Dedication This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Sunday was always our book-buying day, my father’s and mine. He would take me to the Carousel Mall and let me walk through the bookshelves while he read the paper and drank coffee. We would sit side by side and read in silence. Then after a while he would ask me which one from my large pile of books I liked best, and I would choose. Sometimes if I couldn’t decide, he would buy me two, but back then the books I wanted cost no more than $7. In this way, my father encouraged me to read, he never discouraged me as my mom often did, saying, “Why are you reading constantly? Go outside, stop living in a fantasy world.”

It was on one of these Sundays that I came across a Harry Potter book when I was about 11 years old; the series is still my favorite. My father was never an avid book reader himself. But when I grew older and discovered the library, where I could borrow as many books as I wanted for nothing, he encouraged that too.

It was quite a while before I even knew what a writer was. I had been making up stories forever, but it never occurred to me that there were actual people who wrote all those wonderful books I constantly read. When I finally realized I was a writer, it was a revelation. I thought, I write stories just like these people. When I told my dad, he seemed to know already. He read what I wrote and joked about how when I became a famous writer, I should dedicate my writing to him and send him some of the royalties.

Even if I don’t become famous or make lots of money on my books, at least I know what I am and what my dad helped me become because of all those trips to bookstores, and because of his heartfelt comments that made me believe in myself. Before he even read a single word I wrote, he said he knew it would be great – because I had written it.

I’m going to major in English at college because I want to be a writer or maybe an editor. No matter what I do, I know my dad will be proud of me. He encouraged me to be who I am. The first book I publish I’m going to dedicate to my father, who is my hero and my inspiration, and not because he told me to either.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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