How Jack Learned To Read

I have had the good fortune of conversing with a very interesting fellow over on Goodreads. This fellow (who requested anonymity, we’ll call him Jack) was kind enough to talk to me about how he got into reading at a much later age than most do, and how important books have become to him. I found his story so inspiring that I asked him if I could share it here, and he agreed, so here it is:

I wasn’t much of a reader, which is to say I did not read. At all. Hated it. I couldn’t understand why anyone would read when you could watch a movie, play a game, go outside and play sports, run, hang out with friends, go to a bar – name something and I figured it would be a better time than reading. Then I saw the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I fell in love with the character Lisbeth and had to find out what became of her character. So I bought the first and second book, figuring that I probably would get bored by the third and never read it. Instead, I was fascinated by her and the story and all of the extra elements that go in a book that would never fit in a movie. I finished those two so fast I couldn’t find the third book quickly enough.

When I was done I wanted more. Something new. I tried the Hunger Games because it was recommended. I usually shy away from anything that hyped, but it was amazing. I went in not knowing a thing about the book and after two chapters I was hooked. Then I just went out and bought about ten books and read all of them. One day I was at Barnes and Noble – I was a book store virgin (I had bought the others online), so I had no idea where to turn or what to read next – and I picked up a few books and then found one on the “recommend” shelf which was Looking for Alaska by John Green. His writing style was so unique. Funny, yet dealt with real topics, what felt like real characters. And he alone started me on this huge YA kick which I now have been on for awhile.

So I went from being a total athlete, soccer player then turned coach, then turned runner, and now my favorite pastime is reading. I try to read a minimum of one book a week and try to run a minimum of 20 miles a week.

What a story! Not only is Jack devoted to the task of reading, but it also shows a remarkable “conversion”, if you will, to the world of books. I loved seeing how Lisbeth and Katniss kindled a flame in Jack’s mind, and inspired him to go beyond the movies and dive into the complex world of books. About how one series, one character, wasn’t enough for him. Reading about his thirst for more to read, his longing to pick up another book once he had finished the first, the voraciousness with which he read – that was magnificent.  We should all take a lesson from Jack.

Thank you so much for allowing me to share your story, friend.

I hope you liked Jack’s story as well. If you did, feel free to leave comments, and I’ll be happy to pass them on.