I love to read! I mean I created a blog about it! But I had a heck of a time learning to do so. I really, really wanted to be a good reader, but the plain fact was, I was most certainly not. I had a very active imagination, and I loved writing stories. But I couldn’t spell to save my life. I was very fond of the letter “j.” I put it in everything. Anyway, I certainly couldn’t read anything anyone else penned. (I was probably wondering where all the “j”s were.) It was frustrating, and my father completely understood. He had had quite the time with learning to read himself, so he wasn’t much of a reader as an adult. This was slightly ironic since my mother was an English teacher and her first choice of activity was to read.
Anyway, one evening after getting rather upset at my inability to decipher all those black squiggle marks adults called words, my dad challenged me to not only learn how to read, but read better than my mother. This is really not a quantifiable thing, but it was apparently what I needed, for while I don’t remember exactly what he said. I do remember sitting on the bed with both of my parents and being quite down on myself when he issued said challenge. I’m certain it had something to do with my ultimate success. For due to this challenge and their constant help, I muscled forward and learned to read. And I actually learned to love to read. And that “j”s are not particularly common in the English language.
My love could have manifested from the feeling of accomplishment when I finished a book or that my parents displayed a certain quiet pride that I was in to reading even though we didn’t start off as the best of pals. But honestly, I think it was the challenge. I think it was knowing that I would learn something. It was a way to feed my constantly curious mind and that it was an activity I could do alone.
I was an only child. I lived far away from my school friends on a 40-acre farm in the middle of nowhere. We also only had about 3.5 channels until I was in sixth grade. (I realize I sound like an 80-year-old grandpa with that comment, “Back in my day…”) But it’s the truth. We only had a TV antenna that nicely displayed three channels regularly and if it was a good day CBS didn’t come in half bad either. Anyway, this meant one had to be creative in order to keep themselves entertained, so we owned a wide array of movies and a whole heap of books.
In fact, as I got older going shopping to Barnes and Nobles was a religious experience. I would bring home bags full of books. And my dad would never say a bad thing about it. He wouldn’t say that I should just go to the library for books instead of spending all that money on them. He would only ask me what I bought, and advise me to read a few before I purchased more. By the time I graduated high school, I had a mini- library in my room. Even back then I dreamed of having a library in my house.
While I’m still dreaming of that library in my abode to be, I’ve read hundreds of books, and I love to read all kinds of things. Reading has a great flexibility to it that adds to the allure. It allows for a communal solidarity that is not found in other hobbies. It allows for learning and relaxation simultaneously. And no matter how much I read there will always be more out there for me to discover and enjoy.
This is a blog about all those things I love about the written word and what I’ve discovered through reading. It’s a rather active process and getting to this point wasn’t necessarily super easy, but maybe that’s part of the reason I love it so much because I had to work to obtain it.
So fellow ink lovers how did you get into reading?