I Believe In Reading

Alex - Honolulu, Hawaii
Entered on July 9, 2008

I lie patiently. I am anxious, for every night, I look forward to my mother reading to me. She enters the room. 
”Which book tonight?” She asks. I tell her any of them work. Tonight she picks one of my all time faves, “Tiki Tiki Tembo.” I listen attentively, as she recites the story flawlessly, using different accents and everything. The book ends, as she snaps the cover shut. She turns the light off, and kisses my head. “Goodnight honey.” She gently pulls the silky-smooth blue sheets up to my neck. 
”Please one more mom! Please!” I plead.

That was 10 years ago. I am now a teenager, who plops on the bed at night, without even a second thought of reading. My mom would try to get me to read, over and over again, incentives and all. But I refused.

As teens, we had better things to do. There was simply no time for pleasure reading, or so they called it. Weekends were for chilling at the beach, hanging at the mall, or at a friend’s house. And any free time spent at home, we were glued to TV sets, and very often, video games.. There was always a new game to get addicted to, and many of us were, in fact, addicted to video games. Needless to say, none of us admitted that we were addicted, and we felt we weren’t, even if we did stay up till 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, playing together.

Recently, my mom woke up, and caught me playing late one night. That was it for her. She yelled at me to come downstairs. The next day, we had a big argument, as she enforced a new rule for me. “One hour of playing means one hour of reading!” she imposed.

“UHH, WHAT?!” I thought. How unfair is that! How am I ever going to survive? Reading doesn’t even exist for me anymore!

The week went by, and after football practice, one Friday afternoon, my mom took me to “Barnes & Nobles” bookstore. We sometimes go there, just to get soup and read magazines. However, this time, we went straight to the Information station.

“Excuse me, do you have any recommendations for teens?” she asked the lady at the register. Ughh! We eventually walked out of the store with two short, pretty easy looking books.

A couple of days later, none of my friends were playing video games, there was nothing on TV, and nobody was answering their phones. Reluctantly, I picked up the book off my desk. I slowly opened the cover, and began reading. It was a fast read, and about football. It was always hard for me to find anything interesting to read about, but this book was really entertaining. After three hours of reading, I closed the book. Done. Surprisingly, I felt relaxed and collected. Somehow, I found the book stimulating for my mind, and I felt tranquil. I never thought I’d say it, but reading felt…good.

The next day, I picked up my other book, this time, without the reluctances. Up to this day, I read all the time during my free time. Sure, I get in a couple of hours of gaming every now and then, but after I feel the need to read, an hour for an hour. Reading has really changed my life…for the better.

I believe in reading because it really collects and relaxes my mind. It makes me think, relate, and imagine, all that occurs in the book, and really enhances my focus, which helps in more than just reading. Unlike video games, and TV, reading triggers your mind, as well as improves your vocabulary, writing, and speech.

Now I can’t get along without reading. Whenever I feel stressed, tired, or uncertain, I pick up a book and it calms me to where I can think straight. My friends laugh and say I’m lame for reading all the time, but it doesn’t bother me, because they are the ones missing out. So now, when I am ready for bed, I lie there. But I am the one doing the reading, and just as I was back then, I am anxiously awaiting.