Yep, that might've had something to do with it.
I may not have wanted to admit it to a group of adult strangers, but books have long influenced me to try new things. No, I don't mean drugs or cutting (so stop looking so smug over there, Wall Street Journal) but when I read about characters becoming smarter and stronger, discovering purpose or having a rollicking good time doing something, I tend to think: Hey, maybe I should try that.
As a kid I tried to form my own babysitting club, but nobody in real-life lets 11 year-old strangers babysit their children. I started keeping my own journal because of Harriet the Spy. I begged my parents to take me to New York after reading Paula Danzinger's Remember Me to Harold Square and when they finally relented, I redid the entire scavenger hunt that the characters went on, visiting all the places they did.
I know I'm not alone in this. Thousands more tourists flocked to Europe's cultural landmarks after reading about them in The DaVinci Code. And that's the kind of thing I'm talking about and it's one of the main reasons I love books so much - they can inspire you to get off your behind and try something new, positive and adventurous. Being introduced to cool characters and seeing them live amazing lives, makes you aware that these things are possible. Now, I don't want to live in a post-apocalyptic future where I have to hunt food to survive, but I wouldn't mind being skilled, poised and strong. And maybe when I wield that bow and launch those arrows, some of what Katniss has will rub off on me. At the very least, I look incredibly bad-assed doing it.
What about the rest of you? Has a book ever made you do something?