Reading has been a very rocky road in my life. I went through phases were I loved reading and others where you would never see me with a book. My journey as a reader started at a very young age.
It was only my mom and I while I was growing up, and some of my first memories are her reading to me. My mom read me everything from Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel to biology textbooks she had to read for her classes. She instilled a love of reading by reading aloud to me almost every day. Listening to my mother read was a fun, entertaining adventure. I created fabulous worlds in my heads bringing just words to life. As I read stories aloud today, I still hear her inflections, pauses, and dramatic voices.
Although I had already been read chemistry textbooks to Shakespeare, I loved picture books when I was younger, and they remain a favorite. They brought the words to life in a way mom’s textbooks could not. Books like Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat, The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss shaped the imagination I have today. Being able to see the worlds I would create in my head come to life on the page was fascinating!
My reading world expanded upon discovering the comedic Amelia Bedelia book series by Peggy Parish. Reading stories about Amelia Rogers repeatedly taking commands to literal and inevitably messing up was truly enlightening. In the end, she always won over her employer by simply making a delicious baked good. From drawing the drapes to dressing the chicken, Amelia’s character throughout the book series kept me engaged in reading through comedy and utter goofiness.
Wedging myself between the couch and the wall, covering myself with a fuzzy blanket, and creating a warm cocoon with the heater vent to read collections of inspirational and motivational stories developed a new addiction in my reading journey. What could a young 11 year old have started reading to foster a love in motivational books? Why only Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Before I started reading these books, my love for reading had started to diminish due to a teacher I had in Elementary school. I was unmotivated to do much of anything related to school. These books reignited my love for reading and brought me back into the wonderful world of literacy.
There are at least 50 other stories about books and reading that helped me realize my love for reading, but I do not have time to tell them all. My final story is actually my more recent realization of my love for reading. Last semester, I was able to take a course on Young Adult Literature. I love books where I am able to see the story in my head, and these books showed me this was still possible. I had been focusing so much on studying textbooks that I lost my love for stories. That course helped me discover my passion for literature still exists. Reading is so important. I want to be able to help others discover new worlds through literature like my mom taught me.