There are two books which have changed my life, one very recent and the other a few years ago. Both have had a huge impact, in their own way.
The first book which changed my life, I read about seven years ago. When I was severely affected with ME/CFS I was too ill to read, I couldn’t focus on text or concentrate. It all just looked like black and white lines, the way it must if you are unable to read. It was really hard for me, because I’ve loved books ever since I was a little girl. Escaping into a story has always been my way of coping with life, everything from Enid Blyton, to Nancy Drew and then Katherine Applegate.
Slowly I began to be able to cope with a form of speed reading, scanning a sentence and getting the gist. I could cope with newspapers and then magazines; but reading a book just seemed too much to attempt, especially as I wanted to absorb it all, not just a few words. I felt overwhelmed.
The book that made me want to try reading again was Sabriel by Garth Nix – despite being too ill to read, I used to buy books from The Book People and Red House Books, storing them for when I could read again. I loved looking through the catalogues, it was as close as I could get to reading the books themselves.
When Sabriel arrived the cover was so beautiful, that something made me open it up to take a look. I managed to read the first sentence and afterwards felt sick and dizzy; but I was already hooked on the story. I couldn’t read anymore until the following day when I finished the paragraph; but it felt so good to be back into a story.
It took me a long time to read the book, building up over months from sentences to paragraphs, finally to whole pages and eventually chapters! I had to be really careful to stop when my body told me too, or else the dizziness came back, accompanied by terrible headaches; but I persisted, learning from my mistakes and realising how much my body could cope with. It was a dream come true and I felt like I was slowly getting a strand of my life back. My first step towards finding me.
The second book which I’ve talked about on here is Paul McKenna’s How to Change Your Life in Seven Days. It’s an incredible book and I’m already noticing that I’m feeling happier and more like the real me. Definitely worth a read.