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“ Knowledge is power,“ my mother would always say time and time again. “ It is the key to success and what better way to obtain that knowledge than from reading books?“ It seemed logical enough for my nine year old mind to comprehend. Read books, learn about the world, and become a multi billionaire. With that thought in mind, I skipped along the sidewalk the next sunny morning with my grandfather trailing behind me, hoping to find the best book the nearby library had to give.
Although the sun was blazing hot, the wind was especially cold. The most typical of San Francisco weather.“ Mission Bay Branch Library,“ the building stated in giant block letters above the sliding glass doors. How fancy this place had seemed, much different that what I had imagined. I stared at the sign intensely, and then up at the top of the towering structure. My eyes drifted higher and higher scaling up the side of the building, almost never ending.
It was the largest building in the entire world, well at least I thought it was at the time.
The moment I passed through those front doors was the moment my reading career began to unfold. Of course, walking into the library is nothing but the start of my journey. There were many things that must be accomplished before the act of reading. Such things included running up an escalator that was moving the opposite way and trying to see if I was fast enough to beat it, rampaging around the mini play structures while pretending to be a carnivorous velociraptor, and finally laying down on the public sofas meant for reading but instead playing tetris and bejeweled on my grandfather’s out of date flip phone.
Of course this wouldn’t be much of a story about reading without the actual reading. It was around that time when I was so utterly devastated by the lack of things to do that I picked up a book from the shelf beside me.“ Barbie goes to a Salon.“ Seemed like something I most definitely would not enjoy having my eyeballs look at for extended periods of time. I plopped the book down on the sofa and looked around for something more interesting. It was then that I caught a glimpse of something in the distance. I rushed down the aisle like a fierce tiger hunting its prey and starting devouring the book like a rabid animal. Just kidding, I sat criss cross apple sauce and started reading the book intently. I remembered that it was intently because I didn’t even know the books name and I was still so invested in it. The smooth and colorful cover, the neat and clean font, the small drawings in between sentences, the overall kid like feel to it. It was amazing and I wanted to never stop reading it. That book was “ Diary of a Wimpy Kid,“ by Jeff Kinney. Before I knew it, I was right on the second book already. There was this spark every time I flipped the page. This feeling of enlightenment when I could relate to the stories that the kid in the book would experience. There was a sense of happiness flowing inside me as I smiled like a little boy. I wanted to buy this series of books even if it meant using up all of my allowance.
Even though It didn’t have a complicated plot or any sort of detailed college level writing, It was special enough that I knew I had to have it. This was the one experience that brought me into the world of reading. That same night, I got my new books, a flashlight, some extra batteries, and an Oatmeal raisin cookie, and read all night with my blanket covers over me like a tent. There were so many words that I didn’t know as a nine year old like ” persuade” and ” acknowledgement. “I wanted to ask my parents what they meant but it was already around three o’clock at night. My body fell asleep around half an hour later. I woke up the next morning with cookie crumbs everywhere. It took awhile to clean but afterwards I jumped straight onto my mothers computer to search for word definitions and other books that I might enjoy. The internet was amazing, everything could be sent straight to my screen at the click of a button. My mother saw my enthusiasm and ordered me eight new books off of amazon! Eight! That’s almost how old I am! I was so excited to learn about new words, read more intriguing stories, explore deeper into the world of reading. I was so hyped to show my friends at school my new collection of wonders after the weekend ends. And that was exactly what I did. I got my own person library card a few days later. Every day after school I would run to the nearest library to check out a book.
Each day a new story was in my little backpack to read while eating breakfast, on the bus, at lunch, after school, on the bus again, and at home in my bed. Every night, I would learn new vocabulary and tell my mother about it. I would hear my parents and grandparents always talking about how much I love reading and learning new things. As I grew older, I would move on to more advanced readings like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Eventually I saw a slight increase in my English grades because of how I am constantly exposing myself to books with advanced vocabulary and grammar usage. I know that as books in the future continue to evolve and grow, I will as well. None of this was fated to happen and I chose this way of living. But, the only reason that I had the knowledge of that choice was because of that one book. That one book gave me everything that I needed.
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