If I had to identify the exact point in time when I started to actually like reading, I’d say it was somewhere around fifth grade, when my rather annoying 10-year-old self discovered the magic of Harry Potter. (Ha, see what I did there? Magic. Get it? It’s funny.)
Though I was obviously far too young to really appreciate the nuances of J.K. Rowling’s writing, I enjoyed it nonetheless: I loved Harry, I loved the Wizarding World, I loved how the adults in Harry’s life thought repeatedly sending a minor into life-threatening danger would be a good idea.
After that, being the little ambitious fifth grader prone to delusions of grandeur I was, I decided to set out and prove to the world that I was the most avid reader ever. When that aspiration crashed and burned just like every other dream I’ve ever had in my life, I decided to lower my expectations and settle for just being an avid reader.
Because I file everything not strictly related to academics into the “more or less useless” information part of my mind at the end of every school year, I can’t tell you exactly what impressions the books I read in middle school left on me, but my fondness for reading grew at about the same rate the acne of my classmates’ faces did during those days.
After hearing that more or less useless account of my reading history, I think I can safely say how pleased I am to be part of the Kindle Classroom Project without sounding like I’m only saying it because I’m obligated to do so (which I am) and being insincere with my words (which I’m not).
I’m antisocial and introverted, and no love of reading can fix that, so I don’t particularly enjoy having to go to the library. I don’t like having to awkwardly stand there while a librarian checks out my books and silently judges me on my selection. Now, with the Kindle Classroom Project, I don’t have to!
While I’m not one of those kids from the part of my generation who have trouble returning pencils they borrow (at least, I don’t think I am), I somehow still feel much more at ease having a Kindle on hand instead instead of, say, 732 physical copies of all the books in the KCP library. It’s much more convenient and easier for me now to make use of and appreciate my literacy with the Kindle.
If I feel like reading a book, I can just click on the title and wait a minute or so for it to download. If all the digital copies of the book are checked out, I can simply request another copy online instead of being put on some library waiting list, which, granted, only happened to me once at the Oakland Public Library, but the waiting list was 40 people long and made the task of finishing my summer reading list more cumbersome.
If I feel like reading into the wee hours of the night because I didn’t feel like I read enough during the day, I don’t need to turn on the light to see what I’m reading; the Kindle is the light! Of course, reading in the dark while staring at an LCD screen isn’t the best way to take care of your eyes, too, but I already wear glasses, so the worst thing that can happen to me from reading a Kindle at night is eye fatigue.
Because of the KCP, my love for reading has flourished and ignited in ways I never thought it was capable of before. Why, just a few months ago, I decided to read Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle just for the hell of it. Yes, I may not have understood half of the book, but I would have never even considered checking out a physical copy from the library. If my growing passion for reading was a fire, then I guess you could say my Kindle was… kindling for that flame. (See what I did there? Again, nothing? Come on, it’s funny.)