I remember loving books as a child.

As a child, I remember sitting on my dad’s lap and he would read to me. You know those books in baggies that parents are supposed to read to their children? Then they would sign off the sheet to ensure that they did read it to their kids? Yes, those books. I remember it like yesterday, my dad reading the books in his non-perfect English with a thick accent. But that didn’t stop me from reading and exploring my love for books.

I remember my mom reading to me in Spanish, her voice was gentle and calm. She was never a reader but when she read to me, it was in a way that made me enjoy reading. One of the books I remember that she read to me was about toads in a garden. In fact we have a bunch of those books. When she read, it exposed me to Spanish and it was a wonderful feeling. Like how certain words went together and how others did not.

Everyone needs communication. It can infest itself in many forms such as a simple touch, a conversation and writing. That’s how people are able to stay sane. My psychology teacher said that parents must talk to their kids in order to help them develop and grow. Without communication, they will not fully develop. With that being, my parents were part of the reason why I enjoyed reading from a young age and also helped me developed a passion for it.

There were three important grades that involved a lot of reading: the 3rd grade, the 8th grade and the 9th grade.

In the 3rd grade, I was blessed to have the most wonderful teacher ever. She was one of my favorite teachers of all time. Why? Because we shared a love for reading. Although my memory was vague, I remember that she understood how much reading meant to me. She was one of the positive influences in my life who not only helped explored my love for reading, but also encouraged me.

In the 8th grade, my love for books was ignited again. I remember that my teacher made us do book talks in order to see if we actually read the books. I honestly loved having book talks with my teacher. It was something that I enjoyed even though others didn’t. Furthermore, the more book talks we did, the more points we got. But for me it wasn’t about the extra credit, but it was having to talk to my teacher about the books that I read that I found to help me gain points for my knowledge.

In the 9th grade the fire was still going strong. Once again, it was a requirement to do book talks as part of our grade. This time, my teacher gave me a whole recommendation of books. Book after book, I would read all the books that she thought would be perfect for me. It was hard to stop and I kept going. She introduced to me books that were all about King Henry VIII that talked about his wives, his daughters and his need to have a boy in order to secure his throne.

Somewhere along the line between my Freshmen and Sophomore year of high school, I stopped reading entirely and thought of reading as something that was required. I never felt the need to go above with my reading, but the only exception was that I had to read for my grade. I did enjoy the books that I was forced to read to keep up my grade but the feeling wasn’t the same. It wasn’t the same as it was previous years. It was harder for me to start the book rather than actually read the book and I thought to myself that it was rather unfortunate.

Now that I am a little bit older, I wonder to myself, why did I stop reading? It was something that I was clearly devoted to but why did I not feel like I was enjoying it? In addition, at the beginning of the year my English teacher asked the class, “How many of you are an avid reader?” Not one single hand went up. I thought that was very depressing because books are something to be enjoyed and yet no one rose their hand.

It also came to me that as high school students transition throughout high school, fewer and fewer students read less or none at all. Particularly AP students, who load too much on APs. Is it because they don’t have enough time to read due to the overwhelming amount of homework? Or is it because unless it’s for a grade, they’re not going to read? For the non-AP students, do they read more? Or less? Possibly, is it also because of the advancement of technology that makes students obligated to not read as much as before?

Recently my teacher gave me a book to read and asked for my input on it. The last time I touched it was three weeks ago. I only read about 20 pages before I decided that it was late and that I needed to go to sleep. It was also the first time I read a book in about a year. Much to my guilt, I said that I would get to it eventually but I keep putting it off and I’m currently questioning whether I am ever going to open it again. Believe me when I say that I find the book very interesting but don’t believe me when I say that I will open the book anytime soon.

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