I wrote “Don’t Read So Much” a couple of years ago. The poem was inspired by my own personal experiences with my mother, who often criticized me for reading too much before school (making me prone to tardiness). As a person who enjoys reading as much as writing, I used my feelings of annoyance and irritation to fuel the emotion in my poem. I hope you like it!
Don’t Read So Much
Don’t read so much…
It’s a phrase echoing out of the abysses of time.
When I’m snuggled up in the rocking chair,
Crouching on a living room chair,
Lying down on the couch,
The shrill voice blasts into my ear
And I’m like, “Whatever.”
I mean, what do you mean, “stop reading”?
Is there something wrong with me enjoying a story,
Feeling what the character feels, trying to live with them?
Is it wrong for me to try to escape from reality for a bit?
What do you mean?
Having a family play in Jo March’s house—isn’t that human?
Or was it just puppets dancing on a stage?
It’s like when I’m Ender,
Leading Dragon Army into battle.
We freeze our legs, then disable one half of the other team,
Then ALL of the other team.
Then Crazy Tom, Hot Soup, and all the other toon leaders go to the four doors,
Everything vanishes, and I’m back where I started.
Do you fear something—my health, my sociability?
‘Cause all you say is “You need to do your homework.”
…And then all I say is “I’m reading for my reading log.”
Sometimes I wonder, though—
Is it damaging to me
as a person?
I love reading, so there’s no reason you should stop me.