Between the pages of a book a child discovers possibility and wonder – a lifelong commitment to losing herself within the pages. It sadly didn’t happen in school. Although a most vivid auditory memory of resting her head on the desk and listening to the lilting tones of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, ruminates to this day. Outside the read aloud, in the other five hours and forty minutes a day, reading hurt. It wasn’t until wheeling to the library to get lost amongst the stacks that an awakening occurred. She devoured the authors’ words and they merged with her soul. Countless pages, word after word they seared themselves onto her imagination and she reveled in them. The difference? It wasn’t about how she sounded when she read or what she said about what she read. These stories were for her and her alone. It was about how the books made her feel. It was about how her thoughts soared after reading the words. It was how her pen hit the page in the utmost compliment of copying a phrase, an idea, a thought. Trip after trip to the stacks, night after night of hiding under the sheets with a flashlight, she was a reader. But she was the only one who knew.
To this day when I read a book, I get lost. I need to commit from start to finish and sit in the thoughts and feelings that the author has gifted me with. They’re hard to translate to words. It’s an internal conversation that doesn’t seem to translate as effectively to speech. It makes me wonder about the reluctant readers that I see. What’s going on inside those heads? Are they locked in their minds in a vibrant and wonderful conversation with the words that they cannot seem to handle translating? I dare say we should aim to put those books that call to their reading selves in their hands and let them read. It is vital. Everyone deserves to be lost.