Ah, books. Where do I begin? I have, quite literally, grown up reading. When I was four, my mother used to make me read those kiddy books with five words on every page before I could go wander off and do whatever four-year-olds do. For a while, I associated reading with anxious fidgeting and boring flashcards and strange people with three-letter names. It wasn’t until first grade that it suddenly dawned on me: Hey! Books can be entertaining and fun, Jessica!
This sparked an age of hunger. A hunger for words, a thirst for more pages, more stories, more characters, more, more, more. I couldn’t get enough of this newfound entertainment, the crinkly pages and the glossy covers. My mom took me to the library regularly, happy to support reading over telivision.
In second grade, my interest in books only grew as my horizons broadened. No longer was I solely reading books with funny pictures and huge words. I fell in love all over again when I moved up into longer chapter books and a whole new slew of genres. I had burst out of the picture-book section, and suddenly found myself in a massive world of possibility with so much growing room. And, boy, did I grow quickly! By third grade, I was a certified bookworm with the library’s entire shelf of classics swirling around in my brain.
Speaking of third grade, this is when my life as a fangirl started, even before I knew what a fangirl was. I practically inhaled the Harry Potter series, and devoured Rick Riordan’s books just as fast. I still love Divergent and The Hunger Games to this day. I read book, upon book, upon book, my brain and my heart absorbing the most wonderful tales, the most interesting facts. My bookshelf still stands homage to all the books I have read in the past, and only a few have been forgotten.
Since the day I’ve loved books, I’ve torn through libraries and words with pure bliss. In fact, I still do. There is nothing that can compare with the unique experience of reading. Sure, anime and music and family can be fun. But no matter where you look, nothing can quite compare with the reading experience. Nothing.
Today, my reading experiences are quite different from the third-grade me. No longer can I spend hours tucked into a corner and a good book. No longer do I have time to request to go to the library every two days. Even what I read is different, with a large chunk being factual and evidenced based. But I’ve come to embrace it.
Let’s face it: what you’re gonna read changes. You change, so why shouldn’t the words you read change with you? I still love a riveting fantasy or a heart-stopping thriller, an ooey-gooey romance or a rich comedy. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve had to learn how to love books about other, not fictional, Muggle people, but who are magical in every other way. I’ve learned to admire a good essay or a particularly interesting book on some long-ago era. Sometimes I’m so desperate that I even find enjoyment in a standardized test reading passage (though, luckily, those times are few).
It’s been a long time since I fell in love with literature for the first time. Since then, I’ve fallen in love again more times than I can count. I’ve made so many new friends through books, and I’v learned so many new things. Every page is a new adventure, and I will always be eager to embark on a fresh journey. I can’t wait to see what the future brings my way!