My mother used to tell me to stop reading. This might rub off as weird but she only said that because I often stayed up all night trying to finish a book. I hated putting my books down; once I started a book, I had to finish it. Little me sat next to her nightstand on her bed and allowed the book and story to consume her. She kept her ears wide open for any signs of her mother coming to check on her.
I got my first phone when I was in 8th grade. Since then, I have had electronics in my hands more than I have had books. These days, I usually lie in bed and occupy myself with my phone, keeping my ears open for any signs of my mother coming. Now, my mother keeps telling me to read.
She says the words that I longed for in my childhood years. Yet when I hear it now, it’s annoying and frustrating.
In my defense, I read on my phone and on my kindle. But I must admit, it is different than being able to turn physical pages and smell the scent the books radiate.
I still value my books. I hated it when people folded the corners of the pages as a bookmark. I felt like and still feel like that ruins the books. But writing in the margins and highlighting a quote I really liked was not rare. I also know for a fact that other people did that, too. I enjoyed going back and reading the highlighted lines afterwards.
But to be totally honest, I practiced my highlighting skills to do so–my underlining skills as well. I wanted my book to have neat marks. My highlighting skills are still pretty on point.
My parents barely bought me any books because I usually finished a book in less than 3 hours no matter how long. We would have had to spend so much money on books if they bought me books in general. Because of this, I read most of the chapter books in the elementary library and when I walk through the middle and high school library, I usually see a book I have read wherever I go.
The downside of that was that I couldn’t highlight any of the books. But I still managed to write down a few lines I really liked from the book. One I have up on my wall are the last few words of the whole Divergent series: “Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.” It doesn’t mean I liked the ending; I just really liked the quote.
What kind of reader do I want to be? I need to become more of a reader now. I need to have a book in my hand instead of my phone. I need to let myself be engulfed by the book once again.
Word of the Day: tsundoku