My Literary Narrative introduces readers to my reading background prior to taking this Young Adult Literature course. During middle and high school, I created a huge gap of no personal reading for years and did not know it was a problem until this class. This Literary Narrative allowed me to see what my reading habits lacked and helped me form a goal to fill the gap. I enjoyed writing this paper because it is personal and it is not something I usually discuss with people. I was mad at myself for letting academic reading take over my life but also glad I made a goal to fix that. This piece shows how happy I was reading as a young girl and how required academic reading erased that overtime. For a while, I believed that the gap was permanent but I was wrong.
Finding Time to Fill the Gap
During my childhood, I had a love for reading. I enjoyed filling out my daily reading log for school and would proudly show my mom all of the books I read for the month. The goal of reading a million words astonished me and it was a goal I met in each elementary grade. I would be obsessed with any sort of horror book such as, Goosebumps and ghost stories. I remember stories about scarecrows that came to life at night or about a camera that made you die. I also read Captain Underpants, Amelia’s Notebooks, and some of Lemony Snicket. It was these types of books that held my attention. As a young girl, I would be found reading every day and had time to spend hours at the library for leisure reading. I had stacks of my favorite books that I asked my mom to buy me from Barnes & Noble and each one felt like a treasure.
Entering my teen years, I read a book that changed my life, called The Diary of Coltee, A Slave Girl. It was a book I couldn’t put down and managed to make me cry. The rest of my teen years were not filled with books but with fashion and beauty magazines. I had yearly subscriptions to Seventeen, which I thought at the time was better than any book. I would read every page hoping to find good make-up or hair tips and the only books that remained in my life were the ones assigned for school reading such as, Death of a Sales Man and Into the Wild. Both books, however, felt like torture as we listened to a tape player read them line by line. My magazine reading lasted till my junior year of high school and it did not feel like I had lost much because every other girl in middle school and high school was into reading magazines too. My motivation to read a book was completely gone and throughout my teen years I did not pick up a book for leisure reading. Even though some classmates would recommend the Harry Potter series, I disregarded their enthusiasm and went straight to watching the movies.
As an adult, I have stopped reading magazines because after reading so many, they all started to say the same things but, still I do not have the time for leisure reading. I have not read a book that wasn’t for school in years, which I hope to change. Although, I do like reading Chaucer, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and poetry from Emily Dickinson, I would like to read things that I am naturally drawn to such as, paranormal stories or magic. I feel as if I missed out on so much literature from my teen years to now and I kind of feel guilty for creating that gap. In this point of my life, I have made a goal to find my love for reading again and to fill the gap I started years ago however long it may take. Perhaps I’ll start with Harry Potter.