Raise a Reader: Life-changing books

The book that changed Kevin Flesher's life: The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien.

As part of the Comox Valley Raise a Reader Campaign, The Record has asked a few of the Valley’s personalities to name a book that changed their life, and a brief explanation as to how it did so. We will run responses throughout the month. The first response comes courtesy of Comox Valley poet laureate Kevin Flesher.

The book that changed my life: The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien.

I forced my parents to read it to me before I was able to read and hung on every syllable, always yearning for more and cajoling for the readings to go on and on.

The Lord of the Rings is a great book to read to kids.

As soon as I was able to read to myself, I read the whole series over and over from beginning to end and slept with the books under my pillow.

At night, I would dream that I was a Hobbit and that my human life was just a weird dream I was having, so I began to take steps to becoming a Hobbit again.

The local barber would give me hair that he had swept up from the floor that I glued to the tops of my feet. Then I would walk around the neighbourhood barefoot to harden up my feet for when I returned to Middle Earth.

That’s about the time that I started smoking a pipe. I was probably the only 10-year-old in Edmonton who made regular visits to the tobacconist to try different types of pipe tobacco. Unfortunately, they all tasted like donkey bum, so I had to give it up.

Those books had a deep and lasting impact on me. One of these days, I’m going to wake up back in Middle Earth.

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