Friday, 11 September 2015

My History with Reading

A lot of people asked my why I love or enjoy reading. Well, here's my history of reading.

When I was a kid, I used to dislike reading. My parents would drag me to the bookstore and library on the weekends, and we would spend two hours there. Two hours to me then seemed like ten hours, but my sister loved going to the library. She would skip her way to her little comfort corner and dive into the books. We often go to different section of the library, but one day, I watched her from the corner of my eyes as I was pretending to read a random book I picked up from the shelf. Her eyes danced through the line of words so fast like she was in a race. I watched how her body stayed in the present, but her mind and soul wandered in the book. That inspired me to give reading a second chance.
I started reading The Magic Tree House, The Chronicles of Narnia, and a lot of Disney classic storybooks.  I could remember staring at the pages in the beginning of the book, reading the words but not knowing what it was saying. My mind was constantly wandering off somewhere else, but the motivation from my sister gave me a boost to not give up. As the novel got exciting, I started to fall deeply into the story like a maze. The world of fantasy was created so perfectly that it made reality boring. From then on, I was engaged in the world of books and the fantasy that it brings. I figured the reason why I disliked reading before was because I never knew what interested me most. After I discovered fiction, fantasy, and adventure novels, it stated to spread like a disease in me. I wanted and needed more. I read a lot after that. I started setting goals to read at least an hour every day and to read 50 books a year. For an eight year old child, my parents were impressed that I managed to achieve that.
While my elementary childhood consisted of lots of playground rocks and fictional books, my teenage years were a lot more stressful and bumpy. When middle school kicked in, time was gold. I became very busy with school work, projects, extra curriculum and making new friends. By then, I realized that I was reading more of textbooks, science documents, historical facts and other documentaries that would help me in school. At that time, I thought that I had to put away my fantasy and start being a ‘grown up.’ My parents were certainly happy about that because it meant that I would not be dancing around with Peter Pan and wondering off to Neverland anymore. However, books are like drugs. The imaginative part of me grew aggressive and craved for some fantasy. I started to make time to read. I remember going to the book store and was lost in the mountain of books. I did not realize how many books had been published since I lasted kept tracked. I spent the next two hours searching on Goodreads for the perfect book. Then, the book Twilight caught my eyes. I saw mixed reviews of them, but the story line caught my attention.
Reading Twilight gave me a sudden rush of all my childhood memories. I missed the feeling of being nervous when starting a book, the feeling of excitement in the middle story, and the feeling of satisfaction after finishing a good book. That was when I picked up reading again. I started buying more books and my book shelf grew massively big by the end of the year. Books became a huge part of me again. It was not just for entertainment but also books helped me build long lasting friendships. A few of my classmates loved to read as well and we would often gather together to discuss and share our thoughts. It got to a point where we were so emerged in the book that the ending was not enough. We started writing our own endings, what we thought might happen to the characters after the author finished the last sentence, and what would happen if the plot was different. My sister always says that I get connected too easily, and I cannot argue with that. After a few chapters into a book, I feel as if I have known the characters for a long time, and they are a part of my life. 
After reading the Twilight Saga, I started getting into Nicholas Sparks’ novels at the peak of my teenager days. I remember how his books could influence me, and the way I viewed love as a teenager. It totally ruined my expectation of love in the real life, but I was fine with it because for that seven hours of reading the book, I fell deeply in love with the characters and the story line. I also started reading different romance books from different authors like Where the Rainbow Ends and P.S. I love you by Cecelia Ahern.  After reading tons of romance books, it finally sank into me, and I grew out of it. I turned to another genre of books; mystery, fantasy, horror, and thriller. I started reading The Divergent Series, Made for You, Thirst Series, The Vampire Diaries, Maze Runner, Percy Jackson, Mortal Instruments, Infernal Device, and a whole lot more. My small two row book shelf became an eight row book cabinet. I started collecting books, and so did my sister. She was really into Harry Potter. She always finished the book too fast before the next sequel came out. It was a pain for her to wait and a pain for me to watch. I have tried reading Harry Potter, and I managed to finish the first two books; however, I find it difficult to read the rest of the series after I watched all the movies. I was disappointed and ashamed that I could not bring myself to be patient enough to read the books before the movie.
Recently, I have picked up a different genre of books and have been enjoying it. It’s mostly fictional novels but with a deep meaning behind the words of the authors. Books like, Wonders, All the Bright Places, We are All Made of Molecules, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and The Faults in Our Stars. I started reading Melissa Marr, John Green, Marie Lu, Jenny Han, and Cynthia Hand’s book. These books made me more aware of what is going on in the world that I would never get a chance to see or to experience in one life time. I can see how my taste in books has changed over time but also is still similar. I started off loving fantasy as a child then faded out to more educational books. I, then, grew interest in fiction novels again but later got caught up with romance books which sank in really quickly. Now, my genre of books are wide and undefined. I can read anything and everything as long as it has a good ending. I learned now that a happy ending is not as important as a satisfying read. If the book can make me cry and laugh but has a sad, horrible ending, I would still be glad I read to the end.
Reading has changed me in a way that is both scary but fun. I, now have a world of fantasy I can escape to when the reality seems too scary. I have books to turn too when I feel a little off the edge or lonely. I have books to teach me lessons about life and expose me to different things in life. I am still not sure if I love reading or not. It is a love-hate relationship I have with books. I love reading and the imagination I gain from them. However, I still struggle to let the characters go after the last sentence in the book. I would need a full solid day for everything to sink into my system. Ending a book has always been hard for me. It is like saying goodbye to an old good friend.

Books are immortal and a portal to magic. Reading is where I find my ultimate comfort zone and a place where I do not have to hide. Reading and writing have definitely pulled me out of the darkest experiences in my life. Stories have given me a place where I can lose myself. They allow me to remember and to forget. They allow me to imagine different endings and a possibility of a better world. As Neil Gaiman quoted, “A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.”

Now you know my history, what's yours?

hugs and kisses

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