Wednesday, March 04, 2009

On Reading

When I was a little girl, reading was something I simply ate up. In one ordinary afternoon at home I jumped fences and burnt my skirt with Jo March, rode the sea with Moby Dick, camped in the Mississippi river with Tom and Huck, walked country roads with Lizzy Bennett and her sisters, fell in love, fell out of love, fell down rabbit holes with Alice, sat with Patrick Henry as he delivered his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, was a pick-pocket about the streets of London with Oliver Twist, and became "glad" with Pollyanna.

And then my adventures ended. Or, at least those adventures ended. I went off to college and reading for pleasure became a thing of the past. Although, I will admit that some of my school reads have been quite pleasurable. However, instead of reading-and I think this was a rebellious act on my part-I watched TV, played on the Internet, day-dreamed, or mis-used my time in other ways. Let the record show that I was also studying for class, doing homework, and working. However, my free time was squandered on mindless activities.

All that changed last week. I was perusing a bookstore with friend of mine and happened upon a book called "Rebecca", a 1938 novel by Dame Daphne du Maurier. I saw the film version-directed by Alfred Hitchcock- when I was about ten or so with my grandmother. Not long after, I noticed an original copy of the book on my Texas grandmother's bookshelf. Finding it last week on a local shelf, I was more than thrilled. Sunday night, I started the journey to Manderley and followed my narrator as the new bride of Max de Winter. In three short days, I was finished with the novel, barely being able to put the book down.

It seems that I have rediscovered the joy-and art-of reading. My newest find is "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Yet another story that I have lost myself in.

Thank you, Hooked-on-phonics.

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