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My Renewed Childhood Passion Ali D’Arcangelo

Even before I could read I was fascinated by books. As I turned through the pages of a

book, I loved the sight of the vibrant illustrations. My mom and dad would always read to me

every night before I fell asleep. I would doze off, falling asleep to the words of the book.

Choosing what book I wanted to hear was the highlight of my night.

Once I learned to read, I enjoyed books even more. When I became literate, I wanted to

show off my reading skills to everyone; my parents, my older sister and when no one was able to

listen I would sit my dog next to me and read to him. As a child, I was constantly getting lost

inside the stories. To me every story was its own world and for the time I was reading that story,

I was inside that story’s world. My first favorites were “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The

Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I reread these stories over and over again.

Starting in first grade, my school hosted an annual book fair. For the fair, the empty

hallways were filled with shelves of books. Every year my eyes lit up at the sight of all of the

new books. With the money my parents gave me, I was able to buy any book I wanted. I would

usually buy around three new books and could not wait to get home to read them. I started the

first book, the one that looked most appealing of all, on the ride home from school.

This fair was an event, a school tradition, which I looked forward to every year, up until

eighth grade when I graduated. Of course my taste in books changed over the years. In second

grade, I read the entire American Girl series. I managed to read the series in its entirety because

of my daily cycle; check out a book from the library, read it all when I got home, return it the

next day and check out another one. However I did have another motive, besides my love for

reading, for doing this. At the end of the year, my school would give out an award for reading

thirty five books, outside of the classroom. I was determined to earn this award because I wanted

to make my mom proud of me.

Another special reading tradition I grew up with is reading a different Christmas story,

every night for the month of December. This is something I still do and get excited about every

year. The stories are all in one large book and my favorite story is always “The Little Match

Girl” despite it being the grimmest in all of the book. This will continue to be an annual tradition

because it is an exciting way to get in the Christmas spirit.

Starting in high school, I expanded my reading to another language, Spanish. I began

reading short stories and poems in Spanish, something I really enjoy. Whereas I am not fluent in

Spanish, I have a working knowledge of the language and I am able to translate most words

when reading. Through continuously reading in Spanish, I am certain I will be able to become

better at speaking the language. Being able to read text written in a different language brings

upon an exhilarating feeling for me and is something I am going to continue to practice.

I chose to be an English major, because of my love for reading and writing.

Unfortunately, prior to being an English major, I felt I did not have nearly enough time to read or

write because of my other classes. This is my first semester being declared as an English major

and thus far I feel like I have been reading much more than last semester. Also, through being

exposed to so many more works of literature, I have been inspired to start writing as a way to

clear my mind. Furthermore, the passion I had for reading when I was a child has returned just

recently and I am looking forward to reading more and more in the future.