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Books Were There for Me When No One Else Was



My love for books started when I was in elementary school. Going to the library was one of my favorite parts of school each week. I enjoyed it when the librarian read to us, but my favorite part was picking out books for myself. Curious George and Corduroy were my early favorites. As I grew up and began to read chapter books, I would read The Babysitters Club, The Boxcar Children, and RL Stein books, among others.


Books were a way for me to escape reality. I didn’t have a good home life, and when I was reading, I could tune out the world around me. I also spent a lot of time home alone, and the characters in stories became my family and friends. They taught me lessons that no one else in my life was.

Books taught me that it was normal to be different, that I didn’t have to be like my family. They taught me that freedom was out there, I just had to find it. Books gave me a confidence that I didn’t get from anyone else. I would read through one book in an afternoon, ready for my next adventure.


One summer, when I was in elementary school, I decided I wanted to enroll in the summer reading program at the library. I signed myself up and walked the three miles there and three miles back every week. I would load my backpack with as many books as I could carry, take them home, read them all, and bring them back the next week.


The reading program was circus themed, so I learned how to juggle and learned songs for a performance we would do at the conclusion of the program. We talked about books and learned how to write a summary about the books we read. At the end of the program, we put on our show and got awards for the number of books we read. I didn’t have anyone in the audience, but I didn’t care. I did it for me, not anyone else. I sang songs while juggling, got my award, and went home, proud of what I had accomplished.


As I grew up, I continued to read. I started reading Stephen King, and he quickly became my favorite author. I loved how he told stories; it was like I was there. Even though some of the books scared me, I appreciated his ability to tell a story.


In high school, reading was still my escape. We moved to a different state after my freshman year, and I didn’t have many friends. My homelife hadn’t improved, so books were my constant.

But then life happened, and I didn’t read as much. Many years went by before I finally picked up a book. Once I finally picked up a book again, it was like I had been reborn. I began reading everything I could. I read autobiographies, nonfiction, fiction and poetry. I just couldn’t stop. I wanted to learn as much as I could and experience life through the eyes of new characters.


It’s no wonder I decided to become a writer. I began to write and realized how fulfilling it was to me. I began writing poetry first and it helped me heal from my childhood trauma. I then realized I could achieve my ultimate goal through writing, a goal that I had given up years before. My goal had been to help children who are also having a tough time. I want to I be there for other kids like me. Kids that are looking for a place to belong.

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