My Relationship With Reading

by Jowell Tan

What if I said;
I never liked actually reading -

the black words on white paper
straining my eyes
flying through my mind
forming sentences I struggle to make sense of
before the next Capital Letter arrives
before I eventually slam the book shut
veins in my brain throbbing from overwork
and I have to close my eyes to rest

what if I said;
I liked everything else about reading -

the weight of it
in my hand as I carry it
on my shoulders as I put it in my bag

the feel of black printed ink
on white matte paper
words, worlds apart
coming together to create story
and plot
and emotion
the soft smack of pages meeting each other when I close the book
closing my eyes to capture the world materializing in my mind

the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a book
“yes, I've done it!”
I've done something that wasn't the Internet
or my phone
but me
in a room, with my hands and my imagination
watching something being made
and I feel like I'm being involved
in something great

and that's what I have to say
About reading.