Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest blogger is digital marketer, game maker, and entrepreneur Travis Hancock.
Where did you grow up? What was it like growing up there?
I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Ohio. I loved it! Good schools, nice people, a beautiful autumn and all 4 seasons. I also liked that Ohio felt like it was in “the middle” of the country and so my family could easily take trips to just about anywhere.
What role did books have in your childhood?
Books were a huge part of my life. My siblings and I seemed to always be leaning against the side-rests of our couch taking up 2 or 3 cushions while diving into a book. We looked forward to weekly trips to the library, and of course to free pizza and toys from the Book-It program or the latest library reading program. Reading was magical.
How did you first develop a love for reading?
Honestly, I don’t remember ever developing a love for reading. It just seemed to always be there, thanks to the culture my parents created in our house. Reading was simply something that we did and that we enjoyed. My mom made sure that the library box was always overflowing with options. She did a great job in making sure we always had a dozen new, exciting books within reach.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I know it’s cliche, but it’s pretty hard to say anything but Harry Potter as the favorite. Those books were just so magical and impossible to put down! I also really loved the Redwall series. Brian Jacques did an incredible job creating a whole universe full of legends and lore, language, food, culture, etc, similar to the way that Tolkein did for Lord of the Rings.
What is your favorite children’s book now?
I always look back fondly on the Bailey School Kids series, and I still will read pages here and there when I come across one.
What advice would you give to young readers?
Young readers are so blessed to not be so picky or time-constrained when it comes to reading. It seems like adults just don’t prioritize reading like young readers do. So just keep at it! Keep reading as a priority now, and as you grow older. The benefits of reading can’t be overstated – it helps you learn, expand your mind, relate to others, and develop other innovative ideas.
One of the “other innovate ideas” that reading has led Travis to is the creation of board games! His company, Facade Games (facadegames.com) launched a game called “Salem” last year and it’s now played by thousands of people across the world. For all you book lovers out there, “Salem” is not only a fun game to play, but it comes in a beautiful box that looks like an antique book. Also look out for his next game, “Tortuga 1667”, in January 2017.