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Books That Have Changed My Life

Books Changed My LifeBooks are my life, and even that’s pretty much an understatement. It’s crazy how much a reader can take away from one, even the ones that weren’t intended to be teaching anything.

That’s the absolutely crazy and astonishing thing about reading books: everyone can read the same words but get a different meaning out of them. Hopefully, whatever that person has taken away from the specific book, sticks with them throughout their life.

Katie Sharkey, a junior communication student, said that a book that left an impression on her life was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The book kept things so new and fresh that Sharkey repeatedly kept saying, “I couldn’t put it down.”

She loved to watch the developments of the characters throughout the book. Sharkey read The Help during her freshman year of college and it got her back into reading.

Shannon Burke, a junior communication student, said that The Book Thief by Markus Zusak made the biggest impact on her life. Told from the perspective of death, the novel offers an unusual viewpoint.

Burke read this during middle school and still remembers the tale that takes place during the Holocaust very clearly.

“It made me realize that we point fingers at people, but they do what they have to do to survive,” she said.

Donna Dolphin, an associate professor of communication, thought back to her own college experience when she was asked about a book that was influential in her life. The Awakening by Kate Chopin was a book that she initially read during a course on American women writers, and it’s one that she’s reread throughout the years.

Chopin moved her in such surprising ways and she has been able to connect with the book through all phases of her life.

In reference to the ending, she mentioned, “It’s just very moving and causes a lot of reflection for the reader and reinforces the message that women were struggling for control in their lives and they would take it in any form that they could.”

I’ve truly lost count of how many books I’ve read throughout my life. But a good guess can be made by opening the drawer underneath my bed where stacks upon stacks of books are. Every single book that I’ve ever read has left an impression on my life in some way. But there are some that have been particularly significant, and that I would recommend to my fellow readers.

It all began in the moment when fourth-grade me picked up Judy Moody Was In A Mood by Megan McDonald; my life was changed. While being sick with pneumonia and out of school for two weeks, a kid could easily get bored. But within those two weeks, I had read the entire Judy Moody series and didn’t want to ever stop.

That was the series that started my love for reading and the different worlds that books could take you to. After that, it’s a rare thing to see me not have a book nearby.

The phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is not only useful in life, but it’s also extremely true when it comes to actual books. When a coworker recommended the book, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman to me, I took one glance at the cover and was automatically turned off.

The back of an old man, with a cat by his feet tinged with weird colors, was not appealing to me and it wasn’t what I’d normally pick up. She promised me that I would not only laugh and cry over this book, but that I would absolutely love it. She was right.

Readers of this novel will be met with many life lessons and incredible life reminders. Now, I would pass along this recommendation to other readers, as well.

Lastly, the biography Robin by Dave Itzkoff made me rethink a lot about life. This book reminded me of another life lesson that is very relevant in today’s society: we choose what we want everyone to see. We, as humans, are able to choose what mask to wear for the day and just how far we allow others in.

Books are like art: up to your interpretation. Thousands of people have read the same books over and over again, but each placed them down with different thoughts in their heads.

Books, like the impressions left on the reader, are timeless. Maybe next time instead of having a Netflix night, pick up a book and create your own mental movie.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jenna Puglisi