Since I was a small boy, growing up in Petal, Mississippi I have adored reading. My first books to read is hard to recall, but I am sure that perhaps it was one of the Hardy Boy mysteries. The library in Petal stood next to a Red Wings boot shop. It smelled of old paper, and old wood. The library card index stood in the center of the room. Rows upon rows of books lined the walls. The pages of each book seemed well worn. My affinity for reading was developed in this dimly lit, musty building.
Soon, I discovered the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Beverly Cleary with her adventurous mouse Ralph. Mark Twain’s boy heroes Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. My imagination was racing non-stop. Many days I day dreamt of floating down the Mighty Mississippi River. Then I discovered Conan the Barbarian. I decided that I wanted to run away from home and travel to Cimmeria.
Entering my teenage years, I read every Louis L’Amour I could find. Then it was on to Dean Koontz. I was enchanted. William Johnstone, Mary Higgins Clark, Bill Reno, Charles G. West, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Charles Dickens, Harper Lee and Robert Frost are a few authors that I read. The dye was set.
After retiring from the Army, I lived in a small apartment, there was no room for books, so I had a select few that I kept to break the monotony of my day. Now that I have moved home, I have converted the second bedroom in my house into my library/study. I have purchased a few books, my collection of The Badge series is complete. I have an entire shelf dedicated to William Johnstone’s The Mountain Man series. Numerous Dean Koontz novels float around my house. I have another set of Charles G. West novels and every Louis L’Amour paperback printed. I need more bookshelves! However, my life long love affair with reading will now become my hobby as I attempt to fill each shelf with both old and new books.
This is the story of how my love of reading started. By no means am I done, I still have many more miles to go before I “retire” from reading. There are more planets, and people to discover. You guys take care and I will chat with you all soon!