I remember the very first time I read a word. It was before kindergarten, and my mother was using the old “Hooked on Phonics” program. I thank her for this because after reading that first word, I began to devour books. This may be an exaggeration, but I assure you that as soon as I knew how to read, I did.
In my early years, I enjoyed Beverly Cleary- all of the Ralph S. Mouse and Ramona books. My two favorite books at the time were The Very Bad Bunny and When I was Little. The Dr. Seuss books also held my attention.
My later years of elementary school were filled with wonderful books, including the first Harry Potter and the Narnia series. To this day, Narnia is still one of my favorites. C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest authors of all time, in my eyes. When I wasn’t reading Harry Potter or Narnia, I spent time reading The Babysitter’s Club, Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, The Royal Diaries, or the American Girl series.
Middle school held less reading for me than elementary. I read horror stories and Christian end-of-the-world books (Left Behind). My favorite author at the time was Louis Lowry. I found her to be strange, yet inventive. At the time, one of her books changed my way of thinking. Number the Stars, a historical fiction about the Holocaust, opened my eyes to see the world as it really is, and sparked my interest toward this time period.
In high school, I read many books that I consider milestones in my reading career. Night, by Elie Wiesel, interested me because I had already become so interested in the Holocaust and it is always intriguing to read someone’s real-life account of an event. The classics also intrigued me–A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, the list goes on… Throughout high school I studied Shakespeare (as most people do). My favorite of his plays and the character I could relate to most was Hamlet, a poor soul always facing an internal battle of some sort.
College has helped me become a better reader and writer. I have written essays about pollution, 12 page reports on serial killers, dance reviews, and more. However, my time as a writing tutor at College of Central Florida taught me I have a long way to go. I have read many great works in college, the Bible being the most important of these. For fun I have read Wuthering Heights, Nicholas Sparks books (I’m a hopeless romantic.), and A Series of Unfortunate Events (childish, yet loveable). I also read various health magazines. Recently, I read The Hunger Games series (as have many of you) and I’m currently working on Anne Frank. Ultimately, I read things that challenge me, inspire me, or take me on a great adventure.