At a young age, I had chronic ear infections resulting in tubes in my ears. Due to my lack of hearing during my early years, I struggled to understand letters and their sounds. My comprehension was low, my reading was slow, and I struggled to sound out words. In elementary school, I was placed in a Special Ed class to receive more one-on-one teachings. In seventh grade, I started to mainstream into regular classes.
Due to this experience, I shied away from reading and writing. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties that books became a consistent part of my life.
The first series I read was Harry Potter. In the summer of 2009, the company I had worked with for fifteen years laid me off and gave me a severance package. Harry Potter provided me with comfort during a period of transition. Hogwarts, the forest, and the characters became alive in my head. The books allowed me an escape from the real world.
When I found audiobooks, they changed my life and work experience. Before I found audiobooks, I came home frustrated with the drivers and traffic. When listening to audiobooks, I felt like I had been watching a movie all day. I came home relaxed. I could feel happy, sad, confused, emotional, or lustful, depending on the book.
I am thankful to the writers who share their talent and imagination. Books, either reading or listening, have allowed me to escape into the world they created.