I used to be an avid reader. I developed this habit when I was in elementary school. We had a reading program called Accelerated Reader (AR) where you had to read a book in reading level and take a comprehension test over the story. I used to read series because sometimes you would get extra points for reading the whole series. We were given incentives to participate, such as candy, free meals, and ice cream parties. I once even was taken on a limo ride to McDonald’s because I kept achieving my AR goal. After a while, I didn’t even need to be bribed to read. I just did.
In junior high, my seventh-grade English teacher further developed my love of reading. She would expose me to different genres and authors by giving a new book to read every week. My favorite one that she gave to me was Truesight by David Stahler Jr. Junior high was difficult for me. I used to get bullied because of how I looked and I felt the only way I didn’t feel so alone was when I was reading a book. I begin to pretend I was the characters in the story. I loved pretending because when I was this character in the story, I was confident. Soon I begin to believe I was the characters in my stories. I would replace their name with mine as I was reading. It least in this life, it wasn’t so bleak.
I rarely read anymore. I wish I had the time to get lost in a creative world. I remember when I read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and wished that I had a wardrobe of my own to visit my own Narnia. Sometimes we just need to get away from a reality. Only for a minute.