Reading Wasn’t Always a Fun Thing

Reading Wasn’t Always a Fun Thing

I’m not sure how “fun” this is, but it is a fact: I’m a seriously slow reader, and I mean, like, way below average.

Pretty shocking statement to come from a writer, huh? Wait a sec, aren’t writers supposed to be readers? Yes, and that includes me. I just go at the tortoise’s pace rather than the hare’s.

Reading wasn’t taught in kindergarten when I started school (did I just date myself?), and when my six-year-old self was introduced to it, I struggled like nobody’s business. The word on the flashcard looked familiar, but I couldn’t immediately process, let alone say, it.

My parents ended up holding me back, but an extra year of first grade with the same unsuccessful teaching style made absolutely no difference (other than to embarrass me for the next eleven years because I was a year behind). Reading was hard. I hated it. And I avoided it like the plague (seemed appropriate given present times).

My detestation of books remained until I hit sixth grade and met a girl named Jennifer. I only knew her that one year, but she left a huge impact on me—I’ll have to tell you about her sometime, but that’s another post. Even though she was chronologically a year younger than me, I looked up to her, and she was an avid reader—always had a book in her hand. She introduced me to books like Babysitters’ Club and Sweet Valley Twins (there I go dating myself, again), and I found they weren’t that bad. Actually, they were really good.

While my attitude on books had changed, my twelve-year-old self was still behind. In time, I got better in comprehension and retention, but the thing I could never seem to shake was speed. It’s like that to this day. I love to read, but it takes me forever to finish a book. And while I wish I was faster, I’m acceptant that it will take me longer to get through things. And that’s okay.

So, if you’re looking for something to take away from this post—other than fodder to razz me with—grab this: Even if you’re at a disadvantage, don’t give up because you might just surprise yourself. Remember what happened when a long-eared critter and a shell-covered snapper raced.

‘Til next time!

Amélie

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