Throughout elementary school, books did not seem very intriguing to me until about third grade. Before that, I did not read books for leisure and I was not a very good writer in school. I guess I just wasn’t interested in the English language since I grew up with a Vietnamese-speaking family. I had difficulty understanding terms in school and even needed an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. However, as the years passed, I began to realize that reading is one of the most useful skills a person could have.
My elementary school introduced a program called “Reading Counts”, which was very exciting and fun to me. The way the program worked was very simple. All you had to do was read a book and then go to the computer lab at school and take a test. At the lab, you would sign on to the Reading Counts application and take a mini test about the book you have just read. For each test, you either pass or fail, and if you pass the test, you will earn points. Over time, the points accumulated and the directors of the program would hand out several prizes and have parties for those who have gained lots of points. This program significantly motivated me to read more and the local library soon became a second home to me.
The books that I read were short chapter books and most of them were in the genre of mysteries. I read to myself and to my grandmother every single day, and then I slowly began to read longer and more advanced books as I grew older. The books that I read as a teenager varied and I believe that by reading throughout my childhood, I have learned a lot more about the English language than I would have if I went home and watched cartoons. Thanks to reading, I was able to educate myself more at home, since my family couldn’t really help me. I noticed how authors wrote stories, began paragraphs, and even how they used the correct punctuations for each sentence. I acquired the techniques of others and used those techniques to create my own style of writing.
I’m the type of person who likes to write about my feelings or fictional stories that I have come up with, and since I have been exposed to so many different types of books, I have learned to express my thoughts in unique ways. The skills that I have acquired from reading has made writing much easier for me as a student. I found that I tend to write better and more when I can relate the topic to myself or something that I have read about. As I get older, I look back and I can’t even imagine a life without books. Although it can be difficult to do at times, reading is a tool that transforms your knowledge.