My dad has become one of the reasons I am still so inspired to read today. He read to my sister and I before bed when I was young, but never books like Curious George or other similar kids books. The first book I ever remembering him reading was the Chronicles of Narnia. My younger sister and I would lay in our bunk beds and listen as he read, with different voices for every character as the Pevensie children found Narnia and discovered Aslan. His love for stories and encouragement for me and my sister to discover new worlds through the pages of a book, to use our imagination on lines of ink on paper.
I'm pretty sure I started to read long before first grade, and I have loved it ever since. They tested me in the second grade and told me that I was reading at the eighth-grade level. In fourth grade, there was a "Reading Counts" program where students read a book, took a short computer quiz on it, and then you would get points for the completed quiz. At the in end of the year, the kid with the highest number of points would get a prize and a medal. I was the kid in my class with the highest score, a whopping 472 points, more than double the points for the kid in 2nd place. In sixth grade, there was another reading level test in which I tested at the twelfth-grade level. I read consistently through middle and high school to the point where I read several books in one week of school.
In the summer, until the year I turned thirteen, my family took trips to Baltimore to see family, an eleven hour drive in a van with five other people and all of our luggage. The fact that I could read made this trip bearable, and the fact that my sister also enjoyed reading made it easy for us to spend the hours in silence but not boredom. I also would read anytime I was in the car for more than a few minutes, my Kindle becoming my favorite thing to carry around. There were many times around my preteen and early teen years that I would get grounded from reading for months at a time.
My parents found that my attitude problems could be resolved if I were threatened with the removal of my books. I was able to read the Bible, to draw, to play games and even watch movies. When not in trouble with my parents, there were several times where my teachers would tell me to put away the books I was reading in their classes. This became a problem for me when I came to college. All of a sudden, I had no time to read my own books and my Kindle became neglected.
My reading became a "weekend adventure only" and I went from several of my own books in a week to a few per month. I still don't have as much time to read, and I kind of mourn all the free time I had in high school compared to the responsibilities I have now. I guess that is a part of growing up, but I don't like it already. I can only hope that I continue to get older, my love for reading grows and my time can still be dedicated to the books I love.