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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"When In Doubt, Go To The Library."

Title: Quote from Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets

At the age of 25, one of my most favorite past times is reading.  I love to read books and get wrapped up in a different world.

Younger me? She would scoff at me now. I grew up not being a big reader.  I would rather play.  Barbie and Ken needed to head off to work.  And I needed to perform my next big concert to my stuffed animal audience.  Don't forget the multiple viewings of Shirley Temple movies.  I wanted to use my imagination and I didn't see how sitting still with a paperback book was going to let me use my sense of imagination that I had loved.  My mother? Now that woman reads and I never understood then.  She could (and still does!) devour an entire book in one sitting. 

As I grew older, I still didn't understand.  I was a teenager who was wrapped up in friends and boys and invariably spending the time I wasn't with said friends or boys, on the phone with said friends or said boys.  8 hours in school with these people was not enough time.  We needed to come home and spend the evening on the phone.  I still remember how excited I was when I was able to talk on the phone AND be on the internet, chatting on AIM.  It was revolutionary. (25 year old me laughs that my niece will never know a time where you had to dial up to the internet.)  Being wrapped up in this social world left no time for reading.  Hell, I couldn't sit down long enough to do readings for school.  I'd read a few books here and there.  I did enjoy them. But there were things I'd rather do. 

Things changed after I graduated high school.  
I had a boy that I loved who went away for school 1000 miles away.  
And my heart hurt.  
And I was lonely.
Long distance sucks.  

When I was home one day, I noticed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was playing on TV.  Up until this point, I had avoided it.  I remember in middle school when they banned the 4th grade teacher from reading the book to her class.  If it was banned, it must not be good right? So I watched the movie.  
And I was entranced in this other world.  
And I wanted to watch it again.  
And I needed more.

So I bought the first book.  
And I tore through it.
And the next,
And the next. 
And I had gotten lost in a world that was beautiful and magical.
It was exactly what my lonely heart needed.
A place to escape and forget.

And then the unthinkable happened.  
HP7 was released on my niece's 4th birthday.  So after celebrations, I ran straight to the book store to pick up my reserved copy. I went home, plopped on the couch and I did not move until I was finished.  I tore through that entire book. 
In. One. Sitting.  
This was the first time, but I promise it was not the last.

 And I understood my mom a little more.  Reading could be so much more than I thought it would.  My imagination, which I once thought would be dulled by books, would actually make books that much more incredible.   

I may have been late to the fandom but Harry Potter changed my life.  
It filled the void I had in my life while Vito was away for nearly 10 months.  
And it made me realize that reading is, in fact, one of the greatest joys in life.  

So tell me your thoughts on reading.
Have you always loved it or did it take you awhile, like me, to realize what you were missing out on?
Also, unrelated but I redid my blog look. Thoughts?


Meghan O said...

Love the new look of your blog! It looks great!

Harry Potter is my first book love. He honestly made reading fun for me. I read 1-3 when I was about 10 I believe. I remember preordering Goblet of Fire and every one after that. I was one of those people who grew up with Harry.
I didn't actually start to read other books for fun until my freshmen year of college. Now I can't stand not having something to read all the time.
It's funny you post this now because I'm rereading HP at the moment. I couldn't even tell you how many times I've reread these wonderful books.

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

I've always loved reading. It was such an escape for me. However, it really rules my moods too. If I don't like how things are "going" in the book, I get crazy upset. LOL

My daughter (she's 11) hasn't been bitten by the reading bug YET. I pray daily that she finds a book that inspires her to open herself up to reading. A nagging mom doesn't help for sure.

Kell said...

I love this.
I've always been a reader. I used to get in trouble for staying up past my bedtime reading. I used to eat dinner at the table with a book propped in front of me so I didn't have to stop reading just to eat. And I totally got it from my mom (who is like yours!) I was lucky enough to have my 4th grade teacher read us the first HP book, and that's when my addiction started. Harry Potter release days were my absolute favorite days.. because my mom would go buy me the book, and I'd hole up in my room reading until I finished.

Okay, I just went on a complete tangent. But I LOVE when people share their HP stories. It doesn't matter if you started at 7 or 17. It's still a completely magical world to get lost in.

Heather said...

I've ALWAYS loved reading! I would check out a book from the library when I was a little girl and read it in one sitting! My mama thought I was crazy :).

My reading took a downturn through High School (so NOT cool to read) and College (lack of time), but after graduation I simply devour books. If I'm bored with TV or the computer, I read...and every night before bed! It's my little getaway!

Mariaana said...

Love this post, it is beautifully written!

I can't imagine a life without books. That would be a sad, sad place to live. I've always read a lot, and was lucky to have friends who also enjoyed reading so we often went to the library together. We still send each other recommendations every now and then.

Also, love the new look!!

Jessica Donbrosky said...

I noticed the change in the blog - I like it :)

As for reading - I love reading! I don't think I read as much in high school as I do now - but I do remember tearing through books. Mary Higgins Clark comes to mind - I read so much of her books that I realized they were all basically the same and moved on.

Jayde said...

I have always been a big reader. Harry Potter was my first literary love; I first read it when I was 9-years-old, and it has been a HUGE part of my life for the past 13 years. I am forever grateful for how much it has changed my life. I get sad that I don't have as much time for reading now, what with work and having to be up early for it - because 99% of the time I will get sucked in and not be able to put it down!

Jayde xo

:: Lavender's Green :: said...

I have always been obsessed with reading. Even at the dinner table (much to my parents disgust). I was obsessed with the Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley (Twins, High, University etc), Enid Blyton, Saddle Club ... you name it, I've probably read it.

Harry Potter changed my life though. I have never read a series quite as amazing as that. I'm so glad you loved it! Have you read the Hunger Games trilogy? I loved that as well!

x Jasmine