I’ll be honest— I only really got into reading in the summer of 2020. Before then, I only rarely read. I didn’t find anything that I really liked. And when I did read, it was mostly middle-grade. I barely even knew what YA was. I know, laugh all you want, but, back then I was so detached from reading that I didn’t even care that middle grade and young adult were 2 different things.
I remember, one day that July, I was walking home with a neighbor, who’s a couple years older than me. She randomly said, “Hey, I have this fantasy book I think you’ll like. Wanna borrow it?”
Me, not really listening after she said the word book, said, “Yeah, yeah, whatever”.
So once we got to our street, she went to her house and gave a thick hardcover to me.
It was Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
I took it and stared at the cover. I remember thinking that the cover looked weird. I went home, put the book on the dinner table, and thought that was that.
It stayed at the corner of the dinner table for 4 days. My neighbor kept texting me “Did you read it yet?”.
I messaged back; “No, sorry, I didn’t have time.” I always found other things to do. Thing is, I didn’t care. Didn’t care about the book with that girl on the cover. Didn’t care about this book, this book that was “Amazing” and “Incredibly written”. I didn’t like reading. So I wasn’t gonna read this book.
On the 4th day, my parents went out for the day. I was bored. Really bored. I was wandering around the house when I saw the book and thought “Huh. Maybe I should read it.” Thinking back, I wonder why I didn’t just watch TV or something. But it doesn’t matter.
I settled down on the couch, and turned to page 1.
Turns out, Children of Blood and Bone was a good book. A really good book. A really amazing, incredible book. Such a good book, that I was still reading by the time my family came home. I didn’t finish it until the next day, and when it ended, I was like “I know it didn’t just end. It did NOT just end like that.”
I texted my neighbor a huge rant about how I NEED a 2nd book and how I loved it so much but WHERE WAS THE 2ND BOOK?
She texted back, “I told you so.”
I was like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever, is there a 2nd book?”
There was. I borrowed it from her and sped through it. Though it wasn’t as good as the 1st, I still knew I needed more books like this.
So I read. I found more and more books and got more recommendations from people. I found the incredible books of YA fantasy. Red Queen, An Ember in the Ashes, Six of Crows, Throne of Glass, The Cruel Prince.
Then I wandered into sci-fi. I suddenly had a new favorite genre. Renegades, The Lunar Chronicles, Warcross, Aurora Rising, Skyward. I was attached to these characters. I needed them to be okay.
But then, I found Goodreads. Suddenly, I was in a community of people just like me, who found themselves within the pages of a paperback (or hardcover, ebook or audiobook. Your choice).
I read fantasy and sci-fi, then I found dystopia, mystery and contemporary.
I suddenly had a book wherever I went. I listened to audiobooks, read ebooks, and begged my parents for money to go to the bookstore (I’m broke, so . . . ).
I noticed little things about myself. I liked to analyze text a lot more, even when it’s just a short quote. I started dreaming about writing a book, and for it to become a bestseller. I started making up characters in my head, and wondering what it was like to have the power of controlling where a story went.
I had changed so much in just a couple of months. Why? When? And most importantly— how?
I have the answer. Or, technically, an answer.
The moment I had turned that page, the moment I had read the first sentence of a book I had loved, I had changed. As someone who formerly would have done the dishes instead of reading, I understand how reading about a fictional character and their adventures can change you.
I pity the people who have never lost the world around them inside the pages of a book.
Because they don’t understand that by reading a book, you begin to understand the people and world around you, and ultimately, yourself.
Thanks for reading 🙂
What do you think of this post? It’s definitely a new thing for me, and I’m not sure if it’s something people want to see more of. And also, how did you become a reader? How did reading impact you?