Denise Nana Konadu Derkyi
HOW I LEARNED TO READ
A book is a gift you can open over and over again. In my family, reading was an inborn culture. Before I was born my mother read herself to sleep each night with the intention that I would develop the habit for reading. Whether or not it worked, I grew up loving to read anything and everything I set my eyes on.
My learning culture was also encouraged by my early school life. Back in Kindergarten, we were giving puzzles to solve and play with alphabets. Putting words together was very interesting and I even grew to like scrabble. Our teachers used to help us put words together and then teach us the syllables so we could mention the words. Though it took some time to be good at pronounce words, our patience paid off. Soon we could read any word put in front of us. Our teachers further went on to give us books to read and write down words that were unfamiliar to us in second grade. They would help us look up their meanings so we could add up to our vocabulary. Books given to us to read were by the ladybird series. At the time it seemed very boring and annoying reading and having to write down new words to learn vocabulary but as we got older we grew to love reading a lot. From billboards to flyers, cereal boxes and to anything you could think off. Even at that tender age, my parents used to make my siblings and I read the bible and our morning devotions during our family quiet time sessions.
Growing up, I was always put to bed by my parents who would always read a book or two to me before I fell asleep. I grew to love reading dearly and at about twelve years I insisted on reading to my parents anytime I realized they were not busy. Before I went to high school, I also joined a couple of book clubs in my primary school and neighborhood because my thirst for books was now unquenchable. We would always take a book home to read and review it at the end of the week. Being the youngest in the book club, everyone was amazed at my passion for reading. This was because I did it with so much enthusiasm. It even encouraged others to develop the habit for reading. The zeal I had for books attracted people to the club to just observe me and as they went about it, they ended up reading a book or two and had now developed the habit for reading.
In my alma mata, reading was a culture they tried to imbibe into us by giving us books to read over the vacation and they even went as far as examining us on it. This ritual adopted by my school made me very happy and I always looked forward to it.
I would say reading also brought us closer as a family since we would sit to read together as a family. My other two siblings were also born into this culture. One evening, there was a twist of events, my mom and dad decided to invite my grandmother to tell me one of her legendary stories. I was very excited because I had heard a lot about her stories and could not wait for her to narrate one to me. She told me about the boy who cried wolf. At the end of the story, she told me the moral of it was t always stay truthful and say everything we see just as it is. I thought this was one of her made up stories but as I grew up I found out that it actually existed. Reading makes me feel alive, it takes me to another dimension all together. I say this because I think reading is beautiful, it makes you travel to different places without you being there physically. Through this skill, I’ve learnt about a lot of places, people and different cultures despite never having seen them in person.
Personally I also like the kind of emotions books carry. They are totally unexplainable. You feel like you are in a movie. It expands your imaginative mind and allows you to create even better recreations of the scenes. Emotions conveyed by the writers could never be acted out by the best actors. Books like mortal instruments or city of bones or even a Danielle Steel book is not even nearly comparable to any kind of movie. A room without books is like a body without a soul. I never feel lonely when I’m with my books because they bring solace to me.
Till this day I’ve not regretted any of the reading experiences I’ve had.