It wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, I wasn’t particularly interested in learning to read. After all, what we were reading in school was so simple, so boring–Dick and Jane in those days–that after one time through the story, I had it memorized. I don’t know how long I faked reading before my first grade teacher caught on and called my mother in for a conference. The conference wasn’t pleasant, and I didn’t like disappointing both my mother and my teacher, so I grudgingly complied through the rest of first grade.
My mother had read to me every day of my life, so what motivation did I have for learning to read? I loved that time before bed, when we’d cuddle together, read, and talk about stories. If I could read to myself, maybe she’d stop reading to me.
My competitive nature forced me to try in second grade. I was embarrassed to be put in the middle reading group. I still remember the shame and jealousy I felt. I wasn’t in love with reading yet, but I wanted desperately to be in the top group.
Then, my mother read me a book that I fell in love with–a book that changed everything–and when she’d turned the last page, I knew I wanted to be able to read it all by myself.
The book was Half Magic, by Edward Eager, and I yearned to have the wonderful adventures Jane, Mark, Katherine, and Martha shared, by way of an ancient magic charm.
The book itself was a magic charm for me, and I became the girl who always had her nose in a book. Soon I was reading everything I could get my hands on, including, by the time I was in fourth grade, the reading assignments my brother, who was a senior in high school, brought home, sometimes even before he had finished reading them.
Now, I have fallen in love again, this time with writing. I’m currently working on what I hope is my final draft of a Young Adult novel called Drowned. You’ll read about my WIP (work-in-progress) and my journey as a writer in future blogs, along with all things related to reading and writing. Whether you are a writer, a reader, or a teacher, I hope you’ll find something from “The Writer’s Desk” that interests you and maybe even to fall in love with.
And that first book I fell in love with? I reread it last month, as I have nearly every year of my life. I love reading and writing. Who said you can’t fall in love twice?