If you were like me, you spent your elementary and middle school years reading like there was no tomorrow. I was at the perfect age to fall into the deep hole of the YA craze. I’ve read and reread the Harry Potter series more times than I can count. I could imagine what it felt like to stand next to Katniss in the arena of the 74th and the 75th Annual Hunger Games. I fought the bad vampires with the Cullens and cried with Hazel Grace over Augustus’s death.
Then high school came, and my reading habit quickly became something of the past. The heavier coursework, combined with more extracurriculars and social events, forced reading to, no pun intended, the back of the shelf.
For years, I picked up books off the shelves at Barnes and Noble, put them in a basket, paid for them at the register, brought them home, and inevitably put them nicely and neatly on the bookshelf that was standing in the corner of my room collecting dust. I had every intention of reading them, I really did. I stared at the covers of the books every morning when I woke up and every night before I went to bed, thinking about the thousands of pages sitting there unread.
But for those years, the only time I would even pick up one of those books was when I was going on vacation. Sitting on the beach by the ocean was the only place I could truly concentrate and enjoy reading for fun. I’ll go through five books in five days, before turning around and not reading for five months.
My brain is so tired and busy during the school year. I focus so much on schoolwork and reading for class that when I have free time I don’t want to spend it looking at more words on a page. I’ll watch an hour of mindless television just to distract me from the stresses of life. I yearn to be able to be in the headspace of picking up a book to get lost in instead of staring at yet another screen.
I would give anything to go back to my middle school self. I long for the days where I would read for fun for hours on end. I am both longing and attempting to bring passion back out. I’ll keep working on it. For now, I’m off to scroll through BookTok.