Remember when you were younger and your parents either- forcefully or not- made you read those thing called books? Those icky, boring things that had less pictures as you grew up. When you had to do a reading assignment you would pick a book you have already read, the shortest, or had the most pictures. As a child I was forced to read.
I could not understand the concept of reading a book, when you could spend your time by watching Power Rangers. I would constantly fill in my own reading charts, where we would fill in the amount of time we read, and I would just make up stories about the book I read.
As I grew older, reading on my own came in sporadic crams. I would pick up a book from the library, or the bookstore when my father took me and I would read only the ones who interested me from the beginning. Today, I would still say that I am the pickiest reader when it comes down to it. Though, the books I did read I fell in love with.
Reaching high school, reading simply took up my time because classes were so easy to me. All my homework would be done before the class period even ended. I needed something to fill in the nights where there was nothing to do. Slowly I started picking up books like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist my freshmen year, way before it became a movie. I fell in love with the writing and looked into the two authors, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. From there I went onto Rachel Cohn’s books. Then to Levithan’s, where I read Boy Meets Boy, which for me was the cutest love story regardless if it was about two boys falling in love.
Through these books I learned one thing; you have not lived life until you have read. Some my question why this is, but for me I live through them. They help me see the world in a different way, like the beauty in a relationship regardless if it is normal according to society. Also, reading has taught me there is life out side this horrible thing everything has to go through. And yes I mean school. There is music, art and different types of people that a television can not portray within a thirty minute period, the way a five-hundred page book can. Really, reading can teach you everything.
Ironically after I picked up this habit, my grandfather who literally pretty much taught himself everything he knows from books constantly tells me to read a new book every week. Every time, I tell him I try and I really do, because reading can teach you everything, you just have to have the want to try to obtain the knowledge.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.