My Journey as a Reader

Reading is essential to live. It gives us a chance to life through someone else’s story and world. Every experience that the readers lives through, through reading helps develop a more creative imagination. There is just something about books that feel like an escape. It gives the readers a chance to live in someone else’s life for a while. Whether this is good or bad is up to the reader.



Reading has always been something I have enjoyed. Ever since I was little my parents would read to my sister and I before we would go to bed. I remember my dad reading us books such as Charlie the Caterpillar and Harold and the Purple Crayon (which he called Greg and the Green crayon). There was something about these books that always stuck out to me. Both books were full of pictures that pleased me every time I saw them.

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The first time I ever read a book was in kindergarten. My mother sat with me through the entire time I read it. The book was a Strawberry Shortcake one and I could not get enough of reading after that. I remember how difficult it was for me to read those words that were written, and how my mom sat there helping me sound them out as I read. After I had finished the book I could not have been more proud, and I could not wait to read more.

First grade through fourth grade I read a lot more than I had in kindergarten. It was not until fifth grade when one of my teachers got me hooked on a book series. His name was Mr. Harper and he taught math and English. One of the books we read in class was called Honus and Me by Dan Gutman. This book was about a young boy who had a rare Honus Wagner baseball card, and realized he had the power to time travel. After we had finished this book I had already started on the others in the series. Every time I went to that class I hoped my teacher would ask
me about the books. I wanted to talk to someone about them and share my appreciation of books as well.

Photo from childrensbookalmanac.comwanted someone to talk to about them, to share a similar appreciation and love for them.



Sixth grade is when I started really getting into reading books related to history. I started to have an obsession with learning about the
Holocaust, and thought books would help quench the desire to learn more. I picked up any book relating to the Holocaust that I could find. I have now read countless memoirs, historical fiction, diary entries, anything I could find. This obsession has lasted me to this day. By reading personal stories this has shaped the way I read. It has made me appreciate reading other’s stories, which has lead to my love of memoirs, and it has challenged me to lookat the author’s point of view.

When I started high school, after I transferred to Herron, I began to find a love of newer books. All of my English teachers at Herron encouraged me in some way to read more and think about what I read in a different way. One teacher in particular, Ms. Chapman, was probably the most influential here. I took her AP English Literature my senior year and will never look at what I read, whether it is a newspaper or a simple poem, the same way. Ms. Chapman taught me about archetypes and how literature uses them. This really helped when the class read Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I saw Hamlet as a bunch of archetypes. Now when I read mention of water, I think of it as a cleansing or renewing of something. Now I am always thinking about why the author uses the symbols he or she

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does. I also wonder why it is significant to the piece of literature, and what the author is trying to convey and portray through words.

I believe that the reader I have become today has been influenced by many things. To get to this point has also taken time. From reading I have learned a lot. I have learned more about the world, I have learned to respect different types of stories, and I have learned that reading is not just about getting a book finished, it is about getting more out of the words that are written on the page. My view of reading has mainly been for pleasure. Now that I am in college, and have to read more dense material, I have to look at reading in different ways. From all of my past experiences with reading, and how I have grown as a reader, this will be a new challenge I must face. Hopefully from this I will be shaped even more into an even more advanced reader.