When I was young, I didn't like to read. I don't know why. I didn't have trouble with it—I just didn't enjoy sitting down with a book. But then my mother brought home Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I was about 13, and I so connected with Margaret and what she was going through growing up. That early encounter got me through a very difficult, awkward time, and I still look for stories that can teach me something. I feel that if I can learn from someone else's mistakes—fictional characters or real women, it doesn't matter—then I can spare myself certain hardships.
During really difficult times in my life when I start questioning why I am struggling with something, I often turn to books to understand myself better. Whether you're on the verge of becoming a woman or slogging through a messy divorce or developing your political views—whatever you're facing, books can show you that everything is deal-able. Especially if you can keep your sense of humor. I get that message over and over again from books.
What's on Halle Berry's Bookshelf? Read more!
From the June 2001 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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