The Importance of Books
Book have been a part of my life since the beginning. My mother once told me her and our neighbor would sit together and read to me and the other woman’s baby, who was later to become my childhood best friend. I didn’t start reading Wharton and Steinbeck until much later, but we have to start somewhere.
Before knowing how to read, my mother and father would read to me a book from my endless number of “The Bearnstein Bears” books. Every book had a lesson. I think that having been read to every night and being explained some of the words and their techniques of why they are the way they are, helped plow my way in favor of learning to reading in school. When it came to reading “Look at Spot” and those other memorable 2-3 worded pages that made up a story, I was always ahead and frequently help my teacher with her work rather then practicing reading with the rest of my class. Now being read to before bed time became reading to me mother and father. My most sentimental memory of being read to be when my father went overseas to be in Desert Storm
, he recording himself reading a countless number of books so he could still read to me even though he was a lot of miles away. It was one of few moments I can really remember about him in my childhood. He was always around when he could be but when he wasn’t there he was dreadfully far away. When I started to read for myself, the books would consist of Amelia Badelia, Peanut, Butter, and Jelly, and any book authored by Shell Silverstein
. Eventually in school we were being assigned to read books for class and for Accelerated Reader. AR book are certain books that contain a test you take and the difficulty of the book corresponds with the number of point receives with each correct answer given. After, about, every six weeks there is an AR prize cart. This system works
like Chucky Cheeses’ or Peter Piper Pizza. You could wait to “spend” your points until the end and receive a really expenditure and remarkable prize. It encouraged others and me to read more and to read the more difficult books.
As the years went on, reading became more enjoyable at my leisure. Reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, in seventh grade, was one of the first books to make me want to read more. The author’s writing was raw and filled with emotion. You could picture her sitting in a run downed apartment, looking outside her window and writing what she saw. She was young and full of imagination. I couldn’t wait until I could read another book. A life changing book was Flowers for Algernon. The book made me realize how hard some adults have it, those who depend on science to help them have a normal life, a man whose best friend was a mouse, Algernon. I’ve become more sensitive to other peoples feelings and encourage those who think they are worthless. Along with Diary of Anne Frank and Les Miserables, eighth grade year was full of different perspectives on life. As a freshman in high school the required reading became more including Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s reputation is seen mostly through the tale of two households both alike in dignity. Through high school and Broadway plays, the story of the two loves torn apart by ancient grudge and mutiny is the most well known story and most repeated story. Westside Story, another book from freshman year, is one of the most popular musicals of today. This only proves that Shakespeare is still alive and his stories are surreal for any generation. The Odyssey, Great Expectations, and Animal Farm, were just some more of the poems and stories read in my freshman year. Sophomore year was mostly filled with short stories and learning meters. The most memorable books were Huckleberry Finn and Julius Caesar. Junior year was the ultimate highlight year for reading book and getting to know authors and the way they think. A book that I could not put down was Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. The book describes the mental and sexual frustration of a man in a dead-end marriage. As you read, the reader can feel the emotion and tensions between the two who are longing to be together, with an ending that leaving everyone is misery. After reading this book I wanted to read more. I went on to The Color Purple by Toni Morrison. Before reading this book I had no real concrete idea about how non-slaved black women were still treated like slaves by their own husbands. Their dreams were just being love and treated as they should. The next mind changing novel was The Grapes of Wrath. An allusion for Jesus and his twelve disciples, the characters loose all dignity and are tested on their faith on their ultimate goal. This family struggled and stuck together to reach their destiny. This year I also read The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Robinson Crusoe, and The Great Gatsby. My senior year the main book of the year was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I liked this book until after the climax. It seemed like Shelley became lazy and made the resolution come in a deep slope then a gradual finale. Another book I read that year was The Stranger. Like Shelley, the author did good with telling a story but seemed to rush into the end to finish the book and end with an unfulfilling conclusion. Macbeth, The Legend of King Arthur, and Dracula the rest of the literature for that year.
The books I have read throughout my years have helped mold my strengths and shape who I am. Books help widen vocabulary and broaden horizons. Reading books when I was younger was hard because of all the distractions, boys, boys, and, what else, boys. I kept reading any how and later learned boys like books too, at least the good ones do. I now found one who I can share deep thoughts with about books and their authors. As of right now, in college, reading is a minimum but still enjoyable when possible. In the future, I plan to keep reading classic novels and plays.