‘On Writing’ by Stephen King
I stumbled across On Writing while I was in my early 20s and living alone. I would spend hours at this wonderful indie bookstore, pouring over titles, and choosing books that were all over the map—any genre, any type. I was trying to find myself, and my bookshelves filled with these eclectic titles. On Writing found its way onto my nightstand and into my heart. Stephen King not only changed how I viewed the practice of writing, and what makes a “writer,” but he also changed how I viewed my own place within the craft. When anyone asks about a book I love, this leaps first to mind every single time. It’s exceptional. Just like books, bookstores can be life changing. Here are some poignantly sweet stories about local bookstores that may change your life.
‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett
My mother and I read A Little Princess together when I was a child. At bedtime, we would alternate reading pages, and I would get lost in the world of Sara Crewe, the main character. I revisit this story every few years, more often now that I have daughters of my own. Sara’s story is one of grace and goodness. Even when she is faced with cruelty and loss—when everyone and everything seems taken from her, Sara never loses her kindness or hope. She sees beauty and magic within the bleakest circumstances, and selflessly changes the world of those around her, so they may glimpse magic as well. Whenever I read this story, I feel a bit closer to reclaiming that childhood certainty that a heart filled with friendship, hope, and kindness can change everything. File this under kids’ books that every adult needs to read.