Once, for my birthday, I asked my mother for a Super Nintendo.
She didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no, either.
My birthday fell on a school day that year, and I arrived home to find my mother in the kitchen, a card in one hand, and a rectangular box in the other. The box was covered in colorful gift wrapping and had my name on it.
It looked about the size of a box, which would contain a Super Nintendo.
So I picked it up.
It weighed about as much as one would expect a box to weigh, if said box were to contain a Super Nintendo.
So I opened it.
It was not a Super Nintendo.
It was a box of books.
Mind you, I was never an unappreciative child; but books were the last thing I needed. I already had a bag full of them, which I carried to school everyday.
English books, math books, science books
And now I had a bunch of new books that I didn’t even want — wrapped in colorful paper, and placed inside a box that seemed to weigh as much as a Super Nintendo.
“I thought you liked books,” my mother said, as though a person is permitted to only like one thing.
A year earlier, I did a book report on “James and the Giant Peach.” When asked my opinion of the story, I remember saying that it was “okay.”
To my mother, that meant that I liked books.
There was no use arguing, so I marched to my room with the box of books, slid them under my bed and went to sleep.
Weeks passed, and I had all but forgotten about the box of books that lie under my bed, collecting dust.
It was only out of boredom that I eventually read one; but once I did, I wanted to read another.
I even read some twice.
Soon, reading became one of my favorite things to do. When the box became too small for my collection of books, I bought a shelf. When the books on shelf got old, I went to the library.
And when I felt I had read everything good there was to read, I became a writer.
I guess I really did like reading.
In case you’re wondering, I did eventually get that video game system. Like all funky electronics, it was eventually phased out to make way a newer, better console.
It was good while it lasted, I guess.
The funny thing is, I still have a few of those old books that were wrapped in colorful paper and placed inside a box, which seemed to weigh as much as a Super Nintendo.
In actuality, it weighed a lot more.