The Series I Started
Reading never really appealed to me as a child. I grew up in a family that was always outside and working on different household projects. In the summer I spent my time outside by the pond, in the fall I spent my time stacking wood, in the winter I spent my time taking care of horses, and in the spring I spent my time doing yard work. There were no books lying around even if I wanted to read. Quite frankly I do not even remember when I started reading, but I do remember the troubles it caused others when I could not read.
When I entered Kindergarten, I remember teachers taking a special interest in me. It was not until first grade when they confronted my parents about it. Supposedly “I was not picking up the information” and “I was falling behind.” At first my parents wanted to know why, but when the school had no answer, my parents demanded that the school do what was needed to help me learn. From there I was put with specialized teachers to help me, and underwent a series of learning tests to see if I had a learning or processing disability. After that, everything changed.
I remember entering a large room that was cut in half. On one side, a line of cubicles sat where the teachers had their desks. On the other half, a long table was centered in the middle of the room surrounded by desks. What made this room different from others was that it had shelves filled with toys and candy. This classroom is where I went for every English class I had until 6th grade.
Because I was in this class, I was allotted extra time on tests and quizzes and helped if needed, but I hardly ever used it. I never wanted to know what the test results said; I just wanted to be normal. As the years went on, I continued on the learning plan that middle school had put me on, and in a way I was limited. It was as if I was tagged and everyone knew about it. By seventh grade I was told I would never be able to learn another language because of the way my brain processed things yet it did not stop me. The probable reason why I was a poor reader and writer was that I never really read until I went to school because I was always outside, but I was determined to change that and prove to the teachers that I could learn another language. I understood that English, for me, was difficult. If I wanted to learn another language then I knew I needed to work on my English, and that moment is when I decided to start reading outside of class.
I had read in the past, but only books that I had to read through school. My mom would occasionally go to the library, but I was always too busy to go with her. One day I was in the car with her when she stopped by the library so I decided to look at the books while I was there. I, being a seventh grader at the time, was attracted to the new books because the book was always better new than used. I looked for the books with the best cover, the new ones. I found Warriors by Erin Hunt written in a rustic lettering above the eyes of a tabby crouched beneath the grass. The pages were new and the corners were sharp. That was enough of a reason for me to check out the book.
Through reading the first book, I became attached to the main character, a cat named Rusty. Before I knew it, I finished the first book within a couple of days. At first I was confused on why it ended in an awkward spot until I realized it was a series. Within a couple days, I was back at the library checking out the next book. I became curious about what would happen to Rusty as he entered a “wild cat clan.” Within a couple days, I was back at the library again. I read every moment I could. It turned more into skimming the page than actually reading it. I would stay up until 1:00 a.m. reading without even realizing it. People always said that reading made them sleepy, but it made me feel alive. I had become so attached to the main character that I could not put the book down. I was constantly at the library checking out the next book until the next book was already checked out. I remember being very mad. At this point that series was my life. It was all I could think about and all I wanted to do. I had to wait two weeks until the next book in the series was returned, and then I continued reading.
After a couple books, the second main character that I had also gotten very attached to ended up dying. I cried. I did not understand how the writer could just let her die. So in my own childish way I protested. I did not read the next book for a month. When I did go back to the library, I decided to try again and picked up the next book in the series… part 2. Part two of the series threw a curve ball. The main character had changed, and the perspective was written from a different tabby. Because I did not like change, I became very upset. I was so attached to the other character that I protested again. This time I did not read for multiple months. Instead, I started to read other books that had interesting looking covers. I discovered that I never really liked short stories but instead loved series. I enjoyed getting attached to the characters. Eventually I started reading Warriors again. Because so many people were reading the series at the same time I was, every time I went back to the library for the next book I was sent home empty handed. Eventually I stopped reading Warriors.
I realized that I became so involved in the book that nothing else mattered. It was all that I could think about. I wanted to be a part of the book and escape. Once I came to the realization that none of it is real and there is no point in wasting time over it, I stopped reading. I should not be inside reading and dreaming when I could be outside being productive and working. In a way I was protecting myself even up until now. I know that if I find a good book, I will not stop reading. Then no homework or studying will get done. Maybe one day I will accept that it is okay to get lost in books and love reading even if it does take time. I do know that once I have time, I will finish the series I started years ago.