Traumatized By Reading This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 18, 2012
I was never the reader of the family. Seldom did I ever sit down, pick a book on my own time, and just get lost in the story. I did try, though. I can remember watching my sister read for hours, turning page after page and forgetting the world exists. I couldn’t help but wonder, “How does she do that?” It astonished me that someone could read for three to four hours straight without a glance back to the real world. At this point, I was about eight. I can’t think of one book I really loved when I was eight.

Life got busier as I got older, and I would have been lucky to have the time to sit down and read. It didn’t even cross my mind until freshman year. Things began to slow down and school became a priority. My ninth grade English teacher, Ms. Talbot, told me she would try and change my reading habits because, like it or not, reading was important. I took it with a grain of salt, as I did with most things at that age. After reading The Bean Trees, I sincerely started to lose hope in Ms. Talbot’s word and myself. I couldn’t bring myself to get lost in the story, let alone sit down and read the book for more than 15 minutes. The last I remember of my reading trauma is looking at the face of a young girl on the cover of a book, and all I could think was, “Harper Lee, I hope to God this isn’t the white rape victim you wrote of on the back of the book.”

Everything was different after To Kill a Mockingbird. I have never been so enthralled by a fictional character. I have never had to force myself to stay asleep at night to keep me from getting up at 3:00 am. I finished the book about two weeks before the class had to. From then on, reading became an important part of my life. I wish I could say I didn’t read when I was little because I hadn’t found the type of genre that pulls me in because my favorite books range from To Kill a Mockingbird to Dracula to The Help. I have grown up now. I know that I have to work hard to reach my goals. I know that life isn’t as easy as I thought. My mind made a 180-degree turn and somehow matured. Reading, in my life, separated childhood and adolescence.





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Athena101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 9:54 am
   I felt the same way as you, I couldn't understand why people would read on their free time. Then I got The Iron King and fell in love with reading. Good job. :)
 
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