This I Believe

Beth - Elk Grove, California
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I do not remember learning how to read. I do remember that once I did learn, I read everything in sight. I discovered signs along the road, magazines in waiting rooms, and novels containing every topic imaginable. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Even today, I have to keep myself from annoying my husband by reading every sign and billboard we pass along the road. That’s a glimpse of how passionate I am about reading.

I believe reading is an adventure into other worlds and times. Reading teaches also one the basics and intricacies of life. From relationships to traveling, science to mysteries, reading can transport anyone anywhere. For me, reading is also a stress reliever for when I need to take a step out of my own life and venture into another without leaving the comfort of my own home.

I have always loved reading and where it could take me. Words jump off the page of a book, or even a billboard sign, and transform into images and characters in my mind. As a child, my parents would make weekly trips to the library to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for reading. I loved getting to know the characters in the stories and imagining myself in the novels with them. The librarians each knew me by name. I was the child who would check out twenty books at a time and return the next week for twenty more, having read each one. I was readily available to recite the plots to anyone who would listen and intermingle my own ideals among my recitations. I won many awards for reading so many books and had my name published in the local newspapers for doing so.

My best friends at the time also encouraged me in my passion. We would have slumber parties together where we would stay up all night reading, and share favorite or interesting passages with one another. We would swap books back and forth, discussing characters and plot when we finished. We would find a book that we enjoyed, and hunt down others by the same author, critiquing the predictability of some authors while enjoying the versatility of others.

My passion for reading continues to this day. I admire authors who have the ability to create complex characters who come to life before my eyes. I still enjoy novels as often as I can, although my tastes have changed as I have aged. I still devour anything I can find, and borrow from others anything they might recommend. Reading is my pleasure and my transportation, through which I can learn and grow while my mind travels beyond the present.