I usually don't repost giveaway stuff on the blog, but I really wanted to blog about this one because it's not just a giveaway. It's about sharing what you're thankful for. I am immensely grateful for books in my life. For me, they are a source of strength and a way for me to manage stress. I can always tell when I'm getting overwhelmed in my life because my reading picks up to hyperspeed. That's when I know I need to reevaluate what's going on and see if I can make some changes (not that I don't like reading tons, but there's a limit to how much is healthy for me).
Also, reading led me to writing which is another outlet. I'm not a naturally creative person, so finding a creative activity I can engage in on my own without embarrassing myself is very helpful. I've come to love working on my craft and creating my own stories. Again, another stress reliever, but also just an activity I enjoy.
Clearly, being a book blogger and twitter person, I love books. I read tons, but that honestly wasn't always the case. I enjoyed reading when I was younger, but along the way, I fell out of habit. Around the time of adolescence, I couldn't find books I liked anymore. I wasn't really ready for adult books (though I tried a few) and all the other books I found had been too young for me. Oh, YA. Why weren't you as prominent then as you are now?
I didn't get back into reading again until...
The Harry Potter series is magical in many ways and to many people, but for me, it truly changed my life. I know that sounds a little drastic, but before Harry Potter, I basically was only reading for school. Even then, I wasn't finishing every book assigned.
I read Harry Potter as part of an English assignment and it completely changed my world. I fell in love with the story, the characters, the world, and with reading. It's embarrassing to admit how many times I've read each book. I stopped counting when I reached 12 times for each book (and that was before the sixth book came out and I've reread the entire series several times since then, as well as picked up individual books from time to time). At any point in time, I'm always in the middle of a Harry Potter book. I keep one by my bed to read to help me sleep.
Since then, I started reading other YA books. Obviously, I read a lot now. I read a few books a week, maintain a book blog, maintain an active recommendation twitter, and have written a novel (though there's lots of editing to be done). I'm entertaining the idea of submitting my manuscript for publication at some point (if I can ever be satisfied with it).
All because I picked up a book about a boy wizard.
I am so grateful for reading and what literature has brought back to my life. None of what's happened would have been possible if my spark for reading hadn't been rekindled.
So....I raise my glass to Harry Potter. The boy who lived and taught me how to live through books again.