If I were to be asked the question, "What can't you live with out?" my answer would be this: books. Okay, my laptop would tie with books, mainly because it's where all my writing is.
I love to read. I think by now, that's pretty obvious. Books are a huge part of my life, and I don't know what I'd do without them. Writing is an art. Crafting the perfect characters, creating an intriguing plot line, it all takes mad talent. I love finding stories that touch me, or stories that I'm trying to figure out what will happen just as much as the characters. I seek these stories out. Books make me laugh, books make me cry. I'm a nerd, and I know it. In fact, I've embraced it.
The problem is... I'm in the minority. If you asked the average teenager in my school what they couldn't live without, their answer would be "my cellphone" or "my iPod." So many people I know have such an aversion to reading, it's horrible.
I can't tell you how many times I've gotten asked this: Why do you like to read?
Why do you breathe? Huh? :P
In fifth grade, I was reading the sixth Harry Potter book. I'd carry it around with me and read it on the bus ride to and from school. It never occurred to me that this could be considered "uncool."
Then I was in gym class with a friend. Another girl, one that's on my bus, comes up to us, but only addresses my friend and talks to her. After a couple exchanges my friends says, "Aren't you even going to acknowledge that Marisa is standing right here?"
The girl's response? "She reads. Big books. On the bus."
At that moment, I was so embarrassed. The way she said it was so snotty and just rude. I wasn't embarrassed enough to make me want to stop reading on the bus (I had to know what happened! I mean, it's Harry Potter we're talking about) but embarrassed enough to just walk away without a word. I wasn't (and still am not) the most confrontational person.
What should I have responded? "At least I can read."
It turned out the girl was in an extra help program for reading.
Another instance--a girl I've been dancing with for years.
I walked into dance one day with A Separate Peace, a book we were reading in class earlier this year. (I didn't like it.)
She looks at me. "You're not reading this for fun, are you?"
Me: "No, it's for school."
Her: "Good, because if you were, I'd have to kill you."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Her: "Well, who actually reads for fun?"
Me: "I do... all the time actually." -insert laugh- "I love to read. There are so many good books-"
She interrupts me. "How could you love reading. It's like... looking at words. On a page. So boring."
I didn't even dignify that with a response.
The question. Why? Why do so many kids hate reading? I think one of the problems are the books we're required to read in school. Some. of them. are so. boring. It's like pulling teeth to get through it. (Case in point. I'm reading Ethan Frome right now. -Rips hair out-)
The truth: if we read in school the kinds of books that people read on their own time, so many more people would love to read.
But since I highly doubt that will happen, don't hate on me because I love to read. Why can't I question you on anything? Why do you do track? Why would you willingly run on your own time? Why do you waste hours of your life watching overpriced athletes on television?
Oh, it's because you love it?