Reading is something many people love, either for its intellectual, spiritual, or creative stimulation. Some enjoy learning about the world, others seek to escape their own and emerge into another. Usually it’s some combination of reasons—especially for us book dragons!
It's hard to pinpoint when I began to love reading, as I've been crazy about it for as long as I can remember. My mother is a bookworm, so she really took an interest in my ability. She started teaching me early on, and because of our mutual love for it, reading became a core part of our bond- something I enjoyed but also wanted to be good at for her/us.
Kindergarten and first grade were a bit tough with lots of moving around schools. I believe reading helped me deal with that. When I was in the second or third grade, Mom started volunteering at my school as a Reading Buddy—someone who would help teachers monitor the growth of students and spend time with those who needed a little extra attention. She would bring home books she found that she thought I'd enjoy.
As I got older, she sometimes bought them partly because she wanted to read it! We swapped books and fangirled over them together. When her eldest baby bird left the nest, she bought me a kindle and connected her account so we could continue to share books long distance.
Mom’s efforts in helping me become a good reader is one of the main reasons I did so well in school. Being praised by my mom and teachers for my reading and writing abilities made me very proud of myself. It probably didn’t help that our school held regular pizza, ice cream, or movie parties for academic success!
Stories speak to us and bring us together in ways nothing else can. They give voice to things we don’t know how to express, inspire ideas and actions, and teach us about the world around us. They give us common ground and a source of conversation, uniting even the unlikeliest of people (my friendships with all of my best girlfriends formed once we realized we had reading or specific book interests in common!).
And of course, I think we can all agree escapism is THE reason we all develop this obsession, particularly with fiction. Books pass the time when we’re bored, captivate our imagination, and give us a home when we feel lost. The characters in the stories become our friends, family, idols; their lives a part of ours. In the end, their stories help us write ours. I think that’s very powerful and beautiful.
So what specific books got me into reading? What kinds of books do I read now? Which books did I share with my mom? Which ones did she share with me? What lasting impressions have they made? Who were my bookish idols and boyfriends? What Hogwarts House am I in, and who do I ship? What characters make my blood boil? I can’t wait to share these and more with you in the future! For now, how did YOU start reading?