Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sophie Did It!

I spent a good deal of time thinking this over, and came to a realization - My life changing moment was not a moment per se, but a book.

This is the story of the book that changed my life.


My parents did a pretty good job raising my sister and me; I am sure, beyond doubt, I was the tougher one. I was born a rebel. Not the kind who does things she shouldn't; no, I was the kind of rebel who didn't want to do what she should. Homework? Grumble fest. Daily piano practice? Stubborn stony silence. I did always do what was required of me, but not without first making it clear I took no pleasure whatsoever in the task. My poor parents must have reached the end of their tether much more frequently with me than with my sister.

One thing my dad was intent on getting me started on as early as possible was reading. I loved listening to stories, I enjoyed reading picture books and comics, I really liked it when I was read to...but when dad started saying, "Here's a (real, picture-less) book I picked out for you. I want you to read it, it's nice.” I rebelled. I must have been 6 or 7 years old at that time. (In retrospect, I think my parents didn't realize they needed a completely different approach with me than with my sister. I am the kind of person who does not like to be "made" to do something. If I'm forced to, I lose interest in the task. If the idea comes from myself, I'm enthusiastic. That's still a major trait of mine.)

Back to the story, dad spent some time everyday making me read a bit. I enjoyed the stories, but not the "being made to read" part. The major problem was, living in a relatively small town in Country B, which back then didn't offer quite as much as it does now, books for children were very hard to come by. After a few semi-interesting books, the next one on the agenda was "Arabian Nights". Murders, revenge, abduction, fights, torture, blood...yeah, not exactly the kind of thing a 6 year old girl's dreams and fantasies are made of. That book very nearly destroyed whatever interest I had in reading. Thankfully, dad discovered a critically acclaimed children's book and bought it immediately. That book changed my life. I was hooked. I read page after page, devouring the whole book much faster than any other before it. The passion had been ignited, and it was not to be satiated with one book. I was bodily thrown into the world where books are the only way of life.

That book which changed me was (one of) Sophie’s Adventures by Dick King-Smith. It’s part of a series…which I didn’t know until a minute ago, when I searched for an image online!


Maybe I identified with the young, stubborn, animal-loving Sophie. Maybe the book came along at the right time point. I don't know exactly why, but that was that one single thing that pushed me into the world of books I now lovingly hold dear.

I think maybe at some time, sooner or later, one or the other book might have converted me into the novel worshipper I now am, but right then, it was Sophie who took my hand and lead me into the world of books. That book changed me, and changed my life by opening up a whole new world for me to explore and live in.

Maybe I should revise my first sentence: My life changing moment was the moment I met Sophie.

What was your life changing moment?

Today's prompt: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.


  1. What a great memory! If only you had known back then that there were more in the series! I'm glad you found your love of reading! I have so many great childhood memories of books, and even some books that I'll never be able to get rid of, just because I loved them so much. :)

    1. I got a small shock when I realized it is a series. I think I'll still seek them out despite it being a children's series. I've spent so many hours reading, and still do. I reckon it's partly to blame for my bad eye-sight -_- You win some, you lose some :/

  2. Gah I wish I could trace my love of reading back to one book! That would be such a memory to have of a turning point! I love reading but I have no idea what book in particular triggered it or anything like that.

  3. My book-affairs started many moons ago when my parents put me to bed each night and would say: "You can either read for an hour or turn out the light - which would you like to do?" Easy decision. I can't say which book sparked the passion, but one that transported me to the era of the Great Depression, a secret room, and a wonderful adventure was "The Velvet Room" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I re-read it decades later and was transported all over again! To this day I'm smitten with windowseats because of it.

  4. love your memory! mine was charlotte's web. i read it in first grade and it was my first "big" book. i would also say Rockets, which was the first school reading book I ever read in Kindergarten--is that weird that I remember that?

  5. My dad made me read on a daily basis. I guess that comes with the territory or being a teacher's daughter. Hehe. I honestly can't remember a favorite book but now I want to ask my dad what it was lol

  6. My dad made me read on a daily basis. I guess that comes with the territory or being a teacher's daughter. Hehe. I honestly can't remember a favorite book but now I want to ask my dad what it was lol

  7. I can quote a similar incident where Mom bought me a stack of books as tall as I was then for one of my birthdays :) My life changed into a person who loved books more than anything else <3