On Reading: Discovering New Worlds
Updated: May 13
I remember the first time I truly fell in love with books. I was in the fifth-grade, and like the rest of my class, I was excited when my teacher announced we would be having a pajama day in honor of National Reading Month. Our class was allowed to wear pajamas to school and bring in a sleeping bag or blanket, pillow, or favorite stuffed animal. But most importantly, we were told to bring in books. Lots of books! Our whole day would be devoted to reading. Some of the kids moaned and groaned when they heard this, but I didn't mind. I enjoyed reading. Some of my favorite childhood books were the Boxcar Children series, the All-of-a-Kind-Family series from our temple's library, the old copies of The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and Little Women that I pulled down from my grandmother's bookcase, and the Little House on the Prairie books. But for my fifth-grade pajama day, I decided on a book I had recently checked out from our school's library: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
I found a quiet spot in a corner of the classroom, spread out my sleeping bag, and propped my pillow against the wall. I opened the book and started reading: It was a dark and stormy night. In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind.
Before long, everything around me started to fade. The chatter and whispers of my classmates, the creaking of the radiator, that smell unique to elementary schools of cafeteria food and floor cleaner, the slow ticking of the clock. I was transported in a way I had never been before. A new world was opening around me . . . a world of tesseracts and space travel, of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, of the Black Thing and It. A world where a young heroine and her unusual younger brother venture into the unknown to save their father. I had never known a world like this one! I devoured the book in one sitting and instantly wanted more. From that moment on, I was hooked on science fiction and fantasy, and felt a new appreciation for the power of words to create whole worlds that don't exist in real life.
Reading became a life-long passion. It was no longer just a hobby or a way to pass time. It became an addiction . . . something I had to do every day. I looked forward to the opportunity to escape into new worlds and walk alongside unique characters. Over the course of my life, certain books rekindled that sense of discovery and wonder, books like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Boy who Reversed Himself by William Sleator, Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist, and of course, the Harry Potter series. Not only did I become an avid reader, but I decided I wanted to create these types of worlds too. I wanted to have the power to transport readers to new, exotic universes, or place them in the middle of history. I feel that holding a book is like holding a bit of magic in your hands.
I will continue to write on some of my favorite books and experiences as a reader. I hope you will enjoy following me on my blogging journey.