I can’t remember the exact age I first started to read, but I do remember falling in love with books quite early on. There was power in the pictures and then power in the words. And the more words I learned, the more books fascinated me. My mother was a lover of books and I remember sneaking to read her books that were way above my head and my maturity level. I remember struggling with words I didn’t understand, but being enthralled with the mysticism of unknown words. You see, they didn’t intimidate me, they intrigued me.
In the sixth grade we had a strict librarian at our small school named Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Wright not only required that we check out a book, but on our next visits she randomly selected students to give a brief summary of the book they checked out on their previous. Well, one particular visit I decided to challenge myself by choosing Little Women. Mrs. Wright peered over her glasses and down at me and asked if I’d read a book that “big”. I said no, but it seemed really good. It is, she said. I hope you finish it. Not only did I finish it and loved every word of it, but when Mrs. Wright called on me the next visit to give a summary, I gave the best damn summary she’d ever witnessed. (That’s what she said minus the “damn”.)
Now, I want to share the love I have for books with others especially books by black authors as they are often overlooked and undervalued. I’m very excited about this new journey. Enjoy!
When I begin to read, I begin to exist. — Walter Dean Myers