I was called out of the classroom yet again. I told everyone that I had been chosen to try out one of the cool new computers, I even got to play games on them. I didn’t want to be labeled as one of the those kids. The truth was I liked to read but I wasn’t very good at it. I needed help and this is how it was offered to me. Oh, how I was envious of that one girl. She always seemed to be able to read the big books. The best books. I wasn’t able to check them out. They weren’t my level. No, I’d never be any good at reading. Why bother.
We moved to Mexico for a little over 2 years. While I was there I learned a new culture, how to speak, read, and write a whole new language. When we returned to the states I was in 8th grade. Through a series of moves we ended up a little closer to the school and closer to the library. We didn’t have much. We couldn’t afford dish or cable.This was pre computer in every home. Being bored and hot (no AC) my 3 siblings and I would walk the 5 or so blocks to the library. We watched the clock like hawks waiting for it to open and hated the days they were closed. Among the book lined shelves I found a book that spiked my interest. Timidly I walk to the counter to check it out. The librarian looked at the book then looked at me. She’s going to tell me I can’t handle this book, I thought to myself. I was taken aback when she picked up the stamp, looked up with a smile on her face and said “You’re gonna love this one.”
Soon I had read everything the library had by that author. The librarians knew me by name and would save new books for me as soon as they got them. The following high school years. I was devouring books like crazy. Staying up way to late so I could read “just one more chapter.” I loved reading! I took reading and English classes so I could read more. No longer was I behind. I was actually ahead.
I had always liked reading but I wasn’t any good at it. At least that’s what I had been told my whole life up to that point. If you aren’t good at something why would you keep doing it over and over? My love for reading didn’t come through a computer program, certainly not from sitting in for recess, or even reading a book that someone thought was my level. I had to find it on my own. (Not wanting to die of boredom probably didn’t hurt either. I mean read a book or do absolutely nothing isn’t really that hard of a choice.)
Having my own children has only shown me how important reading is. Unplug. Don’t worry about entertaining your littles and bigs. Take trips to the library. Read together and let them read what interest them. While I don’t read as often as I’d like and my taste in genre has changed, one thing is for sure.
My love for reading only grows deeper.