I just have to embrace that sometimes when I comment on someone’s reaction or write personal letters they become blog posts. This one is responding to michelle’s memory of reading in gifted. I could have written so much more but I had company that night. This is just a synopsis of so many issues. but, it’s a start.
Being gifted made me exact the same way. I read. I hated any book I was forced to read in school. I was a freak about reading one of my earliest memories before school is starting to read billboards. I picked up my childhood bible and figured out how to read. None of my family understood. From the moment I could read that bible I was at the library. I didn’t understand in kindergarten why I had to pretend to learn something I already knew. By five the act of coloring and learning the letter A was infuriating and disappointing. There is hell involved in starting school when you’ve already learned the material. Reading will always be a passionate part of my life. I feel like I’ve lived in so many worlds because you couldn’t keep me stocked in books. I also had no ability to return the damn things or not destroy them. I’ve spent my whole life owing that damn library money.
By kindergarten people finally started letting me read chapter books. For me reading became my primary focus as soon as I had chapters. I was a five year old crack head that would reach the end of a chapter and refuse to stop. i completely remember you sneaking books. You were deviant like a gifted kid because you had controversial reading material. I remember that science class, I thought you had huge balls to read about paganism and magic. You stole my heart.. I had to hide my reading from people. I tried fiction for teens. Aunt jonell didn’t like to see me read adult books, she thought I’d learn adult things. If she only knew about some of the things I read, she would’ve revoked my library card. I dutifully read all my nancy drews, babysitter clubs, and sweet valley high. I got lucky because I always looked older than I really am. I hid my reading in elementary school because I didn’t need to give people more evidence that I’m a dork. Summers were amazing. I lived in a lawn chair and devoured one book after another. I don’t remember how old I was when I broke the rules and checked out adult books.
I’ll never forget that first book. It was a compilation of short stories by stephen king. I picked that book because it had a monkey on the front and I knew aunt jonell would think it was innocent. Finally breaking the rules to read a book written for adults was just as big for me as discovering chapters. I knew reading was pleasurable. I realized it has so much power it can be your only reason for living. It’s strange that not every gifted kid was obsessed with reading. It’s such a natural pleasure when you aren’t being challenged. I can guarantee that the majority of the kids in our class that excelled in math never embraced reading. Reading adult books puts you in an adult set of mind. I would struggle letting my elementary age daughter read the shit I snuck behind aunt jonell’s back. I know I was too young to have so much knowledge about sex, drugs, money and most complicated issues.
The more likely a book would give me taboo knowledge the more determined I was to read it. Being raised by old people had benefits like they had no idea who stephen king was. Aunt jonell tried to monitor every aspect of my life. But she would do shit like pick up my copy of the witching hour and only notice Anne Rice because her name was in a bigger font. Getting busted reading anything about witches was equal to premarital sex and drug abuse. She was on a personal crusade that so many things were evidence of worshiping the devil. It was hilarious. If I tried to listen to amy grant she could turn it into devil worshiping. I lived in a world without music because if it wasn’t a song about god, it was a song about the devil. Reading was my first secret. Some of the first lies I told were to cover the fact I had entered the horror and sci-fi genre. I kept my reading a secret. No one was ever smart enough to check the back of a book for a synopsis of what I was reading. Reading can define who you are. Reading can be dangerous. I was obsessed with sex so young because I’d read all about it. I knew stuff about sex I learned from fiction and cosmo that should’ve been illegal for a ten year old to know. It was such a blessing that those years I was fat, dorky, had glasses and was shy. Reading made me so curious about boys it was destined for me to be a slut as early as physically possible.
I still think the more you read, the more likely you are to be sexually deviant at some point. So many great books involve great sex. My grandma constantly read romance novels at such a rate it boggles the imagination. She didn’t consider it worthy of her time if it wasn’t devoted to sex. So many women on my dad’s side of the family were perfectly content to live in squalor and lay down with their book in a romance novel that he openly despised the fact i read. He associated reading with laziness and being a whore. If I ever brought a romance novel in his house I would’ve been crucified. Of course when I was still in the world of nancy drew I snuck one of the thousand or so romance novels she read off the shelf. I thought it was going to be some good shit. I tried it and it wasn’t even exciting like nancy drew. I can’t read a romance novel. I will never give a shit about how harry met sally. I knew I couldn’t read her books but I can’t count the times I would flip through them to read a sex scene.
i completely understand my grandma. You may have to read the whole damn book but eventually you find pages of erotica, I can’t read the whole book because it bores me and seems juvenile. However, I love written erotica. It totally entertains me. If my grandma could read even in her nineties she would still be chasing the next graphic variation of sex she could get her hands on. My grandparents were just openly sexual. My grandpa never ceased to amaze me with his ever growing collection of playboys. My grandma didn’t have much money for gifts but my dad had a guaranteed subscription to playboy that kept coming after he died. My brother had national geographic. He was too stupid to read them. I did. She was on a quest to find the right subscription for me. I tried a lot of magazines. I finally told her to save the money. after highlights and jack and jill didn’t amuse me. I couldn’t read a magazine because that affected how long I could read an actual book. If it’s possible I think i actually inherited a desire for pornography and sexual literature.
I acted so innocent no one thought I would read my grandpa’s stack of playboys in the bathroom. What would shock them was how young I started. Reading my grandpa’s stack of playboys was a part of my childhood for as long as I can remember. I blame chicken hormones from the eighties but I got my period at seven which means I was acting out sexually and thinking about sex when I was five. I had to do research about puberty to finally realize my early sexual feelings were not the product of some early unknown sexual abuse. i think every gifted kid will figure out some way to break down and be deviant in some way. I’ve seen it in so many of my female gifted friends. We thought about and did stuff cool kids didn’t comprehend. The most sexual girls i met were in gifted. The cool girls in eighth grade were more concerned about their pants size to act out sexually. I think it’s fascinating. Here’s to burning all the kids that never learned about life through books. I can laugh at someone with a higher GPA’s because I have a life long history of being ‘that girl sneak reading, ‘ I know exactly what you went through. If life is a battle, reading made us win.