My first love, Grand-mère, was a teacher.

She likes stories and well-behaved people and hearing her tell them made me want to tell stories myself. She used to provide me with a big list of books to read. In my mind, it was fun to live vicariously via them. It was a method for me to escape from reality. My ideal adult job was to be an educator rather than a lawyer, doctor, or other fancy professions as a child. It sounds fantastic to make a living telling stories from books.

Due to life’s inequity, I moved around a lot, living with various families. There were Jehovah’s Witnesses and teachers among them, and they all had one thing in common: home libraries. Books, another lover, lured me in my youth through in-home libraries.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and teachers have many books, all of which point to one thing: a well-lived life. Faith, Discipline, and Family were at the heart of most of the literature I found, and I read them all.

As I grew older, I realised there was a lot to read, but my fascination with a well-lived life, combined with life’s unfairness, drove me to poetry, philosophy and personal growth. They’re not that far away from the faith.

Books and stories helped me cope with difficult situations, pointed me in the direction of a better solution, and piqued my interest.

It would accurately describe my psyche to say that books have made me who I am. I am who I am because of them, from the Bible to Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, which I just finished this morning.

If you’re reading this, it’s a condensed version of my bookish past. I’m not sure how many books I’ve read so far, but they’ve all helped me make the most of this one life I’ve been given.

In the end, it’s not how many books or stories we’ve read that matters, but how they’ve influenced our lives.

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