Can I make a ridiculous statement? I AM A SENIOR IN COLLEGE! How did this happen? But, here is the really ridiculous part: until this year, I had never really done the whole decorate your bedroom thing. But this year, my last year at good old BYU, I did. See:
Isn’t that adorable?
Yes, yes it is.
But, moving on.
This year, I’m taking a class in Young Adult Literature. And I’m loving it so far (you know, a whole 2 classes into it). For this class, my professor had us think about which book put us on the road to lifelong readership. I spent a good two days really thinking about this question. Which book was the one that got my literary roots shooting into the ground? You would think that would be an easy task for someone who likes books and reading as much as I do.
I can’t remember a time in my life without books or reading. I remember reading Hop on Pop and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish when I was really little. I remember trips to the library–public and school–to pick out books, and wondering how on earth I was supposed to choose just one or two from all those choices.
I remember reading the American Girl Series on my living room floor while my family watched a movie, and begging my mom through years of elementary school and junior high “Can I just stay up ’til the end of the chapter? Please?” (I’m sure I was always that polite, too.)
I just couldn’t get my hands on enough books. Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, the classics: any book would do.
So, what book did it for me? I can’t pinpoint the book that caused the spark for reading. I mean, it was probably one my mom read to me before I was in preschool. But, a book that really affected me was Of Mice and Men. I think I was probably in 8th grade when I read this for the first time, and I’m sure I didn’t understand parts of it, and the language probably about did me in. But the ending. Oh dear, the ending. After that book ending, I was upset. For days. Not just shed-a-few-tears upset, but over the top upset. I felt that what had to happen wasn’t fair. It changed my view. It made me feel.
And that’s something that I love about books. Books can take you to places and experiences that you’ll never have in your own life, but because of books, you can still feel those things through a different medium than personal experience.
Partially, this is why I want to be a librarian. You know, so I can help kids find the book that turns them into readers.
So, what was that book for you? What book set you on the path to lifelong reading?