Confessions Of A Bibliophile

Okay, so I'm not really familiar with this, nor very comfortable, but my therapist recommends actually talking to people, and I'm hoping y'all will be less judgmental.

I started reading when I was nine with The Hobbit. Well, I guess that's a bit untrue. I read the basics before. You know the ones with titles like "The Little Yellow Duck" or "The Cat on the Mat". Before this, I never had any interest in books, school in general. I remember, that year both my best friends moved away and I was left as the only girl who didn't give a flip about broken nails and pretty clothes. I started to read because the book was a favorite of my crush and I wanted to impress him. I kept reading because I was comprehending the book at an amazing level and it kept my peers away. Rather, I no longer noticed that I was being teased and shunned constantly. My parents thought it was great that I was reading so much, and this was back in 1996. There were no smartphones, texting was unheard of in my grade school, computers weren't something that everyone had at home. Staying at home and surfing the web? You only got a limited amount of time because everyone had dial-up connection and mom and dad needed the phone, too.
Yeah. Bit of a tangent there...
So, I read The Hobbit. Then Lord of the Rings. Then I discovered the school library and I was reading a full novel a day. Then two or three a day. By the time I was thirteen, I was reading at least three novels a day, had no friends, and I barely spoke. Ever read the book Speak? Yeah. Like that, except instead of physical trauma, I was just outcast and instead of art, I read.
Around this time, my peers got down right mean. Often, I would be pelted with rocks, erasers, and - one memorable Valentine's Day - those little candy hearts that taste like chalk. I took everything with stoic silence, convinced no one could help. I know the vice-principal watched as a boy hit me with a rock the size of my head. No action was taken, and I didn't bother reporting it as I hadn't seen who had done it. In fact, I was the one in trouble when my school bag was stolen (because I was reading and not paying attention) and tossed into the boy's toilet. (Oddly enough, it hit the same vice-principal, and he was mad.) That is where I was. So, yeah, I read a lot. I wanted to escape. Who wouldn't?
My grades were in the toilet because I wasn't doing anything other than reading, but the teachers had to pass me because it was obvious I knew the material. The next year my mother went to the school and banned me from checking out any books from the library.
This was a serious blow, because I was thirteen. I had no job, no allowance, and no way to get more books. Mom thought if I didn't read all the time, I'd be "normal", but I already had that reputation of being a nerd. Actually, I was lower than a nerd. I was the nerd other nerds would bully.
After a few weeks, I found a person who was reading. I asked about her book, and she became, for lack of a better term, my dealer. She passed me books she thought I would like, and then she introduced me to fictionpress.net
By this point, computers were common and broadband was in my house. I began reading online over that summer because I couldn't get to the library. I spent most of the summer either online reading or talking books with my 'dealer'. That was my life for the next four years.
I made two more friends in that space of time. We didn't speak. The three of us would sit next to each other and write back and forth as separate characters. We had the quietest sleepovers because of this, and I became enamored with writing.
After high school, I met my future husband. I started to connect with him, and I stopped reading as much. I still spend a good eight hours or more reading every day, and I only talk to my husband on a regular basis.

I guess I just want validation that I'm not a freak. That I can stop hiding and talk to people.
Veriduin Veriduin
22-25, F
2 Responses Jan 12, 2013

Glad you found a supportive therapist. Sometime I think the hardest thing is to stay present and communicate with people. The books are much easier.

It's an escape from reality. You're not a freak. There are many of us who prefer to live in a book instead.