Portmanteau Commentary: That thing I miss doing


The Portmanteau reading come day or night - images courtesy of my sister Lua

I taught myself to read at the tender age of four. Even before going to kindergarten, I enthusiastically loved doing my three and a half years older sister's homework, which didn't change until she was 18 - my sentiment towards doing so may have changed, but you know how bigger siblings can be, even the nicest ones. I'm not complaining, though, it meant I was always ahead of class in every single subject for six years, which meant I was bored out of my mind in primary school and either bullying my class mates for being dumb (I was the worst kind of snob) or reading a book while others were pretending to pay attention with vacant looks. Being a child who cared more about Sherlock Holmes' explanation of reversed coat wetness than whether one girl called the other a bitch, I didn't have much to worry about whilst in school. In year six I finally got fed up and sat my teacher down and demanded (yes, I know. Horrible.) from my teacher that I either be jumped a class or two or I'd change schools into a completely different system which would equal jumping two classes if I wasn't put back. I ended up doing the latter and hence jumped two classes straight into Mandarin and Latin classes, which was lovely.

What I did lose from the move was my most precious childhood habit - that of reading in average three or four books per day over six years. Needless to say I can cherry pick the books I hadn't read in the entirety of the local library and that my trip home involved dropping off and picking up books. Heavily identifying with Matilda's library antics, I was allowed to move onto different sections of the library ahead of my age (they had age restrictions, I kid you not).

With the introduction of real life and growing up, having responsibilities and such, the amount of books I have had the pleasure to read are laughable, and I miss it. I miss literally devouring a 500 page books in a day and being utterly and truly no longer myself. When I read, my cynicism, hunger, tiredness or worries are all gone. I live a completely different life, think completely different thoughts. Whoever is satisfied with just their own?