The first book I read was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, in Spanish. My dad gave that book to me when I was about 10 years old and I've been a lover of stories ever since. Reading this little book on the swing in my grandmother's back yard is one of my childhood core memories. I must have read it from begining to end about a hundred times that summer. Not long after, he introduced me to Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes, and my imagination found its match. I could not only see in the screens of my mind the colorful adventures, but I could feel myself falling in love with this other world where everything was colorful, playful, and possible. It was like dreaming while awake.
This love of reading also got me through the usually difficult cultural transition of coming to live in the United States. When my friends would rush home to watch Telemundo, I would rush to the local library to finish my homework and grab the next paperback romance novel. I would devour these in days, not knowing this not only made the cultural assimilation seamless, but it also improve my vocabulary, and reading and writing skills. English became as natural to speak, read, and write, as Spanish without even trying.
So to honor the love of reading my father inspired in me, and to spread the impact books have had in my life, I plan to create the same environment many independent bookstore create globally in my small community in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. Even if you don't live near by, I hope you'll get inspired by the books you'll find.