Reading is something that has brought me huge amounts of joy throughout the duration of my life. Whether it be reading "Alice in Wonderland" as a child or reading the never-ending geometry textbook as a teenager, reading is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I couldn't imagine spending my time doing anything else. In my very first Odyssey article, I will be talking about what reading has done for me and why I enjoy it so much.
I definitely have to contribute my habits of reading to my mother. She read to me almost every day as a child, and then encouraged me to read on my own. She would ask me to try and pronounce simple words like such as, "the," or "that," and after getting incredibly frustrated, she would give in and tell me what the word was. She has a degree in English, so for her, teaching me to read was extremely important. I now realize that starting this learning process at such a young age would set me up for great success in the future. Learning to read was a lengthy process- one that took years upon years to perfect. If I'm being honest, every book that I read, every new word I learned, and every paper that I wrote were all completely worth the one a.m. struggle.
The first book that I ever finished on my own was a "Junie B. Jones" book in which she was a flower girl in a wedding. Following the typical story line, she managed to make things go entirely awry, but all the issues were resolved, and the book came to a joyful end. Ever since then, I have devoured countless amounts of books of all kinds. Some of them I read in just a few days. I can remember back to a time when I was sick, and I flew through "Catching Fire" of "The Hunger Games" series in a mere two days. As my eyes scanned over the pages and absorbed every word, I felt an extreme sense of accomplishment. I felt very proud that I had finished a large, advanced book in two days at the young age of eleven. This would be the first of many books that I would finish in a matter of days. Once I got hooked on a good book, nothing could stop me. I read every night before bed and constantly told myself, "Okay. Only one more chapter, then you have to go to bed." Six chapters later, we can all see how that ended up. It's the one promise every reader makes to themselves, yet the one promise every reader breaks.
I can proudly say that one of the greatest feats of my reading career was finishing the "Pretty Little Liars" series. In total, there are eighteen books, and I read each of them, cover to cover. After two years of anxiously waiting for books to be released and crying over fictional deaths, the series finally came to a thrilling end. I felt like a part of my life was coming to an end, even though I was only finishing a book. Many people ask how I had the patience to read all of those books, but my answer is the same every time. I simply love to read.
Under modern circumstances, it is not often that you find teenagers that enjoy the simple pleasure of reading. All we seem to care about is the latest product from Kylie Cosmetics or the release of the newest Nike shoe. Many teenagers can't be bothered to pick up a book unless they are forced to for school purposes. Personally, I find this very heartbreaking. Some of my favorite books are classic novels such as "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Secret Life of Bees", and a large array of other classic works. I, unlike many other people, love reading books like these just as much as one would enjoy reading modern books. I quite enjoy books from various points in time, even including Shakespeare, which can be rather difficult to translate at times. I think that having such a diverse interest in literature has given me more of an open mind when it comes to trying new things. When I shop for books, I pick up whatever looks good and dive right in. This just one of the many ways in which reading has helped me develop into the person I am.
When it comes to writing, I believe that I got the inspiration to write because I read so much. It comes to me very naturally, and I never had a problem trying to think of a crazy storyline for a middle school essay or a thesis statement for a high school English paper. My vocabulary continues to grow with each book or paper, which consequently allows me to sound more intelligent when I speak. Since I have been accepted onto my school's speech team, I know this will be of great help to me.
As well as raising the IQ and making people more educated, reading is universally acceptable at any time of the day. You could be curled up on the couch on a rainy day with a fuzzy blanket and a piping hot cup of tea, or you could be sunning yourself next to the pool on a 90-degree day, and you would still be reading a fantastic book. It could be one in the morning or one in the afternoon, but it makes no difference. Whether you're in a jam trying to finish your summer reading, or reading your favorite book for the tenth time, you're still subjecting yourself to the magical world created by the book you are reading. Now that you have seen what reading has done for me, get out there and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of books!