In my former school in Bangladesh, from Year 1 to Year 10, we had to dedicate unretrievable 40 minutes of our lives in a class called ‘reader.’ What happened in that class was that we had to read a chapter or two from a classic novel and then answer some questions about that chapter to demonstrate our understanding of the English language. This was one of our main English classes which did help me in some ways to improve my English.
We read easy english versions of those novels for good reasons. Even though I grew to like a lot of these books, I never really enjoyed them in class. Anyways, the point I am trying to make is, as a child this put me of reading.
When I was 11 or 12 years old, I lost a friend because she had to leave my hometown. Then, we didn’t have social media and I didn’t have a personal phone to keep in contact with her. Now, I am Facebook friends with her after 6 years but that’s just it: ‘Facebook friends.’ She gave me two books (of my choice) as a gift before leaving and those two books had a huge impact on how I felt about reading afterwards.
You see, when we are children, we all have a lot in common and form genuine friendships with almost everyone. But as we step in our teen years, we slowly change, along with our choices and interests. I guess you already knew that but I just had to remind myself.
The books are called Escape From Horror House and Ghost Camp by R. L. Stine. I got these books during my Year 5 mid-year exams, which meant I couldn’t read the books for long in front of my family. But did that stop me from reading? Obviously not. I would go to the toilet, sit on the toilet lid and read like I am sitting on the beach or something. Or I would hide the book behind the table cloth and read it when nobody seemed to be around. I did get caught but all that happened was ‘You are going to fail your exams’ or something similar.
Kids, don’t read books during exams. I did pass with As but that’s only because I revised before receiving the books. Both of the books are amazing. I could rave about them all day. I remember the plots of the books and the ending of one of the book because the other one had multiple endings.
Ghost Camp is about two brothers who go to a summer camp called Camp Spirit Moon. Once they are there for a few days, things start to get weird. For example, they always see this (Spoiler Alert) blue sticky puddle in front of the beds of their fellow campers in the morning. Eventually they find out (Spoiler Alert) the campers are ghosts and wants to possess their bodies to get out of Camp Spirit Moon where they are stuck for eternity otherwise.
This is just a very brief summary which didn’t do the book justice. I am not even sure if it’s accurate since I read it a long time ago. After that, I collected as many Goosebumps books I could get my hands on. In my town, the book shops are named as ‘*something* library’ and it wasn’t easy to get English story books. Although, I think the book shops have a wider range of English books now. But I managed to buy quite a few of the books from the Goosebumps series.
Frankly, even though they are children’s book, I think I will still enjoy them. I love R. L. Stine’s work and it’s the stepping stones that led to my permanent interest in books. The covers of his books are so appealing and the name of the books are equally intriguing. Anybody who is interested in horror and mystery will most likely enjoy his books, keeping in mind that they are children’s book.
So, after I realised that I loved reading, I wanted to share it with somebody else. Unfortunately, at that time none of my friends liked reading and so it wasn’t the ‘coolest’ thing to do. Now, nobody ever discouraged me for reading but I always felt like sharing the experience of reading. Eventually, my dear friend Mumu told me how she discovered her love for reading as well and we started exchanging books and I am glad I am still friends with her today. Also, later a lot of my friends started reading and I may or may not have gotten two of my friends to start reading as well.
Carry on reading, my friend.