I wasn’t born in Canada. English was not my first language. But now I love English.
Don’t get me wrong… learning the English language sucked. I could memorize the alphabet, spell everything correctly, and place all the nouns, adjectives, verbs, and objects into a proper sentence structure. But I still wouldn’t know what the words meant. I wasn’t raised in an English-speaking home environment, so it wasn’t like I had a lot of opportunities to practice speaking or pronunciation. It was horrible just listening to myself. It made me feel like I shouldn’t talk at all. I still remember my parent-teacher interview in first grade where we had to read a book to my parents. I was so stressed trying to find a book in the classroom that I could read without mistakes. All my other classmates chose longer, more difficult books and read them with ease. I was so upset at myself. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I am pretty sure I despised English in the beginning.
Then something changed. My mom started taking me to the library.
And my love for reading developed. I became a total bookworm for the rest of my elementary years. I’d go to the library every week and borrow 2-3 books and finish them all. The more I read, the more I fell in love with the stories and most of all, the English language. Halfway through middle school, I started writing my own stories on word documents. I shared them with my friends who actually read them. I told my seventh grade teacher that I wanted to grow up and be an author because I loved reading and writing so much.
I still think authors are amazing.
I am someone who likes to go on emotional adventures. I like to live vicariously. I like hearing about stories and watching movies with a good plot. I love it when the story builds up and hits a climax, falling into a satisfying resolution. In my mind, it’s easy to bring people with you on a journey through a movie. You’re watching someone cry on a big screen with rain in the background and the sound of lamenting music. It’s very easy to fall into it. But books can do the same thing without all that stuff. Books can make you cry or make you angry or scared. They can make you feel like you’ve known the character for years. They can make you feel like you are the character. Authors write these amazing things called books, which are just pages and pages of words. And they can move you. Words can touch your heart.
I am a little sad thinking back on this now. Since high school ended, I haven’t really been doing any leisure reading. A lot of times, I close my mind off from reading books after my assigned readings. I still have a list of books I want to read in my mind, but I feel like that list is just collecting dust and getting longer and longer. I really need to start making time to read instead of just making excuses. I want to stay up until 2 am because I can’t put a book down. And then I want to feel like I just lost a friend after I finish reading it.
People who say they don’t like reading are just people who haven’t found a book that really resonates with them yet. You can always learn something after reading a book, whether if it is about the world you live in, the people around you, or yourself.
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
– William Styron, Conversations with William Styron
Any good book recommendations this winter?