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As young girl I growing up I do not remember my parents or brother reading just for the enjoyment. The only parent I would ever see reading anything was my father and usually that would be the bible because he would have a lesson to teach at church. My mother till this day I have yet to see her read a book period. Do not get me wrong my mother does know how to read but does not find it enjoying at all therefore if it not a necessity she refuses to do it. And there is my brother, who I would see reading but that was only because he had a book report to complete.
I also remember as young girl learning how to read and my favorite book that I could quote word for word was “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr.Suess. I loved that book so much I still have that today. As I got older my love for reading and books started to diminish, I went to a private school for my elementary years and their curriculum was very intense. It was required to read a book from their approved list and complete a book report each summer before the school year began. Not to mention the numerous books reports I would have to complete during the school. At an early age books and reading was something I had to do and not what I wanted to do.
Reading and books became a real struggle for me from elementary all the way to high school because I found it hard to comprehend the books that I was made to read. These books were not interesting to me and I found myself starring at pages for hours at a time and would not know or understand what I read.
As I mentioned earlier all my experience with books and reading were not bad. I was in middle school when I read two books that I really captivated my attention. One was a biography of Harriet Tubman and the story of the Underground Railroad. I admired Harriet Tubman for her selfness and dedication to freeing slaves.
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"My Relationship With Books and Reading." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Feb 2019
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The other book was about the story of Anne Frank and her diary of the terrible holocaust. I remember reading this book and in tears, my heart broke for this young girl and her family and living in such fear. Not knowing if today was the day that they would lose their life. I also remember how her dad would do his best to keep Anne and her sibling smiling even though outside was pure hell for Jews.
Even still today when I talk about Anne Frank book I smile not because the events inside the book but because I remember that not too many of my class mates really found the book to be interesting, and also our book reports on Anne Frank were secretly entered into a contest at a local college. Now I did not win first place or even second place, but I did receive an honorable mentionable and prize. I was elated that someone like me who struggles with reading and book reports received acknowledgement let alone a prize. In my eyes it was if I received first place.
These two books were the highlight of my reading adventure in my elementary to high school years, not only did I receive a prize for Anne Frank, but I also received A plus for that book report and the one for Harriet Tubman. I hung those reports on the refrigerator two years. You would have thought they were my first hand turkey picture we all do in kindergarten and do not want our parents to remove them because it was our masterpiece of artistic ability. I remember my mother telling me the summer of my sophomore year in high school it was time to put them to rest.
I would love to say that from that moment on my relationship with books and reading took off and it has been blissful since then. The truth of the matter by the time I got to high school and completing those four years, my middle school moments of achievement went completely out the window. By the time I graduated high school I was convinced that all teachers had this private list that was circulated among the teaching community. This list consisted of the most boringness and most painful books for students that were made mandatory to read and for kicks and giggles torture us by making do a book report to prove we read the awful books, oh don’t forget that report would be the biggest part of our grade.
By the time I graduate from high school I was so fried from the struggle of reading books and the reports that I barely wanted to read signs for direction. I did not want to attend college or attend trade schools; I did not want anything to do with school. In my mind I graduated and thus earned my freedom, I was no longer subject to reading and comprehending nothing. I was thanking God my brain was free from the torture.
It was not until my mid to late twenties that I picked my first book and read out of pure enjoyment. I finally decided to attend a trade school and had a class mate that would always bring this book to school and read during our breaks. I would look at this poor girl like she had two heads. I could not phantom why in the world she would bring another book to school on top of the books we needed to bring every day. One day I asked my class mate what so interesting about this book that she would have to bring with her every day and would read on our break. She took me on such an adventure telling me about the book that I had to read it for myself and I did. “Forever a Hustlers Wife” by Nikki Turner, had so much drama with twist and turns, drugs, sex and relationship issues. I literally read that book in two days and was amazed that there are authors that write about real life issues.
I would be lying if I was to say that I have a love for reading now, because I honestly do not. I know it is unfortunate that my past experience with books and reading was traumatic in my eyes that I never developed a true relationship and the love of reading. I can say that I have grown to appreciate a good book with a juicy plot every now and then, but for the most part I will always see books and reading as a have to do not a want to do.