Turning the page

Sophomore reflects on passion for books

Story by Colton Johnson, staff writer

At the young age of 10, I think the most rebellious thing I had ever done in my life was reading past my bedtime. I’ll always remember staying up into the forbidden hours of the night finishing that “last chapter.”

I wished more than anything to be immersed in all the epic adventures that came to life within Hogwarts, Camp Half Blood and the Glade. It was stories like these his that started my well known, exaggerated obsession over books, and I regret nothing.

However, that version of me doomed himself last year as he carelessly put small check marks by classes he “had” to take in order to try and keep up with the increasingly difficult expectations set upon students.

The novels that used to occupy my hands have been replaced with three inconveniently, weighted textbooks.

The long list of recently read books I used to have to recommend has become a short,  repetitive, run through of books I have read in the past. I have even resorted to recommending books I have on my shelf that I haven’t read yet. There are a total of 62 books on my shelf that I have yet to even pick up, and I’m not sure whether I should be ashamed or proud of that.

Honestly, I am surprised I have allowed myself to be deprived of something that I love so much. My mom always talked about how she never had time to read since she was always grading papers, and I promised myself to always make time for reading. Yet, here I am having not read for pleasure in months.


When I was 7 years old, my cousin asked me: “What would life be like without books?” At the time, I honestly had no idea how to answer nor do I remember what I said. Probably something along the lines of, “well it would be bad I guess.” For some reason this question has stuck with me, and perhaps it is because it is completely unimaginable to imagine my life without these escapes from the world.

All these worlds I had read about had become part of my past almost. It’s as if they etched themselves into my own memory to where I could almost imagine the characters to have been my friends.

Maybe that sounds ridiculous, or something most people would think only a crazy person would say, but it’s the truth. I remember seeing Katniss and Peeta hugging after The Games. I remember Percy and Annabeth’s underwater kiss. I remember the fairies drinking the milk out of bowls in Fablehaven. I remember these moments and these moments are etched into my mind.

Sure, maybe it’s weird, but these things are important to me. These fictional characters are intertwined with my childhood, and they made me the person I am today. I think now I am finally realizing how important these stories are, and I can’t figure out why I let the part of me who always had their nose in a book extinguish.

Books are a part of who I am, and it’s important to keep that part alive. This goes for everyone. There is more to life than a grade and a class rank. In 20 years, no one knows where on earth they are going to be, but I guarantee, that that “detrimental” grade you made on that essay in history will have no significance to your future self. I won’t remember the long slew of numbers defining my academic abilities, but I will remember the books that had an impact on my life.
I’ve realized life is too short to spend all my time on academics, so maybe I will stay up late finishing the chapter of that book I’ve wanted to start. World History notes can wait.