I lost my illiteracy as a young age.
I cannot remember a single experience. It happened gradually, bit by bit.
I do know my first attempts were awkward. Not painful, but not graceful.
After the initial awkwardness, I progressed rapidly, and soon couldn’t get enough. I read everything! I couldn’t help myself. Everywhere their were letters, my brain interpreted them, almost against my will.
I remember the sad day I realized what I had lost when I picked up a book intending to make up a fantastical tale of derringdo and found myself reading genealogies in Genesis. No longer could I hold any book with the English alphabet and keep my innocence. The endless possibilities were forever gone for me. Losing my illiteracy had cost me.
Nor did I remain faithful to the first types of books I ever read. In a few years I moved on from grade 1 readers to mystery novels like Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys. My naïve parents kept their antique bookshelf in my room, assuming their cherubic grade 4 child would fail to notice Shakespeare, Roots, and Gone with the Wind. I devoured them at night, making sure no one would know. Once my illiteracy was gone, there was no boundary protecting me from classical literature.
I still consume books in secret. I confess, I am not faithful to any one genre. I do have my preferences and will always have a soft spot for Young Adult novels, but they are not enough to satisfy me. I read about the natural world, about histories lost and deliberately obfuscated, fairy tales, research of neuroscience and psychology, how-to books, graphic novels, political comics, political commentary, politically incorrect sexualities, textbooks and more. I am insatiable.
I can never get my illiteracy back unless I suffer a stroke or move to a place that doesn’t use the English alphabet. Even then, I would still have to live with losing my illiteracy. Lost. Forever.
photo credit: http://www.redapplereading.com/blog/2012/10/reading-outside-of-school-how-much-is-enough/