True confession . . . as a child, teen and young adult, I always hated to read. I absolutely hated it. I would read what I HAD to read for school and nothing beyond that. There were even a few times in high school when I paid my little sister to read novels to me that my English teacher assigned. If I found it to be a particularly boring book (which happened a lot), then my sister would just read it silently and then tell me a shortened version of the story in time for the test. It was a great arrangement because she loved to read and it helped me get through my English class with good grades.
Not only did I hate reading, I also never understood other people’s love of reading. When someone would say they got “lost in a book”, I just could not relate. It’s a book, how in the world could you possibly get that excited about words on a page? (Yes, I realize that there are some of you who really think less of me right now based on these confessions.)
Fast forward to my life now, and it is SO funny for me to hear comments like this from people:
“I love the way you read to the kids.”; “I love the books you pick for the kids.”; “Where do you find all those great books?” Me, a life-long non-reader, apparently has a knack for selecting and reading children’s books. Who knew?! Truth be told, children’s books are now one of my favorite things in the world. My favorite book ever has always been The Monster at the End of This Book featuring Grover from Sesame Street. If you have never read that book, then stop by my office sometime and I’ll read it to you (I might even read it to you in my Grover voice if I’m feeling up to it). My childhood copy of the book is on my bookshelf (it was the ONLY book I loved as a child).
Things changed in my life and over the past few years I started to enjoy reading a little bit. Surprisingly, in the last year, I’ve found myself to be the girl who has about ten books checked out from the library at a time just waiting in line to be read. I even have a wish list of books that I want to read. I actually know how to work a library now (don’t judge me)! I have an audible account now! I even downloaded the library app so that I can rent audio books! I knew I had truly made the transformation from non-reader to reader last week when I pre-ordered a book that won’t even be released until March 2020! Who am I? I’m waiting for the release of this book like it’s my birthday or something! What is happening?!
It’s fascinating how things change and how people change. I know from my child development background that a shift happens in children around 3rd grade when they go from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’. Therefore, that is typically the age when parents and teachers really notice if there is a learning disability or attention issues that may be causing that shift to be more challenging in children. Neither of those things were part of my story, I just truly disliked reading. I don’t know if there is a developmental shift or when the developmental shift happens for most people from ‘reading is work’ to ‘reading is fun’, but for this late bloomer, that shift is apparently right now.
So, to those of you who comment every week about the books that I choose to read for the children at church, thank you, because I am finally at a point in my life that I love to read. I do my best to pick books that help reinforce the Bible story for the week, and hopefully I am also selecting books and reading them in a way that my new love for reading will be contagious for our little ones. At least that is my hope.