Monday, August 16, 2010

What if… I Never Picked Up My First Book? (1)

“What if…?” Is a new post that I’m going to start to try and do weekly. I made this blog not only to get my voice out about books but to get my voice out in general. ‘What if…?’ is a post I’m going to be starting where I fill in the end of that sentence. What if ________ , fill in the blank. There are a bunch of things I can touch on with this post and I’m excited to start it.

So for the first ever ‘What if…’ post I make I’m going to start with one I feel very strongly about.

What if… I never picked up my first book?

I can remember that there was a point in my life where I did hate to read. I never even thought about picking up a book. I would sulk at the thought that I’d have to read for school. And the book shelves in my room? Filled with sports trophies, some pictures and dust. This was all back when I was in about fourth grade and around nine years old.

Now a days, its strange thinking about to a time where I didn’t like to read. It often leads me to the question of “Why didn’t I like to read?” and truthfully I don’t know, but I have some theories. One of them is that I just wasn’t exposed to them. Both my parents worked full time jobs and never really read books. I never had the opportunity to look at a book thoroughly that was meant to be read for fun and not a school project. A second theory is maybe I just hadn’t found the type of books for me. It’s not like I didn’t get a chance to read some Middle Grade books while I was younger but there are none that I can really remember that caught my attention (well, other than Judy Bloom books).

But I remember when it all changed. It was in sixth grade and my school was holding a book fair. I will forever be grateful to my middle school for holding that book fair. It is there that I picked up my first YA novel. I remember having only brought $8 dollars with me and I was look around when I came across The Book. Can you guess what it was?

All-Night Party by R. L. Stine.

To me it looked like a book I’d never really seen before. It looked kind of different from the covers of the other books I knew. I picked it up and read the back:

Fear Street -- Where Your Worst Nightmares Live...


It's Cindy's birthday, and her friends are throwing her a surprise party on Fire Island. It's a private party -- no parents, no cops...in fact, no one around for miles.


Except there's a madman loose on the island. A murderer who quietly crashes the party.
And he wants to dance with the birthday girl...

It was like a diamond in the rough. It sounded so out there to me. A party? A murderer? There was such a world? I bought it on the spot.

Then I read the whole book in two days. I was hooked. I loved the mystery! I loved the adventure! Where have you been all my life?!

I wanted more.

I remember the shocked and curious face of my mom when I asked if she could take me to get more of these books. I remember carrying the heavy bag of books out of borders. I remember my mom willingly giving about forty dollars purely because the fact I was spending them on books!

If only she still did that today.

So now I wonder, what if I’d never picked up this book? I really have no doubt that I wouldn’t have discovered books at one point or another, but what if I only had five dollars and not the six needed to buy it? What if…

I think that if I’d never picked up my first book I may not have the same love for mystery books I do now. I think I may have taken a little longer for me to actually get into books. I may not even be here writing this to you today.

Honestly, I don’t know. There are a number of possibilities but I’m grateful for schools that have good fairs for children. I’m grateful to R. L. Stine for writing the book. I’m grateful to Simon&Schuster for publishing the book. I’m grateful to my mom for giving me those 8 dollars.

I’m grateful I found books.

So, What if… you had never picked up your first book?

 

And you know what? I still have the book:

20100815_5

 

~Caitlin out

1 comment:

Danielle said...

What a scary thought! I have always loved to read, so I can't really relate to your situation, but there are books I have read and feel very thankful that I picked it up, and couldn't imagine not doing so. Awesome question, can't wait to see what you ask next!

Danielle

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