Less Than Avid
For many authors, seeing their words in print is the culmination of a childhood dream. They talk about how they grew up reading anything they could get their hands on and making up stories in their heads. It all sounds terribly romantic. I kind of wish I could count myself among these imaginative souls who seem like they were born to be writers. But in truth, I didn’t read much as a kid. While the other girls in school were devouring Anne of Green Gables, I never even bothered to crack the cover on the first book.
One day in particular stands out for me. I would have been about 10ish, and my whole class was crammed into the school classroom for lunch because it was raining (There’s no such thing as a school cafeteria in Australia. You’re either in a classroom or you’re outside). Me and twenty-something other ten-year-olds were mucking around and seeing how much mischief we could get up to without getting into trouble from the teacher.
But there was one girl who sat quietly at her desk reading a book. I remember staring for a while before sidling up to her and asking why she was reading when she could be… you know… having fun. She told me how much she was enjoying her book and that reading was also fun.
Cue my confusion and disbelief. Sure, I’d enjoyed a handful of books, but reading hardly seemed like a good use of a whole lunchtime. Eventually, I shrugged and slunk away, leaving her to her madness.
I was sixteen when my Mum allowed me to read one of her many romance novels. It was hilariously funny, wildly romantic and even a bit steamy (which I promptly thought was gross). But somewhere between those pages, a reading bug lay waiting. I didn’t just catch it, I gobbled it down whole. Before long I was devouring a book a week. Mostly romance, but also psychological thrillers, classics, and the odd horror. Dare I say it… anything I could get my hands on!
The urge to write was still a long way off, and I’ll certainly never be able to claim I was born for this. But I am proof that a love of reading can blossom at any moment. All you need to do is find the right book.
As for the girl who first promised me reading could be fun? She became my best friend throughout high school. We read a ton of books together.