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Reading (now and in the past!!!)

Wow my thoughts are disorganised. I had written earlier, but my content disappeared on mobile. Okay, give me a second to rewrite and restart my thought train.

Back when I was younger, not that I'm much older now anyway, I used to read. I'm talking 5,6 hours sprawled on the bed, reading and reading and reading. That was when I had no major exam to think about and to guilt me into doing something about it. Reading was almost the same as breathing. It was effortless and necessary. Even on trips or short holidays, I had to bring a book.

I read just about everything, from adventures to sci fi and then the discovery of romance. There was no such thing as a bad book, but the good books were the ones that could keep me intrigued and stuck in thought for days after. Really good books got me going for weeks. These books were the ones that made me take breaks after every chapter, because it was too much of a mouthful to take in all at once. It wasn't bad, it just made me question everything. How every word and every sentence had been phrased and typed and edited so carefully that I had to stop and digest it bit by bit or else I wouldn't truly be appreciating it.

I headed to the library every Wednesday. My parents always brought me to the one at the nearby mall we used to frequent. They'd bring me there in the late afternoon and leave me to the amazing new adventures I'd find in the library, and then they'd get me in the evening for dinner and leave me there again till it was about to close. Once in a while, my mum would accompany me as I picked out the books with pink covers and cursive handwriting, that usually appealed to me. Honestly, I used to only choose the ones with pretty covers until I heard that cliché quote about not judging books by their covers. Thanks to that, I ventured out more. Mystery, horror, usually had dark colour schemed covers with freaky handwriting. I was never one for picture books. It never seemed right, to have illustration in something already so brilliant- why would you do that? I thought of librarians as unhelpful, mainly because I was too shy to talk to them or ask about where were the books I wanted. Soon, I learned: first three letters of the author's last name. My mum would sign me up for one of those interactive reading or storytelling sessions the library would have. I didn't like it. I wanted to read, in my own silence, on a cozy bed, not listening to a live action speaker constantly on repeat "did you get that? Do you know what that means? Wow look at the pictures! Would you love to meet this character?" for those mischievous kids throwing tempers or arguing about what comes next. No. Not for me. This is the part where you'd call me an unenthusiastic loner. True.

But those were my glory days. Not the part with the interactive classes but being left on my own to read. About two years later, I decided to explore the adult section. Ooh, scandalous. A whole wide world and a variety of different books soon lured me, a mere 10 year old into discovering the wonders of what adults read or could read. Non fiction, I learned. Books without plots. Cookbooks. How to raise a hamster. Who knew? This was so much more entertaining than the children's section, so that was soon my past time. Wondering through the rest of the library as a tiny, dollsized 10 year old.

Philosophy, literature, religion and culture soon entered my vocabulary. My parents would tell me to stop reading and do the homework that I've been neglecting the past few months. I was nowhere near a "decently average" student. I could only excel in English and Art, and my only friend was quite an avid reader herself, so we'd talk about books and games with stories and nothing academically related.

When I was 12 and had a better social life, I realised my friends read books I wasn't reading. The Tiara Club. Geronimo Stilton. Wimpy Kid diaries. Something about fairies. They were entertaining, and I still have dozens of those books, but they got boring. Same things over again and again and again. About how this fairy learned to dance, or learned integrity. One year later, I got bored. And this is bad, because I stopped reading altogether.

13. A beginning to the rebellious early teenage lifestyle I told myself I'd never have. Now that I think about it, ugh. In the past? Yes. I learned singlish- because there was no such thing in my primary school and such vocabulary was never uttered or you'd lose points in the speak good English program. I learned slang, and new curse words of mainly genitals in other languages and dialects. I never understood that. I could never understand the way people spoke and I was privately ridiculed by a few of my friends for it. (haha!) I got over it, and there it went. My reading habits drifted out the window while the newfound (hip and totally incredible!) vocabulary and lifestyle changes of school, friends, and knowledge seeped in!

I wish it didn't. Honestly, I really wish it didn't.

Two rebellious years later, I was 15. I discovered exercise, (hooray!) Commitment to my activities and new hobbies. Working out soon became a habit I'm still proud of. It had a rocky start, (I've been consistent for about a year now) but it stuck with me. My daily routine was now filled with extra classes after school, coursework, meetups, working out, hobbies. I would have said I had no time for it. Truthfully, I lost interest. I was still writing though, but reading wasn't something I could do consistently anymore. I mean, I gained the skill of reading with pleasure and I enjoyed reading, but it was just a priority dumped at the bottom of the priority list, existing just because something isn't in its place.

I feel like I lost. Or I'm still losing. Maybe you could assure me and say "at least your smarter now that you've gained more experienced!" I guess.

Literature as a subject really helped. Gradually, I started reading more and expanded my horizon (lol). Poetry, and wherever I left off in the past soon continued. Now, it's because I really have no time. For pretty much anything at all. But it's okay. I'm 17. I'm reading. And I'm happy.


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