a.k.a. sarrah kaliski


a.k.a. sarrah

The story of a multibook reader


The librarian stared at me and my stack of books. "How old are you?" "Seven."

"There are too many books for you to check out. It's over the limit. Only check out what you can read."

I looked at the stack. "But I can read all these."

She smiled at me. The kind of smile that grown-ups get when they think you're wrong. "I meant in two weeks."

"So did I."

She checked them out while telling me that if I wanted to check out that many books, I would have to tell her what each book was about when I returned them. I didn't see that as a problem. She gave me that smile again.

I slid the stack of books over to me, wrapped my arms under it, rested my chin on top, lifted, and waddled away.

In a little less than two weeks I returned them. She ushered me behind the circulation desk and had me begin. It may sound strange, but I loved it. When I finished she smiled, told me I did well, and to go pick out more books if I would like. From then on I had no limit on how many books I could check out.

When my book stacks grew too tall or too many to not be able to fit under my chin, my mom made a rule: only check out what you can carry in one trip. I would bring bags along with stuffing under my chin as a loophole for this rule. Pretty soon the librarians would helped me carry the books out to the car, happily enabling me. My mom let it slide.

Two years later, one day just before summer, a librarian gave me a Summer Reading booklet. Inside were 25 spaces for book titles. With a smirk she told me any kid who read 25 books over the summer got a prize of being in the 4th of July parade.

By the time the Summer Reading was over, I had turned in four booklets filled, along with a page stapled on to the fourth. I read over one hundred books, and they all believed me, though one quizzed me on random titles just for fun.

I was selected to walk in the front of the library dinosaur float, holding the banner with another girl who read fifty books who held the other end. Outfitted in a cavewoman outfit my mom made me, with a fabric bone in my hair, and her in a Wilma Flintstone costume; we were proud cavewoman ambassadors for our beloved library.

I'm not a speed reader, I just read multiple books together. When one book is slightly boring, I turn to the next. When the next is exciting, I turn to another, and always circle back to each book until all are read. It is like a smorgasbord of all your favorite foods. 

People throughout my life have told me that I shouldn't do that. Just start one, read it from start to finish, then move on. That it's the better way to read and comprehend what you're reading. I've tried multiple times. It drives me crazy. I become bored and end up not finishing that one book. It sits there like a stale cupcake.

More is better, for me. And I know I'm not alone in this, but I don't advocate it saying everyone should read like that. I advocate reading. Period. However it makes you want to keep reading. Just read. It's a beautiful thing. So read a book or five. Make friends with a librarian. Build your own library. Did I mention read? There are worlds, ideas, theories, lives, stories out there waiting for you to discover them.

So, with that, I want to thank you for reading this rather long post. Drop me a comment to let me know you've read this, your reading style, favorite books right now, or whatever.