Learning to read and write may seem to be easy now, however, everybody struggled at least once at some point in their life. My mom would get me books to read, but would never tell me bedtime stories, thus at night I would grab one of the books and slowly comprehend each word as I looked at the pictures. I would then try to draw the picture in the book and try to write the same words that were in the book. It looked all gibberish, nevertheless, it was worth the try. My mom would smile and say that I did a good job even when I knew I didn’t, however, what surprised her the most was when I would actually read the books to her. I would then point at the picture and match the words with the picture. For example, if there was a monster in the book I would say monster and then point at in the picture. Not only did she know that I could read some words, she knew I understood what those words meant.
Now all I want to do is read on my own since when I was little I didn’t get read to. I do not like to participate in group readings as it makes me feel less concentrated. Moreover, I also ended up falling asleep in class because I am not engaged in the reading as much if all I’m doing is looking at words and listening to someone speak. When I read books, I like to become the character. I will make voices and sound effects if it talks about a door creaking or a loud bang. This makes each voice and sound effect come alive in my mind and pulls me into the book even more. I remember one day I started to get bored of books without pictures because those were the only books I read when I was little.
That’s when I got introduced to manga. Manga are these books made in Japan that you read backwards from the back of the book to the front. They have more pictures than words and it was like reading a TV show. Those books helped me learn some Japanese but it also created images in my head whenever I read a book without pictures. That’s when I started to appreciate books more. I have been reading manga books for years now and compared with reading other books, no other books grasp me like manga does. The texts are easy to read and the pictures bring the words to life.
One day, my friend and I was assigned a writing assignment together in 9th grade, and the teacher said it could be about anything. For this reason, we decided to make a manga together. I was the author and he was the illustrator. One big mistake we made was not telling each other what we wanted the manga to be about. That being the case, I was writing a drama story while he was drawing action pictures. We both did a lot of hard work, but even so, the story and pictures didn’t match so we were abruptly upset. When it was time to turn our assignment in, we had to beg the teacher for more time and she gave us one more day. We stayed up all night working on it and we finished. We got a 100! Anyway, the point of that story was literacy affects the way people think when they think about a story. Someone who reads action stories are going to most likely think about an action story they read when you ask them about books.
Vice versa, someone who reads drama books will think about drama stories when you ask them about books. Children’s books, comic books, and manga have helped me learned to read better and to comprehend complicated stories with no pictures. When I read, I pretend that the story is a comic book or manga in my head. If I ever had the time I would make a story I read into a comic book so it’s easier to read and that also helps me pass my tests easier by putting the images in my head that I have made when asked about the story. For people who say that comic books and manga aren’t books, you are wrong. They are wonderful books with amazing stories that have made me love reading more than any other type of books. Admittedly, they are the main reason why I still read today.