A love for words

Call me crazy.
Call me a nerd.
Call me what you will, but I miss vocabulary words.

Yes. I miss those weekly lists we got in school. I miss having to memorize “big words.” I even miss the homework that came along with the words because that homework would ensure the new words’ definitions were memorized correctly.

I think having a love for words and being a bibliophile go hand in hand. After all, how could I read without words? Without words a huge hobby of mine would be destroyed. New words excite me. The feel of foreign sounds rolling off my tongue to form an unfamiliar word… and then learning the meaning and having the ability to use them with my regular speech.

Eighth grade was the last year we had vocabulary words in my district’s curriculum— the last year for English anyway. We still had to learn terms in math and science, but it wasn’t the same as using plethora in a sentence or creating a matching quiz with words like interminable or incognito. All these words now common in my language were once foreign to me. And I miss that.

In high school, my friend bought me one of those page a day calendars for my birthday. Beginning, appropriately with ab ovo and containing tidbits of knowledge such as the meaning of fiduciary, it was a fun little thing full of SAT-esque words. It was wonderful to reveal a new word every single day.

I came across a new word while reading the other day. The excitement was real. In fact, it’s in my latest posted poem. I was thrilled to have to Google it and I said it enough and used it enough that it’s in my vocabulary. (You know they say if you use a new word three times, it will be added to your permanent vocabulary.)

Words are beautiful. Words can create. Words can invent. Words carry more than meaning; they carry emotion. It’s absolutely fantastic to learn new words. And fittingly, as I discovered earlier today, there is a word to describe someone who loves words…and thus I self-proclaim myself to be a logophile.

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Adventures and a whirlwind

I’m a reader. Always have been and probably always will be. I love jumping into a book and entering a new world filled with adventure. Traveling beside characters as they encounter danger, thrill, betrayal, hope, romance, and gah! so many emotions!

I love it! I love when I pick up a good book and I can feel the story happening next to me. When I’m so lost, I don’t know what’s going on in the real world around me. When I can envision everything the author speaks of. When the words are so perfect, they flow together as a beautiful masterpiece. When I turn to the last page, and for a moment, I’m sad because there isn’t another page to turn, but I can still breathe a sigh of happiness, knowing my time was well spent on something worthwhile.

This is why I read. I read because for me, it’s an experience. Every time is a new adventure, and with a good book, it’s an adventure I’m glad I took. With a great book, it’s an adventure I will repeat. Then there’s the bad books. They’re like mistakes— adventures when you just wish you’d stayed home. Sometimes I feel bad, especially if I’m a writing a review because I know, no matter how awful the book, the author put time into writing the story. It’s a shame; sometimes, the story just didn’t engage me, but in some unfortunate cases, the writing was just plain terrible.

But when there’s so much good literature out there, I can forgive. I won’t stop reading because of some haphazard barely-worth-noting misadventure. There’s way too many brilliant stories waiting for me to dive into. Stories where authors dug into their creative imaginations and wove a masterpiece. Stories where the details take you on a journey to a new world, so vivid you’ll taste the air. Stories where the characters are so well developed, they’re tangible. Stories where the plot keeps you engaged until the very last word. These are the stories that surpass the title for “good book.” These are the stories you’ll never forget, the characters you’ll love like dear friends, the adventures you’ll return to again and again. These stories will become your favorites that you won’t be able to stop gushing about if they’re brought up.

These are the stories that make me love reading. The reason I’ve been addicted forever. They will whisk me away in a whirlwind of beautiful words that I never want to escape… and it is this whirlwind that entices me to return to the imaginative world of fiction again and again.