great conversations as we read.

    P.S. I got my ebook copy of Becoming for my kindle. When I went to visit Mom yesterday, I asked if she would like to read it along with me. Oh yes, she couldn’t wait to get started.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Marlo, I love your thoughts on Charlotte’s Web and friendship! I dearly loved reading and discussing it with my students, too! I’m so happy for you that you and your Mom can share the experience of Michelle Obama’s book. Enjoy!

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  2. Kay

    I did read Jane Eyre in my early teens and liked it very much. I was ever a mystery lover though and honestly, I think the protagonists of those were more my friends and role models. Now, you might think, who would have Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden or Robin Kane as a role model? Well, me. And I think that’s why I still love mystery series so much. I love reading about the main characters in the books by Elly Griffiths and Linda Castillo and J.D. Robb and Donis Casey and Nicci French and Vicki Delaney. I do like the men main characters too, but the strong women – love them.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Kay, I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and the Dana Girls, and admired their strength and intelligence, too. And I love a good mystery still to this day! So I can completely agree with being influenced by those strong women. Who was Robin Kane? I missed her!

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      1. Kay

        There was a mystery series featuring Robin Kane and her brother and best friend and the best friend’s brother. Written by Eileen Hill and they were published by Whitman. I have 6 of them – the whole series I think. I also have a number of Phyllis Whitney’s mysteries for juveniles.

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  3. Cath

    At 12 I had a teacher who tried to read Jane Eyre around the class, it didn’t work as the boys were bored by it and played up. It put me off until I was 15 and decided, off my own bat (ours was not a bookish household), to read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights all in quick succession. I fell completely in love with all three books but particularly I was inspired by Lizzie Bennett. I adored her sense of fun mixed with common sense and intelligence and saw exactly why she was Mr. Bennett’s favourite. I’ve never really fallen out of love with Lizzie. Even though I greatly admired Jane Eyre, Lizzie was my heroine.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Oh Cath, that teacher was misguided (or overly enthusiastic). I taught 12 year olds for many years and it would have been hard for the boys to have to listen to Jane Eyre in a big group at that point. I’m with you on Lizzie Bennet, though. I still love her dearly!

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  4. iliana

    There are several books from my childhood that have such a special place in my heart. I think that’s a great quote your library posted and I agree! I think some of my more vivid memories of childhood books come from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales.

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  5. Robin Post author

    Iliana, the Brothers Grimm! My parents, especially my Dad, read me Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, but I did love a lot of the Grimm’s fairy tales!

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