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OBS SPEAKS OUT: WHAT “TWILIGHT” HAS MEANT TO ME

On the eve of the release of the next-to-last of the films in The Twilight Saga, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on what Twilight has meant to us since first reading the books.  As fans, we’ve read stories where people have had Twilight-themed weddings, covered their entire back with Twilight-inspired tatoos, and they follow the cast around the country for their various appearances.   Many of the staff members here at Open Book Society found one another due to their love of Twilight and here are some of our stories.

Dawn

Twilight was one of the first YA books I’d ever read. I’d read Anne Rice’s vampire books, but my fascination with vampires was stirred from reading the Twilight series. It opened a whole new world of Young Adult books and all their different vampire myths. I’m finally able to admit my addiction to YA books and different supernatural/paranormal beings. It’s been a fun journey and I’m no longer embarrassed to read and enjoy this genre and the varied authors who supply my addiction.

Heidi

Twilight was my introduction into all things paranormal. I remember everywhere I looked or turned people were always talking about Twilight or there would be posters or merchandise everywhere. I never understood what the big deal was. So finally I broke down and checked it out at the library. I remembered being shocked at how huge the book was when I went to pick it up. But then an amazing thing happened…I flew through that book and was enamored by it. I couldn’t wait to get to the next installment and the next and ended up reading the whole series in a week or so. As you can tell I came upon the series pretty late, but at least all the books were released by then (except the Brie novella) and I didn’t have to wait for installments to be introduced.

Before I read Twilight I stayed away from all paranormal kinds of books…vampires, werewolves and witches oh my! I thought the books would just be stupid. But after I discovered how wrong I was about Twilight I started reading other paranormal books and have been pleasantly surprised. The series was a definite eye opener for me. Not to mention it led me to other vampire books and my obsession with Eric Northman/Alexander Skarsgard *wink wink*.

Also, Twilight has introduced me to some great people (some on this site even) that I would have never have met otherwise. I have to give a shout out to my slappers (you know who you are)! We all met and bonded over our Twilight obsession and our friendships have grown since and I couldn’t imagine my life without these great ladies in it.

Angie

In the summer of 2008 my niece came to visit me for a few weeks. We were on MySpace and she was showing me her “button wall” and I saw all these buttons about a group of kids with weird names… Jasper, Alice, Edward…. I asked about it and she was astonished that I hadn’t heard about Twilight. She told a little bit of the background and told me that she’d read the first two books but not the third… and that the fourth would be released in 2 weeks. So we headed up to the bookstore that afternoon and I bought Twilight and Eclipse. I finished Twilight in one night and at 8:30 the next morning I woke her up so that we could go buy New Moon. I finished that in one day/night as well. And took Eclipse out of her hands to finish it the third day! Now I had TWO WEEKS to wait for the conclusion!!! I was going to lose my mind!!!

It was then that she found an online message board for Twilight fans. I signed up and instantly my life was changed.

I met some of the most amazing people that summer. People that I consider true friends. Some I’ve met in real life, some I haven’t. I have lifelong friends from one coast to the other and even on other continents.

I wound up being a moderator on that site and through that connection I was able become an on-air personality for The VRO, an internet radio station, for almost a year. I was able to interview cast members from Twilight and from The Vampire Diaries. I was able to interview authors of many books. I learned a lot about myself and what I enjoy doing.

After leaving The VRO, I came to work here at Open Book Society. Three years ago I would have never imagined myself writing book reviews, doing interviews, and writing articles.

I’ve read each book 4 or 5 times. I’ve seen each movie 7 or 8 times. I’ve attended all three midnight releases of the movies. Reading Twilight is like taking a trip “home” for me. Finding this series was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Caro

I was introduced to the Twilight world by Robert Pattinson. Yes, it was him. Believe it or not, I was of those few fans he got when he jumped off a tree in his first scene of “The Goblet of Fire”, and I am still one of those who prefer him as the geeky Daniel Gale than sparkly Edward Cullen.

I already liked reading books, but the only series I had read was Harry Potter. No other had caught my attention since it. But, by just reading the synopsis of Twilight, I was caught instantly. I remember wanting to buy the books the next day and telling my friends about it. Mostly, I just wanted someone to be able to talk about the books without looking at me weird or going “What is that?”

After almost a month of just eating, sleeping, breathing, thinking about Twilight I finally found somewhere within the internet who understood the craziness about Twilight. Before this I couldn’t understand why people would spend so much time on the internet. Now I know.

You just don’t find Twilight fans, but friends. Back then you had pen pals, now you have email friends. Reading Twilight gave me the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people from around the world whom you really come to appreciate. Not only that, but it opened my curiosity and mind to even more books. It was a book club without being one.

You never come to think how a book can change your life so much. Back then I was in my teens, I had to start making decisions of where to study, where to live, what to do. Pressure that was suffocating. I’ve been a shy person since I can remember, but reading Twilight and the individual stories of its characters made me see what I truly wanted to do with my life. Jasper lied about his age because he wanted to serve and help, that was what he wanted to do. Why couldn’t I decide where I wanted to study?

In a way this book gave me more confidence in myself. Introduced me to a new world of books and good friends. And now I’m writing to you as a staff member, (it took courage too to ask for a position on OBS).  Thank you, Stephenie Meyer, for giving us an alien planet where we could hang out.

Amanda

I was introduced to Twilight by my sister just before my 38th birthday and was a bit hesitant about reading the book that she’d given me for my birthday.   My genre of reading had been more along the lines of Stephen King, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and the Harry Potter series up until that point.   Being a good sport, I picked up the book one morning and didn’t stop reading until I finished.   That had only happened to me one other time in my adult life and I was ravenous for more.  I immediately logged onto Amazon and ordered the next books in the series.  I couldn’t get enough of it and re-read the books several times.  I couldn’t recall a time when I had ever re-read a book.

The series opened my eyes to the world of YA books and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I joined an online message board for the first time so that I could discuss the books with other fans and it led me to this site where I’ve found so many other great books and series to read and love like The Hunger Games and the Southern Vampire Mysteries.   I seriously doubt that I would have given many of these books a chance without having first reading Twilight.   I also discovered the world of fan fiction, which I had no clue about before learning about it on the fan sites.   I’ve learned that there are tons of seriously talented writers out there who honestly deserve a chance to be published and I get to enjoy the fruits of their labors for free.   I’ve read dozens and dozens of wonderful stories with characters that I already know and love.

On a much more personal level, reading Twilight reminded me of what it was like to fall in love and really helped bring a lot of those feelings back to the surface after over a decade of marriage and almost two decades since falling in love with my husband.   It helped me to remember to make my relationship with my husband a priority and to not become so bogged down with all of the monotony of being a mother, a daughter of an aging parent, a volunteer, and a homemaker.   I’m a much happier person as a result.

Tonight, I will be seeing the next-to-last installment at midnight with a friend that I’ve had for years, but have only seen once or twice in the last year and a half.  I’m thankful that Twilight will be giving us a chance to reconnect while we swoon over the Isle Esme scenes.  *wink*

What has Twilight meant to you?   Share your thoughts here or in our forum.  We’d love to hear from you!