|The first Ayn Rand book I read was Atlas Shrugged, which I was loaned by my boyfriend about two months after we started living together (though now, I think I have claimed it as my own book, haha, and it has a special place in our library).|
I read it in less than two days, on a break from school and work, getting up with the book still in hand to get food and go to the bathroom, etc.- it completely sucked me in, and demanded my full attention. He was amused, to say the least, that I became so engrossed in it. Apparently, when he got it from one of his friends years before, he had done the same thing, and then proceeded to buy Anthem and We the Living, and also to check out The Fountainhead from the local library- which I promptly purchased the day after I read Atlas.
It was a time in my life where I was experiencing a "rebirth", so to speak, several months earlier from a very destructive struggle in my life with bipolar disorder, three rapes, an eating disorder that lasted twelve years, and four suicide attempts. I had convinced my therapists, through a written argument, that group therapy was the most destructive possible thing to my recovery, and that instead, I needed to design my own "treatment" through the development of individual pride in my own capabilities (a major struggle for me in the past), which they agreed to try- and that was successful for me. At that time, I had never even heard of Ayn Rand except in passing- but, I found much to appreciate when I did pick up her books, much that I had needed to hear and that pushed me to pursue my own passions.
Atlas Shrugged, coming at a perfect time when I had just began my first steps to regaining a life I had tried to destroy, was my catalyst to living in my own right, and for myself. I quit pre-med (not my choice in college programs), joined a band, began pursuing art history (my passion), and truly began my pursuit of happiness through rational selfishness and productivity at that point. It helped me to regain the confidence that was so absolutely mine in the past which I had lost, and to add to it.
I read that book again and again, and have loaned it to my mother, in hopes that she will experience something similar to what I had when reading it. So far, it's looking good. *smiles*