A Small Yellow Book

Picture it, a hot summer day. No school, no homework, no reading, just fun. The sun shone bright, beating rays hitting the earth. Those little bugs that no one seems to know what they are called make that weird noise you hear when it gets really hot outside. A slight breeze is blowing, enough to push the freshly washed curtains in and out, but not so much as to sway the whole of a tree. It’s a gentle cool breeze blowing in the smells of the outside world. In the distance the steady hum buzz of a lawn mower. The crisp clean freshly cut grass smell wafting in entangles with the smell of the clean curtains, creating a symphony of smells.

Where do I fit in this picture? Surely playing outside among the trees and blue sky like any other 10 year old kid. Wrong, I am clearly lying on the couch spread out so the breeze from the windows and fan hit me entirely. It’s too hot to play outside today, I had decided after about a good 10 minutes out there. There was one problem though, I am bored. I yell to my mom and she tells me to read a book. At that moment, to me reading was the farthest thing from fun.

I can hear my mom puttering around cleaning the kitchen. I decide that the only logical thing to do when you are bored is to look through every cabinet door possible, what mysteries could be in there? What new items can I find? Being a kid I never once thought to stop and think about how many times I had done this very thing. There was nothing new in the cabinets, at least not those within my reach, but that’s a completely different story. Back to me, I began in the kitchen. I sat down in front of a large brown cabinet, anxiously awaiting what new mysteries and foreign gadgets await me. I opened the door and got yelled at. I moved on to the front room away from my mom so as not to be seen.

I sat down in front of the big white hutch, from my perspective on the floor it was huge. Towering like a skyscraper high above my head. What mysteries did this hold? What new and exciting things can I find? I opened the first door, photo albums and a book about the history of Barbie. I had looked at the photos before, but they weren’t that interesting to me. The history on Barbie had many pictures, I liked that book. I often ignored the words though and didn’t feel like spending time flipping through all those pages. I closed the first door and moved on to the next. This compartment looked the same as last time, but after moving some things around I came across something new. A set of small yellow books. I pulled out all the books and spread them out around me. I wanted to look at all the covers. Each cover was different, but each one had a picture of a girl in some scene on it. In one the girl was going up a set of dark stairs, in another she was in a cave hiding. This piqued my interest.

I looked at the one with the cave more closely, reading the title it said, “Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, The Mystery of the Tolling Bell” they all had the name Nancy Drew on them. Grabbing the book I opened the pages, they smelled like old book, I didn’t care I kind of liked it. One thing I noticed was that there were little pictures in it, they were scattered throughout the book. There were maybe 4 or 5 and in black and white. The words were small, but so were the pages. Book in hand I moved into the living room, laid down on the couch in a comfy position and began to read the first part of the book. I wanted to know what it was about. Why was there a bell? What happens? Who is Nancy Drew? I came to want to read this based on my own discovery. I had always been told to try reading and had to read for certain things in school, but I always said it wasn’t for me. With my interest now piqued and coming to do this on my own terms, I was ok.

Needles to say I got hooked, it took me a while to read the whole book, but I did it. The book was good and even though there weren’t pictures all through it I liked it. I saw what was being described in my own head. The words came to life and formed a movie in my mind. My mom noticed me reading the books and made a comment here or there I ignored it for the most part. The next book I picked up was another one that had an interesting cover called, “The Clue in the Crumbling Wall.” This book proved to be just as interesting to me. Soon I began to steadily make my way through all the books mom had that looked interesting. Upon talking with my stepmother I discovered that she too had many Nancy Drew books in her class room at school. She told me I was more than welcome to borrow them. I took her up on that offer and gave her a small list of the ones that I had already read. She then brought me back a day or two later, a few more books. I took the books home and began to read them.

The more I read books the more I realized just how nice reading is. I came to understand a book is a movie without pictures yet. You get to be the artist and decide how the characters look. Nancy Drew was a huge bridge for me, not only did it spark my love of reading, but it helped me to improve my own writing in school. I was strengthening my grammar, using commas, as well as growing my vocabulary. You can litterally have fun, while learning! Every time you read you build your vocabulary, and improve on your writing and reading skills. I noticed the difference in my own writing. I was able to write smoothly and use transitions. It became possible to write a paper and not separate conjunctions because I didn’t have enough words in my vocabulary. In a way it’s a lot of monkey see monkey do, I saw the writing in the books I read and followed the grammar patterns in my own writing.

As an avid reader now I have come to find out what I like in a book. I know now that I need something that will snag and hold my attention through the whole book. As a kid I hadn’t read that many books and surely not ones that I took the time to pick. Yes I had library time, but they are big places and I had no idea where to start my search. I had no idea what I liked. I knew what I didn’t like. Mysteries, romance, young adult, fiction, and adventure/action are all things I now know that I enjoy reading.

You shouldn’t give up on something just because you didn’t like it the first few times. There are so many books out there, I had just not been looking. When finding a book to read now I have to find it on my own. Reading opens new doors and windows in life, it can serve as an escape and it can improve a mood. The best part though comes when a movie gets made and you realize what everyone says about the book being better than the movie is true. Nothing tops that detail and the experience you get from the time you first open the book and flip the pages. When you get that feeling of a new adventure and you don’t have to leave your couch.