Another life lesson, or how I became an avid reader

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Happy Hump Day!

I’m not sure why, but this morning I woke up with a very vivid memory of something that happened when I was in the fifth grade – only just starting to explore the wonder that is reading and being completely and totally immersed in a book. Figured I’d share to disrupt the constant stream of fiction on here 🙂

Back in the day, I was one of those kids that absolutely hated reading if there weren’t pictures involved. It probably had something to do with how much trouble I had learning to read English, but oh well. When I was in fourth grade, I remember my teacher telling us about a book that she thought we’d like. The story was about a boy that lived with his aunt and uncle who hated him and then he left for school and had adventures. That was literally all she gave us to describe the Harry Potter books. I’m not sure why she intentionally left out the magic bits, only that it sounded like the dumbest story ever and I didn’t really like her in the first place, so I ignored the suggestion.

Fast forward a few months into the fifth grade and the promotional material for the Harry Potter movies started making the rounds. Movies, I absolutely loved, so of course I went to see it multiple times. I was hooked, and it wasn’t long before I heard the teachers talking about how much better the book was. Naturally curious, I decided to challenge myself to start reading so I could read the Harry Potter books. Never one to do anything by halves, I walked into the school library and picked out the biggest book I could reach – it just happened to be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It took me months of putting the book down and picking it back up (I didn’t really care for reading things in order lol) before I reached the point where I was losing sleep just to finish the next chapter.

After I finished it, I couldn’t get enough, so I started reading the series backwards to catch up. I read every chance I got – between classes, waiting for teachers, standing in line. One memory, the one that triggered this post, stands out in particular. It was the beginning of my reading class period, and I was dead-focused on what I was reading – I think it was book three – when I noticed the teacher was starting class. I started to put the book away so I could pay attention, and she noticed.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

I just stared at her, not sure if I was in trouble or not.

“This is reading class – keep reading.”

Needless to say, I was pretty shocked. But, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I did exactly as she said and spent the next forty-five minutes reading Harry Potter. That moment of encouragement has stuck with me for fourteen years, and will continue for the rest of my life. I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember the teacher’s name (I’m awful with names), but her words of encouragement and how she valued my love for literature left a permanent mark.

Anyway, I was feeling nostalgic for my childhood this morning, if you couldn’t tell. Guess the moral of this story is to always encourage reading in kids, and really, just to encourage hobbies that work their imaginations, even if it seems like their heads are in the clouds. You never know what can come of it! I know I wouldn’t be writing as much as I am now without the occasional “keep reading.”

As always, think happy thoughts!


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