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All Reading Is Good Reading

, , , , | Related | October 24, 2020

As a nine-year-old child, I am as voracious a reader as my twin brother isn’t. I am reading adult sci-fi; he is years below his age bracket. It’s not because he isn’t clever, but because he is unmotivated and stubborn. Oh, so stubborn.

My parents consult with paediatricians, special tutors, and his teachers. They sit to read with him every night. They try every technique and every recommended book that is meant to attract young boys. They try books on any topic he has interest in. They try punishment and reward and everything in between. Nothing works. He just refuses to read. He’d rather watch TV or play computer games, and he isn’t willing to negotiate terms. A one-hour-for-one-hour compromise is not on the table. He’d rather choose spite.

Finally, after more than a full year of watching this play out — and, admittedly, having reached my limit of petty jealousy from seeing my brother get “extra attention” from both our parents — I take matters into my own hands.

I interrupt my parents and brother “reading.”

Me: “Come with me.”

I drag my brother by the hand to the computer, dial into the Internet, and go to the one fanfiction site I know of at the time. I search around for a high-rating story of my brother’s lifetime favourite game and OTP pairing and begin to read the story out loud.

After the first chapter, I walk away.

Me: “It’s all yours!”

My brother replaced me on the seat, clicked the next chapter… and quietly began to read. He stayed on that site for the rest of the night while I tried to badger my dad into reading “Snow Crash” out loud to me.

He is now an adult and an absolutely phenomenal speed-reader… who still basically only reads fanfiction.

Dad never did read me “Snow Crash.”

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