When i was 7, I couldn't get enough of Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Encyclopedia Brown series, Amelia Bedelia, The Little's Take a Trip and Harold the Purple Crayon.
When I was 9, I moved on to Charlotte's Web, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Harriet the Spy, The Great Brain and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
By 11, I was reading Of Mice and Men, Little Women, Gone With The Wind, Mystery at Thunderbolt House and Mrs. Mike.
And then I turned 12.
Something happened. It was called Assigned Reading.
I had to read whatever I was given within a short period of time and then write about it.
Stand in front of the classroom and speak about it publicly.. making sure I gave the entire class the proper eye contact and project my voice across the classroom.
One of the books I had to read was The Red Badge of Courage. In my assignment, I had to point out the emotional symbols in the book. Such as ... Henry sees a lot of blood (emotional symbol) and death (emotional symbol) and this causes him to run away from battle (emotional response) which makes him feel ashamed (another emotion).
Something shifted inside me during that time, and, no matter how hard I tried to read, the words would just fall off the page and into my lap.
I suffered quietly.
I cheated my way through book assignments and public book reports from that day forward.
Sometimes, when I could, I falsified my own book report with make-believe characters and created summaries or stole them from short stories out of a magazine and lengthened them into any novel I wanted it to be.
Because in truth .. by then, the only things I read were the back of cereal boxes, Tigerbeat magazines and my mother's National Enquirers.
I envy those who join book clubs and those who spend their weekends by the pool reading their books expanding their minds by what they read.
I have read two books in the past three years or more. Fried Green Tomatoes and The Secret Life of Bees. Both books brought me so much joy. I remember how I felt between readings. I missed the characters and I looked forward to delving back in and reading. And I felt so sad when the book was over.
That's how all books should be.
Do you have a favorite book that I would perhaps enjoy reading? A book where the words stay in place and don't slip down the page and onto my lap? Summer is quickly approaching. I would so enjoy joining the others around the pool with a book in hand instead of my People magazine.
I'm interested in all types of books in all different categories. Or so, I would like to think that.
Just as long as there are easy-to-read short chapters with medium size text with lots of paragraphs just incase I wanted to stop reading between chapters, it would be a nice resting place.