May 03, 2021
My name is Melanie Charles, and I’ve lived in NC all my life. I created a Bookstagram account in 2019 to share my love of books. Since Anne Of Green Gables is my favorite novel I incorporated it into my handle, @avonlea_booknerd. There I share my reading life, as well as fan girl about all things Anne related, such as my collection of different editions of the novel. It’s been such a joy finding a community of people who love Montgomery’s books as much as I do, I’ve discovered true “Kindred spirits”.
I grew up enjoying books, but it wasn’t until I discovered Anne that my true love of reading began. My Mom gave me a copy of Anne Of Green Gables when I was around ten or eleven years old and as they say, the rest is history. I still remember reading the first chapter at our kitchen table. I felt an instant connection with this little girl who had such a wild imagination and wore her heart on her sleeves. It almost felt like reading about myself at times. Upon finishing the book, I immediately reread it. I’d estimate that I read it three or four times in that first month. To say I was in love would have been an understatement, I couldn’t get enough of Anne and her friends in Avonlea. When I found out there were more books I begged my parents to buy them for me, and I received the boxed set for Christmas that same year.
Montgomery’s writing connects with me on an emotional level, her characters and stories are an escape. I love that we get to see Anne grow and go through all these different stages of her life throughout the series. As I grew up, I related to different books of the series in turn. Montgomery’s characters are dear friends to me. One of the many things I love about Anne is her positivity. Yes she has her moments in “the depths of despair” but she always comes out of them and is able to find the light in the world again. She sees the world as a beautiful landscape for her imagination.
Anne taught me so much as a child, and continues to inspire me in my life today. She was different, but she didn’t let the views and opinions of others stop her from being herself. She helped teach me how to love myself, quirks and all. That’s such an important lesson for young people to learn, as well as adults! She stands up for herself against Rachel Lynde and anyone else who tries to put her down. She’s perfectly capable of holding her own against Gilbert Bythe in school, and earns his and the other children’s respect. And let's not forget the famous “carrots” incident, to be fair Gilbert should have known you never touch a girl's hair. She’s constantly speaking her mind even though society is telling her to be quiet. As someone who also has strong opinions myself, that’s refreshing to see.
Writing this blog post prompted me to pick up the novel for yet another reread, and it was such a joy to be back in Avonlea. Each time I discover something new to make me love the novel even more. Ever since I first read it, Anne is the book I always find my way back to, in times of joy, and in times of sadness. When I lost my Grandmother to Alzheimer’s, and I was deep in grief, Anne was the book that I read, and it brought me such comfort. It’s become so much more than just a good book to me. It’s the book that I can always count on to lift my spirits and make me laugh. Anne’s zest and love for life is contagious, the novel emanates joy and positivity that you can’t help but feel when you’re reading.
I consider Montgomery’s works to be staples in my life. Some readers might find it hard to name just one book as their favorite, but for me its easy. I consider Anne to be my fictional best friend, and my love for Gilbert Blythe knows no end. As I said, I collect different editions of Anne, I currently own 19 copies, including four complete sets. One of my dearest wishes is to be able to visit Prince Edward Island and see the places I’ve been reading about for so long. I guess at this point you can definitely call me obsessed and I’m completely fine with that. I would encourage everyone to read Anne Of Green Gables, no matter your age. It’s pure joy, and I believe there are so many valuable life lessons we can learn from it’s pages.
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