I turned to the last page of my most recent read. I could feel the soft paper as I traced the words that would end the novel. I breathed in deeply smelling the musty, sharp scent of the ink and paper of the book. Sighing the last words on the paper, I finished and closed the book. Setting aside the book, I closed my eyes and simply sat there letting the ending to the story sink in. I didn’t always love reading. As a child I found reading to be very boring. I felt as if there were more important things to do than read. I’d rather spend my time outside running in the lush green grass, feeling the individual blades between my tiny toes.
Life was small back then. In elementary school being able to read was important. Actually enjoying reading wasn’t; I guess that’s where my dislike for reading formed. I wasn’t ever bad at reading, I just never enjoyed it. It just never captured my attention. In the third grade I remember my teacher of the time asking who in the class enjoys reading, and why. All the children were wildly waving their hands in the air and jumping out of their small wooden stools. I remember the teachers beaming smile light up the room as the small children started screaming and belting out reasons why they liked to read.
I also remember the smile falling from her face when she got to me. She asked me, “Do you like reading, Aysha? ” I answered, “No, I hate it. It’s stupid and boring. ” Then she said something that at the time meant little to nothing to me, but I would later relies how right she was. She said, “No one hates to read, Aysha; they just haven’t found the right book. ” Things changed when I got to the fourth grade. I remember that year vividly. The entire fourth grade went on a field trip that year. The field trip was to the city library, I remember being really disappointed because I was really hoping to go to the zoo or the Air and Space museum.
All the kids piled into their designated buses, most of the kids faces were crestfallen, they were resigned to their fate of spending an entire day at the ‘library’. When we arrived at the library I remember being awestruck. The outside of the building looked like a castle, with whites stones, multiple stories, and a giant stair case. I had never seen a building so big. We lined up at the bottom of the stairs, the field trip guide lead us up the grand stairs into the place that would later become one of my favorites. If I was awestruck about the outside, I was utterly astonished about the inside.
There were books on every surface, on every level of the building. The stairs on the inside were even more beautiful and grand than the one on the outside. There were giant windows from floor to ceiling that let in the sun light. The light bounced off of many different surfaces creating random mini rainbows all over the place. I remember thinking I had walked into a fairy tale castle, because of how beautiful it was. The guide lead us through the bottom level of the building; steering us thought the maze like bookshelves. We ended up in a room in the back.
The room was big and open, field with tiny little blue chairs, with one big rocking chair in front, facing us. The painting on the walls coincidently went along with my idea of the building being a castle because there was a purple and blue castle painted across all the walls of the room. An old women came into the room with three books in her wrinkled hands. One of the things I remember about the women was that she had long white hair, all the way down to her feet. I can’t remember what the books she read to us were, but I do remember her voice, I remember being enthralled by her soft, husky voice.
It was like she hypnotised all of us because I didn’t hear any of the kids making even the slightest of sound while she was reading. After “Story Time”, as they called it, we were instructed by are teacher to go out and find a book of are very own to take home. I recall be scared at this because it was a big place and I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was never good at handling new places. Just as I was about to give up the women who read to us came over to me and held out her hand, “Do you need help sweetie,” she said, in her kind, soft-spoken voice. She lead a small group of us to a room two doors down from the last room.
The room was painted a number of colors to resemble a rainbow. The room smelled heavily of ink and paper. Unlike the rest of the library, this room had tiny little book cubbies with hundreds of books neatly put inside. I walked around the room trailing my fingers across the glossy covers. I skimmed around for a while before I came across the perfect book. It was a little thick but I didn’t really mind. The cover was light blue, with a little girl with blonde hair in bouncy ringlets wearing a dark blue dress and stockings. Next to her was a rabbit wearing a red and black top hat; he was holding a tiny gold pocket watch.
Across the top were the words “Alice in Wonderland. ” The first book I’ve ever chosen to read for myself, I think that was when I fell in love for the first time. After that one book, I went from never wanting to read, to never wanting to stop. Reading became everything to me. Now I can never stop, its like my own personal drug, like an addict, I can never get enough. My whole life revolves around reading and hopefully I’ll be able have a career with it in the future. Whether it be writing my own stories or critiquing others, all I know for certain is, since that day in the library, reading has and forever will be apart of my life.