I’ve always loved to read. My grandmother was a librarian, and both of my parents (who I’ve always admired) can hardly ever be found without a book in hand. During summers I used to read a novel a day, and more if I could find the time. I loved getting lost in stories, and often became so absorbed in books that I would literally lose track of time, my surroundings, everything. I was called out in elementary school for trying to read in class more times than I care to remember.
In middle school, I reached a reading plateau. Nothing inspired me, and I became frustrated with school because I hated being forced to read – I wanted to read because I wanted to, not because I had to. When Harry Potter came out, I had absoltuely zero interest in the series. I was never into fantasy type books and the whole idea seemed stupid and childish for cool 12-year-old me. My grandmother bought me the first book and told me to read the first chapter. After that, I was free to stop reading if I didn’t like it. The first short chapter seemed doable, so I reluctantly agreed. I admitted to my grandmother that it was alright – good enough to read the second chapter. Then it was good enough to read the third, then the fourth, then I finished the book that day. I had a whole new respect for books and writing in general. The fact that J.K. Rowling could create an entire world was beyond comprehension.
I’m forever grateful to my grandmother for not only introducing me to Harry Potter, but for teaching me to be open-minded. Since then, I’ve discovered so many amazing books that are way out of the genre realm I’m naturally drawn to. Without my grandmother’s insistence on me trying something new, I would have missed out on so many beautiful stories.
(I’m still not crazy about reading because I have to instead of because I want to, but four years of college English will do that to a person.)