To Be Or Not To Be…a Reader

When I was very little I loved books, both to read and to be read to me.  Up until a few years ago, I did not read books for pleasure anymore.  What happened?  I have identified five key moments in my life that could explain it.
charlie MOVIE VS BOOK – You know a kid is a reader when the first thing they say after seeing a movie is “The book was better.”  I did just that in the third or fourth grade when I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.  The book led my imagination to wonderful places much more effectively than the movie, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, although I liked the movie too.

summer reading listREQUIRED – The expectations in school were always so high.  The books we were required to read were printed on a list.  There were A books and B books.  I always felt compelled to read the A books.  Not because I wanted to read the book, but because you read those if you were smart.  Whenever I read, I like to take my time.  I don’t skim or speed read.  In school I often had to “wing it” on book reports because I ran out of time to actually read the book cover to cover.  The books may have been interesting but not “fun” to read.

 

beouwulf scriptBEOWULF, I THINK – In high schoolwe had to read a long excerpt from the text book and interpret it.  I remember the struggle to understand the outdated Old English language that was used and the frustration I felt not understanding the material.  That’s probably when I first truly began dreading reading anything that I was expected to finish.

 OUT OF TIME – There was a time when I did enjoy reading.  Two books that I regret never having finished are Thclocke Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.  I felt so immersed in the novels that I could lose myself completely and enter another universe…  Someone else’s home.  A different era.  A different culture and time.  But inevitably I got busy with other things and put the book down…  Babysitting.  Paper Route.  TV.  Now I find and make time to read.  But it was and is still a struggle.

da vinci code

FINALLY – The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is the first book that I read completely from cover to cover on the first attempt.  That is the moment I changed my previous misconceptions I had about reading.  No longer did I worry about the reading level or if it was sophisticated enough or if someone would think less of me for liking it.  From then on, I looked forward to finding a good book and reading it.

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3 thoughts on “To Be Or Not To Be…a Reader

    • Thanks! Isn’t that funny how that works? Now I try to make enough time to just push through and when I reach the end I am always rewarded with closure to the story. Fascinating. I wish I would have realized that before!

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