Every time I find a fellow reader I am filled with surprise. It actually pains me to feel that way. I both know and don’t understand why my knee jerk reaction to meeting another human being who loves to read is surprise. It’s as though I have lost my faith for humanities ability to read for pleasure. This feeling is born frim my school experience, where as I furthered from grade to grade, my love for reading grew and for others it became practically non-existent.
There were so few people in my high school that enjoyed reading that it made me want to cry. English class and reading assignments were met with groans, (though for a majority the only reading that was done was provided by Sparknotes) if it was a book and school related there was no reason for it to be read. I will however admit, that I am not speaking about my entire class, but the loud collective groan responding reading another chapeter of Tess of the D’Ubervilles or any other piece of literature in ap lit.
There were little gems in that class that actually read and they all made me so happy that I was often filled with a desire to give them a hug (I would probably have weirded them out if I followed through with that). People who actually discussed the book and answered questions and sometimes actually enjoyed it! *gasp*
The problem is those memories that slowly formed shaped the way I thought about how anyone I came into contact with read. I hate that when I talk to someone and they meantion that they read they are met with a strong almost accusational “You doooo!?!?!” I wish I responded with more chill conversation like, “That’s awesome! What kind of books do you like to read?” Or “Me too! What are some of your favorite reads?” Or just something a lot nicer.
I want to believe in readers and I want to be able to communicate like a normal human being again. It’s almost like my high school experience has made me cynical, not allowing me to feel comfort in the fact that there are readers out there in the world that I may meet in real life. I just have to cut out my disbelief and believe. There are readers out there. Many of them are reading these words now. I have to stop thinking of reading as a dying thing. There are more readers out there than I think, at least I hope so.
Let me know your thoughts. Do you ever feel surprise when you meet a fellow reader? Tell me your stories. I’m hoping I’m not the only one.
Thank you for reading!
-Till next time!