For the Love of Reading
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

For the Love of Reading

A Thank You to Readers Everywhere

For the Love of Reading
Annie Spratt

As a child, I really didn't enjoy reading. The words shifted on me and a spent my entire primary school career in special reading classes away from my peers. I never felt like I was good at reading and constantly felt like I was falling behind. No matter how hard I tried, I just didn't get it.

I grew up in a family that consumes literature at a ridiculously rapid rate. Both of my parents and my older sister all love to read and it used to frustrate me that on Saturday mornings, they would all be reading and I would sit there bored. I remember thinking to myself, I want to be like them. I'm so thankful that my family was as supportive and nurturing as they were and still are to this day. I truthfully don't think I would be the student that I am without them. My mother in particular, used to read books with me even when I was in middle school. She encouraged me to keep reading, to try and find stories that interested me. Eventually when I was in 11, I finally found a book that stuck, one that kindled an obsession with reading.

Now, I'm proud to say that like the rest of my family, I am a voracious reader. I never really enjoyed required reading for school minus the few exceptional works that I read in high school. For me, school tended to discourage reading. I was forced to read genres that never interested me. I never once had the opportunity to read a book of my own choosing and give a report on it. I wonder if this is the reason that so many people don't like reading. Is it because it left a bad taste in their mouth?

The truth is, many of my friends don't enjoy reading either. They don't find peace in it the way that I do.

When I am stressed, I read. When I am conflicted, I read. When I need peace, quiet, sanity, or entertainment, I read. When I have the opportunity to spend money on myself, I tend to drive myself to a Barnes and Noble or a used bookstore (my favorite is Book Barn in Denville NJ) and leisurely browse the shelves looking for books. But even as a an adult, I still felt a bit lost because I never really found anyone else who liked reading like I did.

Sophomore year, I started working as a tutor at the Writing Center on campus. For the first time in my life, I had found people who loved reading. Though I only worked there for a year, I had finally found people who understood me, who understood my love for reading, who didn't think it was odd, and who thrived in a discussion of favorite authors.

Many of my coworkers became my very good friends and when I see them after a few days, weeks, or even months, I often find that they contribute to a missing part of my life. Without fail, they say my favorite phrase on this planet, "I have a book recommendation for you".

There are many reasons I value this phrase. First, it means someone read a book and thought of you while reading it. There's a certain level of understanding that goes into something like that. The person who recommends you a book believes they know you well enough that they can give you a memoir, a fiction novel, or a history book.

Second, when a book lover gives someone their copy of a book, they are truly giving you a piece of their soul. Let me explain, when I read a book that I think is more than just pure entertainment, I highlight it and take margin notes. Sometimes when I even read books that are entertaining, like Harry Potter, I'll underline things that I think are full of wisdom. When I read a book that makes me cry, you can see my tears have crinkled the pages.

I'm not exaggerating or romanticizing this, when a book lover gives you a book, it is like giving you a mix tape. It's intimate.

One of my favorite books is the Scarlet Letter. I kept my copy from high school and had some sections underlined. I know I cried when I read it and I'm sure there were tear marks on the pages. That book meant a lot to me, it helped me through a difficult time in my life. I gave that beat up copy of that book to a friend when I felt that she needed more than I did. I explained to her that I wasn't just giving her a crappy copy of an old book, I was giving her wisdom, hope, and an escape from whatever she was struggling with.

So for those of you who love to read, who feel that it is a missing and under appreciated hobby, you're not alone. For those of you who love to read and have given someone your personal copy of your favorite book, thank you for sharing your soul. For those of you who see an old friend and recommend a book, thank you for thinking of us. For those of you who haven't sat down with a book in a while, maybe give it a try. For those of you who have received a book from a reader as a gift, cherish it because it wasn't easy to part with.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments