Talking Nerdy – Confessions of a Biblio-Geek
Since you’re here, reading this, I’m guessing that you too are a lover of books. Am I right?
When did your addiction to a real good story start? Was it your Mom, reading to you before bed, or did a teacher hook you up? Did you score a recommended book from a friend, and it was all downhill from there? Or maybe you stumbled upon a great series and blazed through them one after another and have never forgotten the anticipation of “But, then what happened?”
My Addiction to Books Began as a Punishment.
Or, so it seemed to me. Yup – I was a poor reader, which meant I was a poor student, since reading comprehension is the bases for most learning. The comment in my grade three school report card was as follows – “Ronnie is such a bright girl. She should be doing so much better than she is.”
The Truth was I was About to Fail the Third Grade.
Finally, (in desperation, I'm guessing) my teacher pulled me aside and ordered me to go to the library that very afternoon, and borrow four (Four!?!?) books, take them home over the spring break and read every one of them, cover to cover. She expected me to be able to discuss these books with her when I returned.
Here are the books I picked out:
Tiny secret people who live and survive in the walls of your house, using stolen and forgotten things that you take for granted were lost or misplaced? I wanted to be them.
A horsey Cinderella story. Oh how I cried and cried over that horse.
The Island of Adventure
Four kids, complete with rucksacks and bottles of ginger beer – so exotic to my young Canadian experience – hiking and adventuring around, minus adults – how fab – thwarting bad guys.
Nancy Drew and The Secret of the Old Clock.
A pretty teenager with her own ‘coupe’ and mostly absent father, solves mysteries with her girlfriends. That's rough…
I’m sure you’re ahead of me here. I fell in love with those stories.
After reading those books, I was forever changed, a different person. I had discovered a world where children were empowered, where they made a difference, where they could think for themselves.
There weren’t enough hour in a day to satisfy my reading addiction – yes – addiction, I can admit it now. I needed more … More books, more time to read books …
What’s a Very Motivated Eight-year-old Girl to Do?
- There was the ‘accidentally leave the bathroom light on' method. Up in the top bunk, I could slant my book in such a way that the bathroom light poured through my open bedroom door and onto the page. This worked perfectly, though it was hard on the neck, until someone came along and turned out the bathroom light. Drat! Good method, but fickle.
- There was the flashlight method. The drawback of course was my dwindling supply of batteries. Safe method, but expensive.
- There was ‘huddle under the covers and light the thick pink candle I’d made at school' method. Cheapest method, but hardest to control, what with the possibility of burning my blankets and then there was the smell, of course …
Yeah, I saw that – you shuddered. Me too, thinking back on it now, as an adult. But, I really needed to read, you see … And since I’m here, writing this post, you've probably guessed I didn't burn down the house.
So, Did I Fail the Third Grade?
Yes – I did. Spring break to the end of the school year in June reading anything within my grasp just wasn’t enough to pull up my grades. Then the wonderful Mrs. Kusin came into my life as my new third grade teacher the following year, and I was flying through my classes, excelling and was a top student at school from then on. What a difference a good teacher can make in a student's life. I bet you can name the teacher who made an impact on your life, even today.
I became, and still proudly am, a Biblio-Geek. Books. I honestly do not know where I'd be without them.