Reading Books is an old friend. I met him at a very young age. At first, I was nervous; I could only spend time with him when supervised by one of my parents. He intimidated me with his vast knowledge and occasionally intricate rhetoric. However, he intrigued me with his ability to take me places I could’ve never imagined. I spent the better part of kindergarten and first grade trying to figure him out. Eventually, we reached a point in our friendship where we could interact without help from an adult.
It was then when I discovered that he had serious mental illness- Multiple personality disorder. At first glance, he seemed to have two personalities. When he would become serious and informative and adults would call him Non-fiction, when he was fun and imaginative adults would call him Fiction. Like most people with an imagination, I preferred Fiction over Non-fiction. After closer inspection, I discovered that he was more complex than I thought. His personalities have sub-personalities called genres. Of these genres, Fantasy, mystery, and science fiction are among my favorites.
As the years progressed, the better I got to know Reading, the more I liked him. At one point we would spend many hours together. Sometimes, we’d meet at times we shouldn’t have met: awkward hours in the night or at the dinner table (don’t act like you haven’t done these).
However, when I reached middle school, our whole relationship changed. To start, I was introduced to three new friends: Sports, Video Games and Netflix. These new friends competed for my attention, often leaving Reading feeling left out. Secondly, teachers began to intensify the cruel practice of making us study Reading’s personalities, also known as Literature. As a result, I often had to see a side of Reading that I was unaccustomed to. Sometimes, this endeavor was refreshing, other times it was traumatizing- or worse- sleep inducing. Worst of all, I became better acquainted with the bully called Homework. I would spend hours trying to appease his demands. Amongst all this, I still found some time for Reading outside of studying him.
It wasn’t until high school that my friendship with Reading completely derailed. My good friend Sports became more demanding, talking up more of my time. Video Games became more captivating, Homework tightened his grip on my life, and Netflix… well Netflix was Netflix. Since then, an increasing amount of my interactions with Reading were under the guise of Literature.
What made our relationship special was that no two interactions were the same, even if we were doing the same activity. During our escapades, I would seldom stop to take notes unless prompted by that bully Homework. As a result of doing so, I must admit, our encounters were less meaningful than they could’ve been. In my defense, I’m a victim of the highly infectious disease called Laziness.
Reading was and still is a great friend. Though I have less time for him, our connections are always special. He makes feel a plethora of emotions, think a vast array of thoughts, experience assortment experiences, and dream an overabundance of dreams. Best of all, he helps me improve my struggling relationship with his sister, the grand empress, Writing.
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx