Learning to love reading

By: Annie Blakeley - Contributing Columnist

Whenever someone asks me about this column, they usually mention something really kind about me — about “keeping at it” or “one day being a great writer.” This has been my dream sense the second grade.

In the second grade, I learned to read very well, as I was very much behind the curve. I joke with my mother about reasons for why I did not enjoy reading ,in which I tell her that the true reason I did not like to read can be attributed to the book(s) I was reading — which, to this day, I cannot look at without cringing. The most recognizable book was entitled “Dick and Jane.”

With no offense toward the author, this is the worst children’s story of all time. My mother used to sit me down on the couch and fight with me about reading this book.

Why do I truly hate this book? For one, even as a young child I knew that “and” should never be used in every other word. Another reason that I do not appreciate the stories is because the plot seemed rather boring. Otherwise I could have some conditioned stimuli with the book, as I associated the book with running — one of my least favorite activities. The characters always ran and ran and ran. Far and far and far Dick and Jane ran.

For these reasons, I did not like to read. Not until I read a book I had no chance of understanding — my first novel, entitled “Milkweed” — did I learn to love reading.

Possible reasons I enjoyed “Milkweed?” One, they stayed away from “and.” Two, there was an interesting and complex plot. Finally, the action no longer felt as if I was being forced to run far and far and far away.

This is also the year I had my very favorite teacher who taught me to read.

This is how I began to form a dream for myself that is now a part of the dream I currently have for myself.

Annie Blakeley is a student at Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy, is a band and chorus student and a member of First United Methodist Church in Hamlet.


Annie Blakeley

Contributing Columnist