When I was in school I did not like to read. Assignments in school weren't interesting enough to keep me engaged, and the style of writing was often so dull I couldn't tell you what I'd read even when I did manage to get through it. It was all I could do to read a whole book even if if I'd chosen it myself and it sounded good to me. I couldn't keep my attention devoted to reading long enough to get hooked on a plot or a character, and I was dyslexic to boot. It was a chore on a good day and a nothing less than a torture on a bad day.
I remember the feeling I got when, for the first time, I read and enjoyed a book cover to cover just because I wanted to. I was kind of proud of myself, but mostly, I still remember to this day thinking that I'd probably like reading a lot more if I knew the book was going to be satisfying and not just a horrible waste of time.
As I got older, maybe fifth or sixth grade, I remember reading a series of whodunnits that I really liked. It was the Charity Ames series; she was a nurse and accidental private investigator. I imagine the books were sort of like the Hardy Boys, only for girls. They kept my interest for whatever reason. Later on, some of the stuff they forced on us in junior high and high school turned out to be good, but for the most part I just never became "a reader."
I continued read odd books here and there, but in the back of my mind was always the same thought I had as a kid in grade school: I hate to waste my time on a book that's less than great. I didn't read much for many years because I just didn't want to dedicate time to something that may or may not have been worth it.
I don't know when it happened, and I don't remember any transition, but suddenly, one day, all I wanted to do was read. How does something like that happen? I read all the time now, and I can let hours slip away without even realizing it. Old books are my favorites. Fiction or non, I love old books about life long ago: farming, gardening, animals cooking, costume, almost anything about how people used to live. I like feeling like I've rediscovered lost lore or maybe kept someone's memory alive just by reading their work one more time. I can get so caught up in them that I neglect things around the house.
I love books of sermons by pastors I'd never heard of before. I love stories about real events, re-telling things in details that would have been lost in time if it wasn't for some obscure author taking the time to record it all. And Poetry! When in the world did I decide I loved poetry? Then there's children's books. Children's books from the 1800's are great to read. They are nothing like the books children have today. Old farmer's almanacs are endless sources of entertainment and information. Magazines and catalogs are interesting, especially when they have all the advertisements and prices in them.
I am thankful for books in whatever form I can get them. Printed is my favorite, but ebooks are fine, too. I get tons of them from Google Books, but there are so many sources on the internet where you can get free reading material. I think I'll compile a list of my favorite online places to get books and post it to the comments on this post. Maybe I'll make a whole new post of it. Feel free to comment and leave me links to your favorite one's too!