This is a bit of a funny story, actually. My reading career began at the age of four when I started primary school. Something that, originally, I had been excited for until the first day. The first day I managed to rip a clump out of my hair and rip my school uniform off about six times before my mum even got me in the car. I was a mess. A few weeks after that disaster I took my uniform to my mum with my shoes and told her “I’m done now, I’ve learnt to read.”
I wanted to read because of my mum as well. She read so much before her epilepsy diagnosis. She always had a book in hand and I wanted to be just like my mum. She would sit with me for hours listening to me sound out words and read. She made sure to support every little thing. Most Friday’s I’d come home and she’d have bought me a book for the weekend. My mum was who started my passion and supported that, from day one. I will forever adore and love her for that.
So, I’ve been reading for sixteen years, basically. It wasn’t a gradual thing. I fell in love with it completely and truly haven’t stopped reading since then. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve stopped reading due to friends bullying me for it, but the passion is always sparked again.
The first time I stopped reading was when my mum met a man who had three sons. The three sons used to rip the back pages out of books and then give them to me to read. So, I eventually gave up because I was sick of being teased. That was until Twilight came into the world. I went on the hold list at my library and waited for the book to come in, hoping I would be able to join that trend. Boy, did I jump on that hype train. Twilight became my life. When I got some money from doing chores I went and bought all four books (they were $9 each at my local store). I was so happy and read them all so quickly. My love for reading had returned and I was at the library every week lugging my grocery bag the 10-minute walk.
A year after my love for the library began we moved far out of town. So far that there was no library near us! My mum worked every day and wasn’t able to take me since I was too young to be in town every day (I was 12 at this stage). So, I spent an entire summer holidays (6 weeks) reading the Twilight series cover to cover. I eventually hit high school and discovered books that are my favourites today, Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments.
However, I changed high schools after a year and a half and made friends who told me “reading is, like, totally not cool”. So, I was embarrassed and stopped. Whenever I brought up reading they’d roll their eyes or tell me to get “a real hobby”. A year later a new friend I made loaned me her copies of The Hunger Games. I fell in love, much like I did with Twilight. I read those books cover to cover around 20 times, discovering everything that was within those pages.
My passion for reading was back, I was so happy! It was during this spark I discovered another favourite series of mine, Percy Jackson and The Olympians. I was ecstatic!
Then we moved again. It was a trip to a store that I learnt The Mortal Instruments was more than three books! WHAT?! 15 year old me was in shock. I quickly started back up with the passion I had when I was 10, reading books at an alarming speed and going to the library regularly.
I made a stupid decision after this. Some things happened in my life, bad things. I ended up in a relationship and he told me that reading was the dumbest thing i could possibly do. He basically told me because it kept me from replying to him quickly so I should just stop. So, I did. He wouldn’t message me for hours and I would sit around bored because I didn’t want him to be mad. I was stupid, I know.
It was after we broke up (and boy, was that a great day) that I came back to reading. I had an urge to re-read Percy Jackson and The Lightning Theif and what a great decision that was. That was three years ago. For three years I have been completely passionate about reading and unable to stock. People get shocked by how much I read, but everyone I have in my life is super supportive. My friends love hearing about my relationships with publishers that I’m growing and the blurb of whatever book I’m reading. My mum always asks what I’m reading, and I’m so grateful for her pushing her love of reading on me.
Reading was the escape I needed during so many bad times in my life. Reading has been the friend I’ve needed when I cried myself to sleep. Reading has been my home when my family was sitting on the threat of homelessness. Reading has always been there for me, reading always will, and I am a reader to the core.