Hello DGLM blog readers!! I’m so excited to be the new financials and sub rights assistant here at DGLM, and I look forward to lending my voice to discussions about books, reading, and writing! Because this is my very first post, I thought I would share a little more about myself and tell you all about how I got to be here at DGLM–the road to the industry, you could say.
All of us have that one book that hooked us and refused to let us go. For some of us, it happened early (for a good friend of mine it was Junie B. Jones when she was 8), others find their book much later in life. It doesn’t really matter when, but that one book makes you who you are today. Mine came to me when I was thirteen and was just about to leave the heartache that was middle school. My father had just passed away that previous summer, and I was trying to make sense out of nothing.
In the middle of May, my 8th grade reading teacher assigned the last book of the year: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Instead of shoving the book into my backpack, like I had done all the others, I stared at the cover with surprising interest. The faces of four young boys stared back at me, and each one of them looked so lost- very much like how I felt. I decided to start reading it on the bus ride home, and before I knew it, it was bedtime and I had read past the assigned homework page.
By the end of the week I was finished.
My teacher was very impressed, mostly because I had never shown any interest in reading before. She gave me another book of Hinton’s, That Was Then… This Is Now. I ate that up, too. She continued to give me Hinton’s books to read until the last day of school, when she gave me her copy of Tex to keep. That summer, I found myself wanting to imitate Hinton. I think I wrote about six short stories, none of them any good, but I’ve kept them all as a reminder of the moment I made sense out of nothing. I started going to the public library, and when high school came around, I sometimes skipped lunch to hang out at the school library to read and write.
I’m not sure what it was about The Outsiders that got me. Maybe it was the instant connection I had with Ponyboy, because he, too, had lost a parent (both actually). All I know for a fact is that there was a magical instant that day in May when I had unconsciously chosen my path; somewhere between “Paul Newman… and a ride home.”
So, what about you? What book made a serious reader out of you, and when did you find it?