Ever since I learned to read Braille at the age of six, I have been fascinated with reading. I remember sitting in class listening to the older kids read aloud and thinking, "wow, I wish I could do that."
I don't remember the first book or passage I ever read, but I do remember the thrill that went through me when I finished. I began reading anything I could get my hands on, literally. My parents signed me up to receive Braille and recorded books from a national library service that provides books, magazines, and other periodicals for the blind.
I haven't stopped since. I would go outside and play like other kids, but I would also spend hours reading everything from classics like Tom Sawyer and Charlotte's Web to magazines like Newsweek and Reader's Digest. I especially remember my third-grade teacher getting after me because, instead of looking up definitions for the words assigned to me, I would just sit and read the dictionary all day, as if it were a book. I probably did three words the whole day. (How many kids do you know who would do such a thing)?
Even now, with my busy life, I look for every opportunity I can to just sit back in my recliner and read a good book. It's therapeutic for me in a number of ways. It relaxes me when I've had an especially difficult day. It keeps the mind sharp, and even in fiction reading, you can learn some very interesting things. John Grisham, Louis L'Amour, and espionage writer Clive Cussler are probably my three favorite authors. I also enjoy reading about famous people, particularly athletes and singers.
It saddens me that many kids today are more concerned with playing computer games or chatting on the Internet than reading. I strongly believe the reason I do so well at my job is because of all the time I spent as a kid reading, since a broadcaster needs good reading skills to be successful. Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get.
By the way, I got the idea for this post from a dream I had this morning. I dreamed I was on the air talking about my blog, and announced that my next posting would be about my passion for reading. Sometimes, dreams can give you real inspiration. But that's a whole different topic, and I may leave that one to the dream interpreters.