I still remember that feeling...
I love reading with all my heart. It's part of my everyday life. It's how I find my center and my zen. Words keep me grounded. Today is National Book Lover Day and I wish I could tell you I was always a reader. I wasn't. There's only one book from my childhood years that stayed with me: El Principito (The Little Prince). That's it.
I know the moment I was truly curious about reading. I was 18 years old. I was working as a bilingual aide at The American School in Paraguay. I was assigned to help in a 4th grade classroom. My first week in the job I was in awe at how these children would sit down for a long time and just read. They were immersed in their books. They were focused on the story and nothing else mattered. As I watched these children, I started wishing that kind of life for myself. So I asked them what they were reading. The first book this group of children recommended to me was Charlotte's Web. And this book did it. I was consumed by this book. I read it during my lunch, on the bus drive to school, in between classes. I bought a copy of the book because I needed to own the book that turned me into a reader. When it was time for me to move to the USA, I couldn't depart from my first owned book. Charlotte's Web had to come to my new country with me.
I'm grateful for that 4th grade class who kept recommending books to me for the rest of our year together. They turned me into a reader. This lesson is impossible to forget. So, as I get ready for the new school year, I carry this lesson with me. Every time I sit next to a child, I wonder what will I learn from this child today. I never know. And that's the magic right there.