I read. A lot. I used to read more books, now I read more articles online, with about a book a week thrown in there.
When I was in second grade, I really started getting into it. My teacher, Mrs. Greene, encouraged it. After I finished all the book in the second grade classroom, I moved on to the third grade room next door. I got pretty far through those before the end of the year.
Reading was unlike anything I had ever done before. At that age, my first experience with death came from “Where the red fern grows” and “Old Yeller”. I cried my eyes out for those dogs. When I reached the third grade, I had a horrible teacher, and I used to just bring a book to class, and go sit in the back in the closet and read all day to escape.
As I got older, I got better at it, and my reading speed improved. It is hard to compare what happens when you read, vs. when someone else is reading, but I become totally immersed. I don’t hear people calling my name, I miss out on everything going on around me, and I forget I am even reading. I don’t notice the turning of the pages, the break in chapters, or anything else. Just the story playing itself out in my mind.
Just now, I took a little reading speed test online, and clocked in at over 500 wpm. Seems about right.
The flip side of reading, writing – is something that I was never very good at until I learned to type. My handwriting is even hard for me to read, but it is amazing how much emphasis was put on handwriting while I was growing up. Just goes to show you how little we know about what will be important in the future.
In college, I basically majored in reading – Philosophy and writing – Journalism. I was able to absorb large quantities of information, digest it, and spit it back out in a format that ADD 8th grader’s (most of the world’s reding level) could understand. To this day, if I pick up a good book, you can say goodbye to me for a little while – I won’t be back until it is over.
If you haven’t read these – you should do it: