Where a boy finds out that reading is not always a chore.

Preston Mecum

Longest Week Of My Life

In my fifth grade year, we had a lot of reading assignments to do. We usually had to read books, then take tests on the books on the computer to see if we actually read them well enough and understood them fully. The books were usually not that very long or hard to read. They were focused on my skill level that I could read on. One week, my teacher desided to change up the reading and challenge us even further. Now I'm not a very strong reader, nor do I enjoy to read a lot. So this was possibly going to be a challenge for me. And as it turned out, it was going to be a very harsh struggle for me. The teacher told us that an author was going to come to our school and talk to us about his new book. She was going to have us read the book The Cottenmouth Club before the author came to see us in a week. I had to read a four hundred page book in a week. This meant that a reading student of my level was going from maximum eighty-page picture books, to a four-hundred page novel by myself with no one reading it to me. Of course, this questioned my abilities as a reader. But either way I had to read this book or fail.
As soon as my teacher was handing out these very new hard back books everyone was excited to dive in and start to read them Except for me. I just kind of looked at my teacher and silently asked her "Why are you doing this to me?". From the moment she passed out those books my procrastination began. I was about two days into reading the book and of course, every other student was further ahead of me. It seemed like this week was never going to end.

For every page I read, the other students would average about three or four pages, Its not because im a slow reader, its just that I never really ever fully engaged myself into a book. I just read the words on the page and move on. And usually I would just get really bored of reading and put the book down.
We had two more days to complete this reading assignment before the author came to our school to discuss his new book and answer any questions we might have. My classmates were finishing up the very few pages that they had left, while I was still only on page 150. I knew that it was now or never, and I had to pull an all nighter just to finish this meaningless book that I did not enjoy reading. That night, at my house I got into my backpack and pulled out this heavy thick book that just depressed me. I was a couple pages in when I started to think to myself Im actually going to try and understand what is going on. I started to actually follow along with the words and comprehend what was going on in the story. To my surprise, I'm actaully engaging myself into this novel that I could not put down. I was enjoying it so much, I finished the rest of the book that night. But at the time it didn't feel like I was just reading to read. I was reading because the book was fun and engaging. It didn't feel like an assignment.

The next day, the author of the book, Lance Marcum, came to our school to discuss and talk about the book. To my surprise, even talking about the book was not boring or felt like we were being held there against our will. I was actually listening to him speak and was even becoming interested in the other books that he had written.
Now that I look back on that event and struggle of my year in fifth grade, I realize that I still really do not enjoy reading that much. I found out that if I set my mind to it, and engage myself in the story that reading can be very fun and exciting. And I now know my abilities as a reader are far more effeceint. And I know longer question my abilites of anything really. Because if you set your mind to it you can achieve it. You just have to find something fun and worth going for in the assignment or activity that you are doing. If you do not have anything that you are working towards acheiving your goal or something to get out of it you're basically just wasting your time doing it. 
What I got out of that experience that it has made me a better reader than ever before. Even though I do not enjoy reading that much, it doesnt mean that I do not like to read a book that I find interesting. That day really changed my view about reading. Instead of it being a chore or punishment. I found out that it can be very fun and rewarding. But I can never thank my fifth grade teacher enough for making me read that book that turned out to be one of the first novels that I have ever completed on my own. Even though it was a pain.

When a boy gets assigned a reading assignment, he worries if he will get it done on time.

 Longest Week Of My Life