This week I will talk about how I got into reading English and this wasn’t until I was 14 or 15 years old. So I will start with the context I started reading English in: English class.
At Secondary school, High school in America, we had be given the pleasure of taking English classes through all the years we attended and we had to do finals in English as well. I wasn’t happy with it, not at all. At first my relationship with English wasn’t good, I actually disliked English. Mostly when I don’t like a subject that is either because I’m not interested in it or I’m not good in it. And I was not good at English.
No matter how hard I tried and learn, I just wasn’t good at it. Now I also have dyslexia which also took a part in this, but I will be talking about this soon as well. When I was in Primary school we didn’t get English so it was new to me and I’m not good at learning new languages.
So after two or three years of struggling myself through the English classes and going on to the next year with an average grade of 6, at that time I was very proud of going to the next year with an 6 on my grade list.
Now I don’t remember when this was it was either in the third or fourth year of Secondary school, I think it was the third but I’m not sure. I do remember the situation in which I started to enjoy reading English books.
The situation at hand was that we were going to watch a movie the next few weeks and you had to make a test about that movie for a grade, I had an appointment in the hospital at one of these lessons which I couldn’t move, so I couldn’t participate in all the lessons to watch the whole movie.
I went with this problem to my teacher and she gave me the choice. Or I caught up on the part of the movie I missed after school some day or I picked up a book from our school library and read that book for a test. And guess what? I picked the book, I was allowed to pick a book I had read before in Dutch, which would make it easier for me to read it.
So I went to the library and there was the Harry Potter series. I love the Harry Potter series and I thought if I picked on of those books, I might understand what was happening because I already knew what would happened. So I picked Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is my favorite Harry Potter book and movie, together with the Order of the Phoenix. But the Prisoner of Azkaban was smaller, so yeah, logic.
After I had finished reading the Prisoner of Azkaban, I wanted to read the other Harry Potter books in English and so I started to read more English books. Now, in the library I went to, they didn’t have that much English books and most were adult, which was hard for me to read, and I just kept on reading the Harry Potter series.
After my finals at the Secondary school, my interest in English books returned and I read Twilight New Moon in English, and at that moment I found out that I enjoyed reading the original language more than the translated Dutch version, if it was English.
And that is how I started to collect English books. I love reading books in their original language (if that is English, my German and France is horrible), and by that comes that buying the English version of a book is cheaper than buying a translated Dutch version of the book.
So, if your own language isn’t English like mine, what got you into reading English books? And what do you prefer, reading a book in English or your own language?
– Debbie –