This I Believe

Dena - Carrollton, Georgia
Entered on September 6, 2007

I believe in the power of books that help children want to read. I believe through interesting and inspiring novels one can develop an “I want to read” attitude instead of an “I have to read” attitude.

As a child I did not like to read. I hated summer reading lists because I was always bogged down with books I despised. They always had a happy ending and I never felt any emotion with them. It might have been because I was seven that I felt resentment for having to read but either way I despised it. That was until the summer I was going into fifth grade. One summer book list after another was horrible and I had a feeling that this one was going to be horrible as well. I was sitting with my babysitter at the time trying to decide what three books to choose for that summer. She asked me what type of book I wanted to read. I told her I wanted something real and not lame. I told her I hated books because they never showed as much emotion as there was on T.V. So she picked out my three books. She asked me if I was afraid to cry while reading a book. I told her I’d never cry reading one. She picked me out Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer, and Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

Those three books changed my life. I bawled, laughed, rejoiced in their triumphs, and fell with their failures. Ever word poured for the pages of each novel running like blood through my veins. I had never felt such emotion. Television, my door to reality (so I thought), never gave me so much to experience. I drank up ever detail filling my head and imagining each description with total scrutiny. I had never read anything so alive. After reading those books I begged my babysitter to pick me out more books to read. I ripped through every one she could throw at me and I soaked the pages with tears, whether it was from laughing or from crying. There was nothing better than reading a book.

I still feel the same about books now as I did then. I love to read a good novel. Whether it is for school or simply for my own enjoyment, I can sit in my room for days tearing through books.

I try to inspire my brother to read. He is older than I was when I fell in love with books. I try to persuade him to want to read as well. He is more resistant than I was. But through books that have been turned into movies, such as the Harry Potter Series, it has inspired him to want to know what happens next or to know what details that might have been missing from the movie. Through reading those books he is developing an enjoyment of reading as well. Through the power books he and more children will be inspired to read. This I Believe.