13 June 2008
It is my passion.
Do you remember falling in love, discovering your passion - I was nine. We had free-time. I was laying on my stomach looking at the books on the bottom shelf of the classroom bookcase, books we never used in class. I have always had a fondness for things that involve never. There were lots of books i knew by then that i was supposed to be interested in, classics - Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, Black Beauty. The there was this old, faded blue book - you know that weird library-binding blue that is nothing like the author or publicist intended. There was a grainy, faded picture of a girl on the front with her yellow skirt and hair blowing out to the side - rather unrealistically, I now know - but completely wonderful to my rather overdeveloped imagination of the time. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I started reading it. For people who know me now that may seem like no big deal, but let me assure you it was. I did not read. I was in Chapter 1 reading, not because I didn't know how, I was reading when I was three years old, but because I refused to do it. The power of my will to not do something I didn't want to was such that I almost failed out of school - before the 5th grade. So me reading, and right there in the middle of the classroom even, that was not normal behavior. But it was free-time and no one noticed. It was not the first book I had read, but for some reason I was pulled into that world. It was the first time I wanted to read. I took the book home with me. I finished it in two days. I read it again. And again. (I did eventually give it back - but only after I had acquired my own copy at a school book fair.) Then I went to the library to see if Elizabeth George Speare had written any other books. The Calico Captive, The Bronze Bow, and The Sign of the Beaver were all quickly devoured. And just like that I was a reader. It is my passion.