Books Aren't Only for Worms

Delta Winds cover 1997Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Books Aren't Only for Worms

Saundra Wilson

A profound roar was heard right before the giant waves crashed against the island of rocks I was sitting on. When the powerful water sprayed over my head, I held my breath in anticipation for the icy cold ocean to shower me in wetness. I was pounded with the heavy water repeatedly for a while. As the prevailing water finally rolled back to the sea from which it came, the thumping of my heart calmed to a steady beat. Inch by inch, my body was awakened by the enchanting stroke in which the sun clothed me. I carried this atmosphere with me long after I had marked my place and closed the book I was reading. Many people have learned to read, yet so many have never achieved the joy of reading a book. After being introduced to reading, I have found the rewards are endless, the entertainment unlimited, and the countless books helpful in obtaining useful information.

I remember reading and being read to at an early age. My mother would read books such as The Three Bears, Uncle Wiggily and the Red Spots, and Little Red Riding Hood while I traced my finger over the words pretending I was the reader. She read each story with such excitement I couldn't wait to learn the words in front of me. Once I was introduced to the world of reading through Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, I knew I would have an alliance with reading forever. I read every Dr. Seuss and Golden book written, until I could recite from memory, and then I would crave something more to read. I took reading material everywhere I went--to the park, to appointments, and on drives. I even chose to read rather than leave my bedroom to play outside with the other kids. Nothing has changed much.

I still keep books, magazines, and various forms of literature in every room of my home and in my car. I am never without a book when I leave even for as little as ten minutes. I read as gas is being put into my car, as I wait to pick up my children from school, and especially at the doctor's office. Reading has been a constant form of entertainment, relaxation and vision for me. I have called on my emotions through my reading. I have chuckled with Bill Cosby's Childhood and split my side laughing all night long with Erma Bombeck's If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I doing in the Pits? and The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. I have learned to relax, solve problems, and block out noises around me reading the Bible and poems by Maya Angelou. I've revisited my childhood and other worlds in The Chronicles of Narnia, been to various parts of our world through Harlequin Romances, shed tears with The Color Purple, and braved The Exorcist and Prophecies of Nostradamus. Passion, excitement, fear, anger, and a host of other reactions I have experienced through reading. Just as reading can yield enjoyment, it can also be beneficial in finding answers.

Where would I have been if I would never have read about fixing the eject button on my VCR, or when to plant my tulips, or even install my own door bell? Reading results in learning. Conquering problems such as these on my own brings me satisfaction, so in order to solve a problem I need to read about how to address the situation. Many self-help books earn me the name Ms. Fix-it. Without Reader's Digest, Sunset, and many do-it-yourself books, my home would be without ceiling fans, newly varnished cabinets and vertical blinds covering the window. Knowing that I can read and find out how to repair many things around the house makes me appreciate what I have accomplished with my own hands. Through reading I've learned to cook Creole foods and a few dishes I would otherwise be intimidated by. I've learned about other cultures, animals, art, and the power of dreams. It can all be achieved with the flipping of a few pages.

Reading can take you backpacking across Europe, bird watching in the deep African jungles, allow you to inhale the wondrous smells offered on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, answer the questions, "How could I invest my money?" "When should I change the oil in my car?" and "What does my dog's name mean?" Even learning to knit, play basketball, and the do's and don'ts of grooming a horse can be obtained just by reading. There is no better way to get an assorted taste of life and visit the seven continents of the world, spend a hot night of dancing the "salsa" in Puerto Rico, and diving off the Nassau Cliffs in the Bahamas at sunset while sitting comfortably in your living room. Why not discover the joy in reading while learning, traveling, and experiencing what life can offer?