Happy National Book Lovers Day!
I couldn’t let this day go by without writing about the book that means everything to me; The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’ve always been a book worm. Back when I was in primary school I used to spend my evenings reading the Rainbow Magic series (which I still have on my bookshelf), during my pre-teen years Jacqueline Wilson was my hero and she still is, and then when I reached my moody teenage years I discovered the Twilight and The Hunger Games series. And thanks to my inspiring Leaving Cert English teacher I discovered the greats; Sylvia Plath, Emily Bronte, James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I believe that the books we read shape who we are. I have learned so much from the stories, the characters and the worlds I’ve read about. I’ve found my true self. I’ve been inspired and influenced and motivated by these astonishingly talented authors and the stories they have created and shared with the world. Reading is one of the biggest parts of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is one book in particular that has changed my life. I’ve read everything and anything; from Macbeth to Jurassic Park and from Mcfly’s biography to The Great Gatsby. However, this book has made such a drastic impact on me. The characters, the plot, the themes, the world; they all meant so much to me. The characters felt like friends. Their troubles were my troubles. Their home felt like my home. They made me smile and laugh and cry and taught me some of the most important life lessons.
I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky back when I was 17/18. I was hooked from chapter one, I just couldn’t put it down. I was so captivated by Charlie’s letters. I related to his character like no other, I finally found a fellow wallflower. This story gave me my own personal sense of belonging. It didn’t matter if the ‘popular girls’ thought I was weird or dorky, it didn’t matter if I only had a small numbers of friends, it didn’t matter if I was afraid to speak in class, because I wasn’t alone, I had Charlie, my fellow wallflower. It gave me hope, it made me feel wanted and accepted and showed me that even when things aren’t okay they soon will be; the bad days aren’t going to last forever.
It’s been four years since I read Perks and it is still my most treasured book. This story showed me that there’s nothing wrong with being a wallflower. I love being a wallflower! I’m shy, I’m an introvert, I’m not insanely popular or extremely confident, but I am me and I’ll never change who I am. Charlie opened my eyes and made me believe that we should stay true to ourselves. “If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am.” Charlie made me believe in myself, in friendship, in love and in infinite moments and I will always be grateful for that, especially during the bad days.
“Please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not they will be soon enough.”