When Did You Become a Reader?
My friend asked me today when I became a reader. Truth is, reading has always been a love of mine. I can't remember the exact moment I became a reader, but it was sometime before high school and then again after I started working post-college. It might have been The Babysitter Club or Sweet Valley that sucked me in, but Amelia Bedelia was my friend way before that, right around the time that Curious George and I met. And then after I survived the mandatory readings in high school and college, it was Dan Brown and Keith Follett that brought my love back into my life. As I got older, I discovered non-fiction and what beauty it could bring into my life.
Why reading? It takes you into a different world. It enhances your vocabulary. It introduces you to new topics. It allows you to experience something without having to go through it yourself. It makes you a better writer. And don't forget the conversations and discussions you get into over reading. That's one of the reasons why I like real books: I like feeling the pages and seeing my progress as I devour the pages. I like how it's one of the few things that you have to single task to--the only thing you can do while you're turning pages is maybe eat popcorn, and even then if it's greasy, it'll get on the pages. I love seeing other people with a book that I've read, or want to read, and striking up conversation and connecting with them over the book. It's one of the few things that I want to accumulate over my lifetime: a solid collection of books.
The newest addition to my collection is a new favourite: Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to be American. It's a compilation of short stories by a variety of writers but it was edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan. A friend shared the book with me, and I'm oh-so-glad he did. It really made me feel all of the range of emotions from acceptance to anger to resolution to joy to laughter to remorse to sadness and everything in between as I read about the different experiences people had with growing up ethnic. Even though it was published in 1999, it's still very much, if not more so, relevant today. Every story had a different perspective and story to share. One that would touch in different ways and evoke feelings you didn't even know you had. If you read it, please let me know. I want to hear about your reactions and your interpretations and thoughts on it, or on whatever story touches you. (I messaged my friend after every story to share my three line book review, or in some instances, all that was needed was three emojis.)
So, I don't know when I became a reader, but I became one, I am one. And I'm glad I did. Do you remember when you became one?