Do you remember the first book you read? Or the first book you read in just a day? The first story book I remember reading as a kid was called Mickey’s Christmas Carol (Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, only with Disney’s characters. Very cute.) And then, I remember the first actual mystery book I read. It was from the Five Find-Outers series by Enid Blyton, called the The Mystery of the Hidden House. There is no “I saw it across a crowded bookshelf” story to go with it; just a simple my sister forced me to read it. It was love at first read, though.
People who read books armed with dictionaries and all that to learn new words are crazy. Then again, the best part about reading books in a new language for the first time, is the fun of understanding new polysyllabic words all by yourself! I remember feeling quite elated whenever I discovered a new word and pompously showing it off in class. Oh, come on, everyone’s done that. As you read that first book, you feel yourself getting more and more involved with every line and with every word, the writing style seems more familiar. Before you know it, you are deeply immersed in the book, loyally chuckling at all the typical jokes and running gags.
I knew I loved reading when the back of a packet of chips seemed like an interesting dinner table read. But I never actually realized how amazing it felt to be able to read! To read a thousand pages at one go and look back, totally exhausted and happy! Every new book you read is a wonderful experience, true; but nothing can beat those fine first memories.
Unless you get to do it once again, with an all new language. I read my first real German novel the other day. I could write about the book and how great it was, but that is really not the point! I enjoy reading books even now, obviously. As I read that book, though, I realized with horror and pain that reading has become sort of an ordinary habit now. Well, I intend to change that. I loved learning German, for the words and the grammar and the lovely feeling of being better at it than most people; but I never really experienced it. As I held that little German novel in my hands, I knew it was worth learning a new language just to experience that first-book-excitement, all over again.