I was an avid reader in middle school and high school. I remember in seventh grade how my Language Arts teacher, Mr. Hutchinson, assigned reading sheets to us students for documenting how many pages we read every day. Each time we started a new book, we were required to start a new sheet. Long story short, the biggest pile had my name proudly on it. More than once, he handed me the pile of reading logs and told me to sort it because he knew I would claim the vast majority of it. I was very proud of my pile and enjoyed talking to him about what I was currently reading.
Mr. Hutchinson warned me that when I continued on to high school and college, I would not have as much time to read as I had then enjoyed. I thought he was joking.
But he was right.
I still made time in high school to read for fun, but now that I am in college, it is more difficult to carve out a space of time and declare it reading time. Yes, it is proven that devoting some time to reading for pleasure helps with the upkeep of mental health. Sadly for me, I don't devote enough time to it. So far, I'm still sane. At least, from what I can judge, the duct tape holding my mind together is still holding true. The real contest of that will be at the end of this college semester.
Currently, I have Roseblood by A. G. Howard on my bedside with the intent to read it. After two weeks, I am on page twenty-six. In middle school, I would have finished long ago. More than likely, this will be my book for spring break. From what the point I reached in Roseblood, I am enjoying the fact that the main character, who is a young teenager, knits for fun, like me! As soon as she whipped out knitting needles, I inwardly shrieked YES! When I finally sit down and read this book, I'll be super pumped. I've been stalking this book for awhile now, because A.G. Howard has a fantastic grasp of voice and does a phenomenal job of world building. I loved her rendition of Alice in Wonderland called Splintered. If you haven't read it yet, go do so now. The world she creates is dark, whimsical, and will kidnap you from the first chapter. Roseblood is A. G. Howard's revamping of The Phantom of the Opera, which is my favorite play, so I'm excited to soon fall into the story. I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
Now a book that has actually inspired me is a toss up of my favorite books from middle school. In sixth grade, I read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke in a day. To be fair, I was homesick when I read it and needed to distract my fever stricken brain somehow. I did so by reading Inkheart. On the off chance you have not read the book or seen the movie starring Brendan Fraser, the book is about a man who repairs books and his young daughter, Meggie. Both are the definition of a bookworm. However, they run into troubles when Meggie finds out her father can literally read characters out of their story books. These characters chase the two down as they try to grapple with the consequences of liberating stories' voices from their books' bindings. It's a longer book, but I've worn my copy down. Whenever I need a pick me up, I'll return to this story.
Another book that stands out in my mind for inspiration is called Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I read this over the summer into sixth grade and thoroughly enjoyed it. This novel follows the story of Kendra and Seth as they spend a summer with their estranged grandparents. Originally, they resign themselves to a boring summer, but that changes when they discover that their grandparents are really the caretakers of fairy tale creatures. The story follows them through this new fantastical world that is hidden on the grounds of their family's estate. Again, my copy is well worn and beginning to be held together with scotch-tape. I loved this book series so much that I read a chapter or so from the books to my little sister almost every night. She goes back and borrows them from my bookshelf too now that she's older and doesn't want me reading to her as much.
Many other books and series captured my attention. For instance, I devoured the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Mortal Instruments, Harry Potter, Splintered, Beautiful Creatures, Spiderwick Chronicles, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, The Iron Fey, and many more. The two books I focused on are my more worn copies that I have returned to time and time again for nostalgia and comfort. I'm sure I'm going to fall in love with many more books over my lifetime. The trick will be making time for reading again. As the famous saying goes, "So many books, so little time." And yes, I have a t-shirt with that saying too.