Learning How to Read for Fun Again

Somewhere in my parents’ attic sits a cardboard box filled with dozens of books from the “Baby-sitter’s Little Sister” series. My first-grade self stumbled across the series at my elementary school’s book fair.

This cover is absurd. Ways you can tell Karen is about to drown: 1) Where’s your oxygen tank, Karen? 2) Where’s your wetsuit, Karen? 3) What’s up with those two fish next to you that look like a bulldog’s head, Karen? 4) Where’s your scuba diving buddy, Karen? It sure ain’t that platypus/stingray hybrid creature in the background.

I LIVED for the book fair. I didn’t want to be a kid in a candy store. I wanted to be a kid in a book fair. Buy ALL the books, buy ALL the bookmarks with fuzzy animals on them, and buy ALL the pencils! Anywho, I don’t remember exactly how I realized that “Karen’s Island Adventure”  would be a good read (I do, however, remember that I learned how to spell the word “surgery”  while reading the book. For about the first half of it, I didn’t understand how Karen’s friend could possibly be having heart “sugary.” I thought the doctors were going to cover it in sugar, which made absolutely no sense. Yeah, I was dumb), but since I was like 6 years-old, there is an astronomically high probability that I just thought the cover looked pretty. That’s right, I judged a book by its cover. And guess what? It paid off, because I flew through that book in a day.

And so began my addiction to Ann M. Martin novels. I had always been a voracious reader. My mama taught me well. Bedtime stories were a must. I always checked out lots of books from the library. I borrowed “The Rainbow Fish” so many times that my parents bought me my own copy. It is now one of my most prized possessions. But I digress. Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah, my personal “Baby-sitter’s Little Sister” library.

I eventually graduated to the “Baby-sitter’s Club” series, but by that point, I had to check them out from the library because my “little” collection was getting rather expensive to maintain. I was so obsessed that I modeled my handwriting after the character Stacy’s handwriting (I know, I was nuts).

I began dabbling in other series, and pretty soon, I was a fixture at the local library. I loved going to the library so much that I signed up as a volunteer shelver every summer during middle school.

Surrounded by shelves upon shelves of books was like being in heaven. I was like a less cultured Rory Gilmore (“Nothing, nothing smells like that.”  “I’m sorry, did I just see you smell that book?!”). To this day, I love the smell of books. Once again, I’m nuts.

Somewhere along the line – probably the latter half of high school – I stopped reading as much. To make a long story short, I just didn’t have enough free time anymore. Plus, Facebook was invented. #loser #procrastination

By the time I reached law school, my love of reading was dead (#RIPBooks). After reading cases all day, the last thing I wanted to do was read some more. My hands were cramped from scribbling so many handwritten notes in the margins. You should see my law school textbooks from my first year. I switched up my pen colors and highlighter colors – because that was one of the few ways to make the textbook look remotely happy and fun – and the result at the end of the year was a collection of rainbow-colored papers. Yes, I am a nerd.

Torts-textbookExhibit A: making a law textbook look slightly cute by using a purple highlighter and pink pen
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Hermione Granger’s Parents Probably Went to Jail

While listening to a mashup of the best Harry Potter soundtrack songs during a study session last night, I had an epiphany: Hermione was responsible for (likely) sending her parents to prison or a mental institution.

Remember how she erased her parents’ memories of her at the beginning of Deathly Hallows? Well, she didn’t erase other people’s memories of her. What about her neighbors? Her parents’ friends? Her extended family? They would all still remember her, and what would they think when her parents denied she ever existed? They would have become concerned once they saw that any trace of her at her parents’ home had been erased. Eventually they would have begun to suspect that her parents hurt or killed her. And then they would have called the police. The police would have called in some psychiatrists. There would have been some sort of hearing, maybe even a trial. And then the Grangers’ would have been carted off to either a prison cell or a hospital.

NOT COOL, HERMIONE.