Out of the Mouths of Infants: What Reading Means to Readers

Hey everyone!

Storytime!

One day, I was sitting in a Food Court at a mall trying to eat and read through all the noise. The Food Court was more crowded that I was used to primarily because it was a Sunday and the mall was hosting a chess tournament to boot. The noise made me raise my head from my Kindle and I noticed an 11-year old boy, trying to  keep this tome of a book open as he read through it. He was so engrossed in his book that he didn’t even look like he was bothered by the crowd and the noise. There wasn’t anybody with him either. Over the next 15 minutes, I was trying to discover which book he was reading but the cover was facing away from me and he looked so focused that I didn’t have the heart to disturb him and ask. Eventually, his mother came and just as they were about to leave, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked him about the book. This began a conversation that revealed him to be a very intelligent young man and we have been in touch via email since.

Avathanshu has an amazing blog and, having read his work, I decided to ask him what reading means to him. Here is his response:

What Reading is to Me

 Hey friends!

I am going to tell you all what reading is to me. Let me begin by telling you all how I began to love reading. I would never really read a story, only a few words in activity books that I used to get back then. I still remember those days when my mother used to push me to read, “This is ‘c’, that is ‘a’ and that is ‘r’. This makes ‘car’, your favourite thing.” And eventually my first and favourite book at that time was Mickey Mouse: Clubhouse I read it so much and I still have it treasured with me. My mother was a great influence to my reading. Even she was an avid reader back then and I still remember those days when I would sit on her lap and she would read something out to me(not always of my choice, mind you).

That is how I came to love reading. Let’s skip to the current time.

So far, my greatest accomplishment of reading was of The Lord of the Rings, followed by The Hobbit. Those together were so good that at the end I was almost angry that the book was over.

Let me tell you something some of you may or may not find weird: I don’t watch TV. Most of you are probably gaping at me as though I’m an alien. To be honest, most of my friends do find me weird when they switch a show on and ask me would I like to see SpongeBob or Teen Titans or Pokémon or something. Then I would say “I don’t” and then the full time I am supposed to be answering “You seriously don’t see TV?!” But it is true. I don’t see TV, or at least I don’t watch Cartoon Network or Pogo. I do see movies sometimes but not always.

My favourite genre of reading is fiction. I would even say:

Fiction Rules!!

There is one book that I found so cool I am reading for the 17th time now; I thought I would share it with you guys. It is a book called Wonder written by RJ Palacio and is literally the best I’ve ever read.

So this is basically what reading is to me: I do it all the time. Even though reading has its ups and downs. For example, for ups, it is what I do when I feel bored and can’t play with friends as they aren’t there. When I do that, it’s like I’ve got a new friend. For downs, sometimes while travelling I usually dig my face into a book. Sometimes (or most times) I read while having dinner so I don’t quite notice what I’m eating.

So as Mark Twain said:

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over those who can’t read them”

And in the meantime, I’ve got to run off to continue reading The Maze Runner, so…

…Happy Reading!

– Avathanshu Bhat

I must say that it was heartwarming to see a boy Avathanshu’s age taking an interest in the literary world when my own brother, who is slightly older than him cannot be bothered despite the fact that my parents and I are big readers.

Do you know or are you a young reader? What does reading mean to them?

What does reading mean to you?

Please let me know it all in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

Jeannie

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