The Little Reader

I’ve just emerged from a fog of sickness that descended over House Phoenix — a disgusting stomach bug that first hit Zoe, then Evan, and finally (and most whiningly) me. But those small, almost cute (stomach bug!) words don’t even begin to describe the all-engulfing, emotional, wrenching experience that was having the whole family be sick for weeks. Ugh, gastroenteritis begone — I’m just so incredibly glad to see the end of you!

So one thing that happened as a natural result of being cooped up together for days on end without visitors is a lot of contemplative conversations between Evan and me, which often devolved into sentimentalities about our little girl (blame me — I get very emotional when I’m sick… or hungry… or when it’s cloudy out…). As much as we take detailed note of all the changes that she’s going through from day to day now, it’s hard not to still dream about what sort of older kid and young woman she’ll be one day.

With that in mind, when I ran across this video of 13-year-old Nevaeh Mosher today, I found myself with really mixed emotions.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOzzFiqof84%5D

On one hand, I was a huge reader as a kid, and have all sorts of memories of not wanting to be bothered by life, because I’d prefer laying in a sunny spot of my house and just getting lost in a book. That’s a pleasure that’s really hard to describe to non-readers, and it’s one that I still enjoy so much as an adult. Reading really does open you up to so many other worlds, incredible storytelling is a thing of magic, and skillful deployment of language can be a revelation.

But at the same time: 325 books a year is a LOT, and you do wonder what else in her life that leaves time for Nevaeh to do. The video seems to suggest that perhaps her upbringing is such that losing herself in books is one of the safest things that she can do, and she truly seems like a mature, determined young woman. As with most 13-year-olds, she’s a bit absolutist, but black-and-white opinions like “without education, you’ll be a nobody” are certainly more welcome than “Joe Jonas or NOTHING.” I’m just not convinced that I’d be psyched if Zoe ended up as a 300+ books a year reader, though I can’t quite pinpoint why…

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4 thoughts on “The Little Reader

  1. I get what you’re saying, but I don’t know if she really spends all her time reading the way the video shows. I read chapter books like that when I was 7 or 8 so they probably go pretty fast.

    A few years ago someone said they read a book a week and the people I was with were shocked at how many books that is and I thought I probably read close to that too. I started keeping track and it turns out I usually read over 100 year. You probably read more than you think you do too.

    Glad you guys are feeling better!

  2. They probably do go fast, but c’mon, that’s almost a book a day — I guess it’s conceivable that she’s only spending an hour or two reading, but (and maybe I’m projecting here) someone who loves and escapes into reading is probably not spending a moderate amount of time doing it.

    It really does conflict me though, because I’m a reader too, and generally find kids who love reading to be heartwarming. If Zoe doesn’t end up at least liking reading, I won’t lie, it will be a bit hard for me. I *should* be totally 100% behind this girl… I still don’t totally have a reason that I’m not that satisfies me. But there it is.

    Thanks for the kind wishes — we’re getting there!

    • Hey guys it’s me Nevaeh. I hate how they always spell my name wrong. But anyway I would like to say thanks to you for spending your time to talk about me. It’s literally heartwarming.

      • Hi Nevaeh! I apologize for the misspelling — I went by how they did it in the video, but have gone ahead and changed it to the correct spelling in the post now. Thanks for the heads up, and I sincerely hope you’re doing well!

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