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Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

I’m an English teacher. Growing up, I didn’t like math because it was too difficult; I didn’t like social studies because it was too boring; and I didn’t like science because it was too complicated.  I loved English because I was an avid reader and writer; I was good at it. Anything I learned about history came from American Girl books, science from Bill Nye the Science Guy or The Magic School Bus, and math from my father (the engineer) as I sat at the kitchen counter crying out of frustration at the madness of all those numbers and letters. Reading and writing came easy to me, although my hand writing has always been atrocious. I used to stay up several hours past my bedtime reading, sometimes only getting a few hours of sleep before waking up for school. When the Harry Potter books came out, you could find me sitting in a chair in the living room for hours on end, only getting up to take care of essential needs, like eating or using the restroom. I read everything and anything that sparked my interests, which were abundant. I loved stories about people or a particular person, and later on in life I began to love science fiction.

My ex was very much into reading a wide variety of books because he had been taught to spend most of his free time either playing soccer or reading books instead of sitting in front of the television. When we started dating, our love for literacy quickly became a common topic of discussion, and we urged each other to read from each others’ book collections. Thanks to him, I was introduced to some of my (now) favorite books: Jane Eyre, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, 1984, and The Fountainhead. It was these three books that changed my view on life, the universe, and everything.

Despite being absolutely hilarious, intriguing, and mystifying, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series presents several complex and scientifically based theories about the universe, ideas I never would have thought of or came across without having read all of the books in the series. I see and understand the world in a totally different way after reading these books. The Fountainhead and 1984 brought about a very cynical view of the world that I had never really delved into before; it allowed me to explore a much darker view of the world than I had previously considered. Both books were challenging to read, for me, and their story lines were so different than I anticipated them to be. The Fountainhead and Jane Eyre both surprised me with the way they unraveled and how deeply I began to love/hate the different characters, and also inspired a very romantic sort of civil disobedience within my sense of character that had not been exercised or released before. I definitely recommend these books if you’re looking for a change in perspective. I’m grateful to them for making me who I am today.