Reading is Joy

Charles - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Reading is Joy

My addiction first started when I was a bored nine year old kid. In these days, I spent my time watching TV and aimlessly lounging around outside. My private tutor only taught me one day in a week, so every other day of the week was just another day for leisure. On one day, I went with my sister to the library while she picked out a book. Bored, I grabbed a novel from the shelf and started reading. Every week after that, I would return to the library and grab a new book. Each new book held its own universe to be explored. And so, I was hooked onto reading.

I believe in reading. I believe in the unknown frontiers presented by each book, and I believe in exploring them. I believe in absorbing the vast arrays of knowledge hidden in the text of every book. But books are not the only things to be read. There are newspapers, magazine, billboards, and the ingredient labels stuck on the wrappers of your favorite foods. Each has some information or wisdom to offer, and over time I have enriched myself with all these.

At eleven years old, I entered a public school for the first time in my life. I found the culture of elementary school to be strange and hostile. My world felt unwelcome now, but luckily I had hundreds of other worlds sitting on my bookshelf. It gives me great joy to escape form the never-ending burdens of everyday life through reading. I read my way through elementary school, and now, whenever I am angry or sad or bored, I simply pick up a book and get lost in the text.

Stand in a library and look around. Each book contains the emotions and thoughts of the writer. When you read a book, you can search behind the text to find the author’s personality and cultural upbringing. I believe that if you read the works of authors of all different faiths, ethnicities, and social status, you can become a truly cosmopolitan person. For example, earlier this year, I had the pleasure of reading what is now my favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo. The work may be fiction, but the setting of the book was, for the most part, real. It was interesting to see the world of 19th century France portrayed through the eyes of the author, Dumas. Even if it was only through words, Dumas portrayed a version of France that I found both mysterious and exciting.

I believe reading has helped make me a more intelligent and worldly person. As I type this text today, I am reminded of all the hours I’ve spent sitting on a chair and simply reading. From reading, I’ve learned almost everything I’ve known about the world outside my suburb. But reading has also made me realize that there is much I don’t know. I believe everyone’s life can be improved by a good book.