This past Saturday was my second time at YALLWest. Books, food trucks, and all my favorite authors = awesome!
As always, it was great seeing young readers gathering together and geeking out over books. And I felt a pang of jealousy because I never really had bookish friends to discuss my favorite stories with.
When I was in Middle School, I remember going to the town library after school. I rarely saw anyone from my class there. So, I had no idea who was reading what, and if they were reading anything at all. And it made me think that reading wasn't "cool." I became very secretive about my reading addiction because I didn't want anyone in school to judge me. At school, I kept my library books in my backpack but never took them out for fear that people would see the dragon on the cover and then laugh in my face. But being at YALLWest, I realized that much has changed since then. And it made me think that these kids are really lucky to have found a community where they can be honest about how much they love reading.
When my boyfriend joined us later on in the day, he told me the first thing he saw was a young boy hugging an armful of books and exclaiming, "I'm so overwhelmed!" It was the most adorable story I ever heard. I wish I was there to give that kid a high-five, but also to tell him that the struggle will never, ever go away...
It's a dilemma only us readers will ever know.