I read to forget. I read so I don’t feel alone. I wish that I could bring the feeling of being… wanted, of friendship. I would never want to bring the dangerous of most the worlds that my favorite books take place in, but the magic. I would gladly accept the magic. Even as I sit here writing this I am on the verge of a full blown anxiety attack. I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since before I can remember. Through my OCD that I have had and have done rituals for since my earliest memories. Reading has always been like a salve that has helped hug my fears tight. I have loved reading since the beginning. I’m grateful for the accelerated reading program that my K-8 private Catholic school had us start from second grade on. It helped light that burning fire full of passion for reading. The first few years there were dual motives. 1, after you finished a book, you were able to leave class to go to the school library and take a 20(?) question quiz on the book. With every book I read, I got points… and 2. I found my love of escaping into a different world or learning about history from the perspective of someone I would have never known. I was 8 when I really fell in love with a book. it was the first book that I checked out of the school library over, and over, and over. That book was called Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I remember that feeling of connection. It crossed across time. In another era, a different country- the possibility that the exact story from the book (although fiction) most likely occurred. That a girl, in another time, who was my same age, went through so much under the Nazi Regime. I remember so clearly ( even as I type this), the moment I realized that if I was born during the war that I could have gone through something similar, and most likely witness something so much worse. Reading Number the Stars was one of the first times in my life when I can remember consciously thinking about humanity, hate, and oppression as a whole. I was sheltered in my tiny private school. The ideas that history was truth was such a punch to the gut, I knew I wanted to know more. Not always stories that made me think about life, but just stories of other peoples lives. Perspectives. Thoughts.