For the Felicity of Reading – Jay Elliott It gripes me to say reading has not always been my favorite hobby, but writing (English) has never seemed to do much for me but that perspective has been adjusting as of late. Reading has been a favorite of my pleasures for most of my life but it took me a while to discover how much I love reading initially. The earliest books I remember reading — that weren’t baby books or read by my parents before bedtime — that began my journey of reading, were books from the Magic Tree House Series; they were the first books that proved how much I initially thought I could enjoy reading.
Along with that series I thought I enjoyed the “Junie B. Jones” books but looking back now I didn’t really enjoy them as much as I thought and I realized that soon enough, thankfully. I had no idea books could be funny or make me laugh till I read “Amelia Bedelia” which simply made me laugh out loud at times and that’s when I realized my love for comedy; I wished there were more Amelia Bedelia books but soon I came to grow out of them.
I thought I loved all those books but I really only enjoyed them at a sub-par level and at that time, I didn’t think I liked reading much; I enjoyed it but I ouldn’t do it in my free time if I had a choice and that all changed when my mom suggested Harry Potter. Yes, as much as I hate to abet the cliche, Harry Potter changed my mind about reading and got me on the path that I am on now. This all happened in elementary school and I read other books among the series’ aforementioned.
At our Elementary school the fourth graders and one third grade class mustered to do a battle of the books and my third grade class happened to be the one that confederated and that exposed me to more books than I knew existed for young readers but that didn’t really piph to me till fourth grade when I competed again. I found books like Island of the Blue Dolphins, Walk Two Moons, Number the Stars, Old Yeller and many more and ultimately bought many of the books; and my group, of 4-5 people, won that year which I pride in greatly.
After those elementary school “Adventures through Bookland” I finally knew the basic genres and types of books I enjoyed: fiction, mystery, adventure, fantasy and some non-fiction and later in life l’d come to also find pleasure in sci-fi, historical fiction and a bit of horror. The CSAPS, Colorado Student Assessment Program, pronounced see-saps) was the most widely hated test in Colorado taken by third graders through sophomores and lasted from four days to two and a half weeks around March or April. All regular classes and class schedules ceased during that time and students trudged in to take tests all day.
There were three books that were used in the CSAPS: Science, the smallest test book, the easiest and enjoyed by most; Reading and Writing, the biggest book which most people despised but the book that barely introduced me to my joy of writing; and Math, no comment. The tests were timed and there were about three ections/tests per subject — including three tests for each reading and writing — and because of my circumstances I was allowed to take extra time, which needed and greatly appreciated, with a few other people from my grades and we took the tests in another class room with our own schedule (for the extra time).
After we were finished with each test we were to close our book and put it in the corner of our desk then we could do anything we wanted as long as we were silent. I chose to read books and explore the books that were in the classrooms. During my sixth grade CSAPS, after I finished the est, I explored the two small bookshelves in that room and I crossed a book that stood out to me, for some reason: The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan. I started it and immediately disappeared.
For the first time ever, I wished that CSAPS were longer; it was a book that opened my eyes (yet again) to the love I could have for books. I barely got past the first ten pages over the course of CSAPS that year but I wanted to keep reading it and the copy I found was in a classroom I had only been in for the CSAPS and for some reason, I couldn’t remember the name very well or the author but I kept looking for it. Somehow I read it before my seventh grade year, I only remember what happened in the book. I was thrilled to learn it was a series so I got the next book and finished the series.
To my great delirium another series came out which I finally finished last year. As embarrassing as it was reading a fifth grade level book in lege, I loved the series’ with passion, it made me feel young and mirthful and allowed me to be a little less mature and fun in privacy. My mom joined me in reading the books too but she’s a big, heavy reader and she enjoyed them too. Now my younger iblings are reading them and it makes me happy(and jealous) that they can read any book in the series’ the second they finish without being forced to wait for the next one.
We’d pack for family vacations and they’d be halfway through one book and insist on bringing the next book for when they finished! We have this rule in our family to always read the book before we see the movie; I wasn’t entirely loyal to that rule but I wish I was. Around the time I discovered The Lightening Thief the movie Eragon had come out and I went to see it with a friend and discovered it was a book too but that the movie was isappointing.
The Eragon movie seemed totally my genre of books so I read it and understood the disappointment towards the movie but I fell in love with books yet again and my eyes felt like they were being pried open again but this time to the size of my head, which I loved. The Inheritance series was beyond deep and it is so detailed the book jumped out and surrounded me instead of making me dive into it myself and they were nice long and thick books which meant I didn’t have to say goodbye for a while.
When the time came and the series ended, I went into a ithdrawal; now I had felt the sure power of reading and discovered the way words melted into a page and brought stories to life. After reading Inheritance, I wonder if l’ll ever find another book/series as good as that or if that’s the limit that words can do to me again but I once thought nothing could have been better than Harry Potter but it was drowned out soon enough. Having my eyes opened is an exalting experience and if it happens one more time l’ll surely need significant surgery but l’ll gladly do it, over and over again for the felicity of reading.