While having my ankle iced at physical therapy, I over heard a teenage girl telling her therapist, “I hate reading.”
She might as well have stabbed me in the heart. The pain was jolting. I closed my eyes to hide my shock, disappointment and hurt. Why did those words affect me the way they did? Why should I care?
Images of visiting a library for the first time came to mind. I was almost five years old when my sister took me to the library for the first time. She was eight. I remember tagging along behind her while she chose her books. Back then, we were allowed to borrow a maximum of seven books. My sister then lead me to another section to help me choose books. Since I could not read, she did all the picking. I, too, borrowed seven books.
We took our treasures home. After dinner, I sat on my sisters bed next to her. She picked one book from my pile and opened it. I looked on following each word as she read them to me. And that is how I learned to read and appreciate books.
Reading about Jack and Jill under the apple tree, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, Little Women, and many more opened imaginary worlds where I could escape to. There I could meet new friends and join them on their adventures. With each book, I experienced another world, another life.
Have electronics, cell phones, and video games replaced books? Am I over reacting to her words? Maybe math and science are her thing. I still find it sad.