^That's right you read the title correctly. Reading. Today I am writing a blog on how I feel about reading and how it has been an important part of my life.If anything, I can honestly say that my family had a large and significant part in how I learned to read and write. When I was just an infant my mom told me that she along with my grandma, grandfather, and father, used to read books to me all of the time and for some unknown reason, I recall most of the stories that they read aloud, my favorites being nursery rhymes and fairy tales.
When I was only three I saw my cousin who was staying at my house during that time, reading a
book for one of her 2nd grade classes. She needed help understanding the context of the book
but because I was unable to read I thought at the time that I wasn't much help to her, or to
anyone else for that matter. This was the day when my family saw an opportunity to teach me
how to read and write, mostly because it was obvious that I was more than willing to learn.
I also think that the small environment of the village in which I live also played a small role into
how I learned to read and write. It was easy for me to read the signs around my village
considering they had been there forever but I just never paid that much attention to them before.
It is probably a safe thing to say that if you get lost in my village then you are an idiot. I say this
because half of the signs people see in my village are directions or addresses or small
In 3rd grade although I could read excellently and was even reading things such as The Mists of Avalon, Dracula, and The Excorcist (yes, maybe this is a factor on why I'm so screwed up today! =P)
I had a terrible time when it came to reading in front of my classmates. Everyone was told to read the entire book "Little House in the Big Woods" and then read a page from that book aloud for the day. I always left school sick around that time because I was so afraid of reading aloud. What if they judged me? What if I read too fast for them? What if, God forbid, I mispronounced a word? However I did overcome my fear and nobody laughed at me... then again, I never gave them a reason to and always read the chapter ahead of time just in case I couldn't pronounce something so I could fix it before 'read aloud time.'
In 4th grade my school had a reading contest which consisted of how many pages us kids read per week and if our class won we got an award or something like that. My class sucked. It had kids in there who were like "Hahaha reading is lame. I read zero pages this week." Apparently reading was not considered to be the cool thing to do. So imagine the look on my classmates faces when it came my turn to tell how many pages I read in a week and my answer was "304." Nobody believed me. My classmates then started calling me a liar and one girl even pushed me to go tell the principle that I said the number wrong. Um, no. I did not say the number wrong you must have misheard me.
The next day, Mrs. evil fourth grade teacher arranged an appointment for me to see the principle based on my page numbers read because she found it "Unbelievable" that a girl my age could read 304 pages in a week. So I talked to the principle who asked me just what the hell I read and I showed her Great Expectations. I then had to spend another 30 minutes explaining to her the concept of the book and how I felt about it along with reading 10 or so pages out loud so she could see if I was actually capable of reading things like that in a timely manner. It surprised her greatly when I was capable of doing everything she requested and although she accepted my 604 page submission, she told me that I should start reading books "that weren't for children twice my age." After that I did start lying about how many pages I read a week and needless to say our class didn't win any awards which I could have honestly cared less about.
In 5th grade I just assumed that it was safer to read age-appropriate material in public. Although I must say some of the books I read during that time did get me back into the horror genre. Jade Green and a few other 'teenagery books' were actually quite good. However, my teacher fully embraced reading and accepted whatever the kids wanted to read, but I never really strayed far from the teenagery things because I didn't want another incident like the 4th grade one. Plus reading Johnny Tremain tends to make everyone's head bleed. Yeah, I'm not a fan of Esther Forbes and to this day I have to say next to Twilight and The Grapes of Wrath, Johnny Tremain is one of the worst books I have ever read.
As for high school, we were assigned reading and that's when my interest kind of evaporated thanks to my freshman English teacher and the depth they wanted to show in every damn book we read. I really could have cared less if the tree was a symbol of life or death. Looking that deeply into things and over analyzing a tree is completely idiotic and has absolutely nothing to do with the book. It is a tree because it is a tree. END OF STORY.
My sophomore year my British Literature teacher pretty much saved me from hating reading altogether. She is the one who got me interested in reading again and is overall why I'm still reading to this day and I truly thank her for it. In her class we got to watch Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, along with read Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales along with a few others. It was because of this class that I started reading Jane Austen. This teacher was the only person I could have a conversation with about anything British and book related and not be judged. We had to read a book everyday during reading time in her class and me and her always had a conversation about the book I was reading. I told her Mansfield Park was my least favorite book by Jane Austen and although she absolutely loved the movies she was more of a Bronte fan. What sucks about this story is that Brit Lit was only one year and this teacher left the school district by the time I graduated.
Junior and senior year is when everyone tried to look for depth again and lie their way through reading a novel. Screw depth and screw lying about your education. I swear 99% of the kids in my grade either used spark notes or the internet. If you are still in school please don't do this. I am all for spark notes and Google if you cannot fully understand the text but they are not a substitute for a novel and if you think that they are then I find that really sad.
Now that I am in college it has become harder and harder to find a person reading a non required book. I can understand that though, in college we all have to read what is required in our $200 text books such as the history of the world or geographical locations. However going up to someone who is reading Elizabeth Gaskell and then saying something stupid like "Man you don't need to be reading books in college! And if you're going to read then at least make it 100 pages or less!" 0_o This has happened to me. Then again I doubt this kid has ever even picked up a book in his life so that cancels out every statement that he tried to make.
Because this is 2012 I know that there is actually a lot of new reading technology out there with the Kindle and the Nook and the Ipad and what not and this is great, especially for people in this tech-savvy world who were never into reading the words-on-paper editions. I personally do not have one but for everyone who does and has learned to like reading again, bravo.
Overall I just wanted to get this message across, reading is important and will always be one of the things that my introverted self really likes. There are so many books and genres out there that if you have not found a book you like yet, then you are not looking hard enough.