An ever-changing bookshelf

Tigger and Piglet strolling through the forest hand-in-hand. The lush foliage and sunlight filtering through the trees paints the picture of a perfect spring day: the kind you can smell if you close your eyes and focus hard enough.

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin strolling through the same woods as their friends, racing the sun as it slowly drifts below the horizon, gone until the next morning, ending this story where it began in The Hundred Acre Wood.

As a child, the bright illustrations covering the glossy pages are what drew me to the stories happening in The Hundred Acre Wood. I looked forward to reading about Eeyore and Rabbit as I closed my eyes each night.

As I’ve grown older, my love for these stories has shrunk. I no longer lie in bed dreaming of Owl and Roo and the watercolor-depicted adventures, but I still remember the lessons they taught me.

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you,” said Winnie the Pooh.

Over the next few years, my literary tastes flittered between Geronimo Stilton and The Magic Treehouse. As I grew, so did my taste in literature, causing me to start seeking out chapter books.

The charming mouse with his larger-than-life friends made me crave more. I read at the dinner table and in the car, before school and after my bedtime. This large community of mice helped me discover my love of the adventure genre.

The myriad of books that contained Jack and Annie were what captivated me at first. As a child that read a lot, I needed a series with enough books to quench my ever-growing need for words to consume. The prospect of finding a treehouse that contained magic was a thought that blew my immature mind. The feeling of being chased by a dinosaur or captured by ninjas was my favorite experience.

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin strolling through the same woods as their friends; racing the sun as it slowly drifts below the horizon”

Jack and Annie helped fuel my love of anything historical.

As I continued to grow, my search for more mature books led me to discover romances, mysteries, and everything in between.

A flashlight shining across the page illuminating the words Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was one of my favorite pass-times. My collection of books stood perched upon my bookshelf on the highest shelf so my siblings couldn’t crinkle the pages of my most prized possession.

The combination of magic and reality seemed to capture my adolescent mind to the point where I would spend hours under my covers trying to discover the newest adventure Harry, Hermione, and Ron were going to embark on.

Hermione was my first experience with a strong female lead. The fact that she could be intelligent and strong encapsulated my attention, and even as a young adult, she still is a character I deeply admire.

Nowadays, my bookshelf is littered with whatever novels I have read in English class, aesthetic decor, and a small pile of books I’m waiting to start. No matter how many books I read, each one teaches me a new lesson and helps to shape me as a person. As a child—back when my bookshelf was taller than I was—I didn’t know I was making memories.

As Pooh would say, I just knew I was having fun.