I didn't always love reading. In fact, when I was little (say, before first grade), I actually didn't like reading at all. Don't get me wrong, I did it and I read quite a few different kids books like Clifford and the Biscuit books and things I read for school. I was homeschooled at the time so the fact that most kids don't start to even learn to read until first grade never applied to me. I was reading on my own by Kindergarten.
I don't really remember that well a time before I liked reading, but I do remember that I didn't like it. My mom took me to our local library one day and we ran into a lady who worked in the children's section that we also knew very well because she lived in the same apartment complex that we did. She had a book recommendation for me. The 7-year-old me was not overly impressed but, to be polite, I checked the book out anyway. She assured me that I would enjoy it. This is the book she handed to me:
I still remember when the librarian, her name was Noreen, handed it to me. It's weird, I'm not sure why I remember it so clearly but obviously my brain thought that it was an important moment to remember. And it was. Because that book officially started my love of reading. Even more importantly it started my love of mystery stories.
Cam Jansen was my first hero. She has a photographic memory, and whenever she wants to remember something she just looks at it and says 'click' like a camera, which is where her nickname Cam comes from. Her best friend Eric would help her solve all their cases and I couldn't get enough of the stories.
Eventually I moved on to other mystery books like the Nancy Drew Notebook series, Encyclopedia Brown, and once I was older, Sherlock Holmes. Even though I always had different career paths chosen such as being a vet or a paleontologist or marine biologist, in the back of my mind I always thought it would be cool to be a detective.
Anyway, after that I never lost the love of reading. I would devour books as quickly as I could and even now if you give me a few uninterrupted hours chances are I can finish a book. For example, the other day I started the book Deadline by Mira Grant. I started it at 3pm and by 3am I was finished. I took a few breaks to eat and wander the internet, but basically in less than 12 hours I had finished a 600 page book. I've also been known to finish Star Wars novels in a few hours. When I got the Harry Potter books at midnight I would take them straight to my room and read them straight through until I finished. That's probably my favorite activity and one I don't get to do all that often anymore. Sure, I still read a lot but I don't get a chance to just sit curled up with my dog and read a book from start to finish without worrying about having to do homework or go to class. I enjoyed reading Deadline all the more because I decided I wasn't going to put it down until I finished it, even if that meant I was up until 3am with class the next morning. The best way to experience a book is without interruptions because it's the only way to really stay engrossed in the story and keep it all fresh in your mind.
Now that I'm finished with Deadline it's time to get started on Deceived by Paul Kemp, and then Conviction by Aaron Allston. I haven't read a Star Wars book in over a month, and for that I have another librarian to thank. One of my good friends online has been recommending books for me, with her last recommendation being a series by Tamora Pierce. I finished the fourth book in the Protector of the Small series the other day and am looking forward to getting some other Tamora Pierce books from the library. So that's two librarians I owe for introducing me to awesome series!
I may not always get to ignore the world and sit with my books the way I'd like to, but as long as my friend keeps recommending books for me to read and Star Wars books keep getting published, I will be able to always have a book to read and that's just as good for me!