My earliest memories involve books—Mom reading to me during the day, Dad at night around the dinner table and before bedtime, my grandmothers when they would come to visit. From the time I was able to read, I was an avid—even perhaps obsessive reader. Spare moments were always spent amongst the pages of a good book. I dreamed of exploring, of adventures in far off places, of worlds beyond my own. My friends existed in these books, and, with each final page, I was sad to say goodbye. On many occasions, my parents actually had to take away my books until I finished my school work!
It’s the classic story of a young reader, isn’t it? Many of you can relate.
Then, somewhere between the 8th and 9th grades, I stopped reading.
Wait, stay with me. I don’t literally mean that I stopped reading.
I just stopped reading for pure pleasure.
Life had gotten so busy with school. I made real-life friends. I even had a job.
Did I notice a difference in my life by the absence of a pastime I once had loved? No, not at the time.
In fact, due to my classically driven education, my assignments were centered around the classic works of the greats—Dickens, Austen, Brontë, Homer, Milton—to name a few. I developed a genuine love for works of classic literature.
Even so, there was a whole world I was missing and an entire realm of learning that I was shutting myself out from by simply putting “fun” reading on hold. In a sense, a part of me had fallen into a deep sleep.
And, then one day I woke up.
Senior year came around and life became busier than before. Yet, something changed. I fell in love with reading once more. I picked up a book and could not put it down.
Just like before, I read books for joy rather than out of a sense of obligation.
Suddenly, I started noticing changes in the way I mentally processed things. My creativity levels rose, my ability to recall and retrieve information strengthened, and, I became a more interesting person (readers tend to be). Working at The Bookshelf has strengthened my love for books. There is nothing quite like being surrounded by the written word.
Reading is, in a sense, an art. It must be worked for and made into a priority as it often takes a good amount of effort and time.
Oh, but, it is so worth it…
Reading re-awakened a part of my soul that had fallen asleep.
Let it re-awaken yours.