Ever since I learned to read, books have been a source of inspiration and imagination, enriching my mind with thoughts and ideas outside the realm and influence of my family and friends. Avidly, I devoured any reading material that crossed my path. I even resorted to reading the encyclopedia when I had exhausted the mountain of books checked out from the library.
I loved the library. I loved the smell of books, that musty odor that wafted through the building and enveloped me as I walked through the door. Our library was open and airy with thousands of books just waiting for me to devour. During the warmer months I would trek the two miles to the main library in town where the selection of books made me feel giddy. I would load up with as many books as I could carry; there were no specialized or plastic bags then and other types of bags, if there were any, were unavailable to me. Protectively hunched over my loot I would then trudge back to home where, ensconced in my bedroom, I would begin my mind-feast.
Colder months were leaner because I had to depend on the bookmobile that came to our neighborhood every two weeks. I quickly decimated selections within my age category and was frequently reduced to getting books for younger or older children. Occasionally, I was forced to put back a book that the librarian felt I was too young for. Does that even happen today?
Through it all I always thought it would be nice to write my own book or contribute stories to a magazine but was insecure about doing so. I didn't feel as if anything I wrote would be comparable to what I was reading. Who would want to read or hear about anything I had to say? And life, or course, got in the way. Marriage, children and work consumed enormous amounts of time and when I sat for any length of time, I fell asleep.
Now that I'm retired I've decided to start on a new/old path and indulge my writing aspirations. Self- publishing has been a boon to people of all ages who want to see their stories in print. Memoirs, biographies, children/teens, special interests and other genres can be targeted to a general audience or kept for posterity in the family. Publishing options range from online to local publishers and can be tailored to suit your needs and pocketbook.
It was exciting to be part of the publishing process; book format, content evaluation, editing, and choosing the font and cover for the book were sometimes difficult but each step of the process brought me one step closer to my goal. Hardcover, softcover, and eBook formats were included in my publishing package and included the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and barcode requirement for libraries. Libraries will not accept a book donation without an ISBN number.
I couldn't wait to see the finished product and hold it in my hands. When my book finally came, I was elated beyond words. It was an amazing feeling.
The journalistic fire has been lit! Having exhausted all family and friends with my ideas and opinions, I have found another outlet for my dreams. I may even write a blog!
Sharon Richter lives in Cheshire, Connecticut, with her husband, Dave. A self-proclaimed church lady, she derives great pleasure in volunteering at her church office and being a reader at mass.
"Faith: Mary's Story"
By Sharon Richter
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book