This may take a while. And I may make a few enemies along the way... See, I was always one of those people who absolutely HATED reading. I could write very well and this would confound every English teacher I've ever had. "Oh you must love to read". And when I said that I didn't they always said "how's that possible?". Well I can't explain it either. The thing was that they always tried pushing the "classics" on me. And I no matter how much I said that I didn't like them they kept on pushing. In one English class we were forced to read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (and I say "forced" because there's no way on God's green Earth that I'd ever read it by choice). I was quite literally bored to tears! When the teacher went around the class she asked me to give my impressions of it I stood up, looked her square in the eye and said "This book sucks and I'll tell you why right now!!". Needless to say my candor was not appreciated. One of the things that always bothered me was that many books just don't move fast enough. I often found myself literally screaming "GET TO THE POINT!". Some writers are so in love with the sound of their own voices and forget about the audience. The other thing is that books were passive. I've often used the term that books aren't what I call a "living medium". While things like video games and music unfolded in "real time". I can push a button and something happens. I push another button and something else happens. You have a hand in the outcome. Music especially so. I can pay and I can see what Paul McCartney does. I can sit in a theater and watch what an actor does. But I can't watch John Grisham write a book. The other thing was it was hard for me to relate to writers. I literally gave no thought as to who wrote books. All I knew was that they were all either old men, dead, or both! A perception that I still tend to have to this day. See, I had always been into adventure films, Bond and super heroes. But nobody ever thought to think along those lines. It was always about what THEY thought I should like. Or what I was supposed to like according to the guidelines of the New Haven Board of Education. No teacher or anyone else had ever said "Have you ever read Lord Of The Rings?" or "You like Bond, there's a guy named Robert Ludlum you might like". It was always "No, no, no... more Dickens, more Shakespeare, more Arthur Miller. If it's not self indulgent and tedious you're not learning anything". That's where the clash always was. I wanted to be ENTERTAINED first and foremost. And what academia deemed worthwhile simply wasn't. I had one teacher that when ask "what was the best thing you've ever read" I told him it was X-Men the Dark Phoenix Saga. When he pressed me to change my answer I told him "You asked what was the best THING I had ever read and I answered, now the answer isn't good enough, no I'm not changing it". I asked him if he wanted to read it and if he then still thought it wasn't serious story telling I'd change my answer he said he wasn't going to "waste" his time. I told him I wasn't changing my answer. To me THAT is narrow minded. One thing I've always said is that if the public schools hadn't bored the life out of me I wouldn't have discovered comics or Japanese anime. Anime especially was something I took to quite readily and quickly. Cowboy Bebop, Lupin the 3rd, and especially Captain Harlock all really resonated on a level that the alleged "classics" couldn't. And later on many video games had deeper plots than most books I had read in school. Pound for pound, the greatest story that I had ever come across was from the video game Metal Gear Solid. Ask me what I read in tenth grade English (after Ethan Frome I stopped paying attention) and I honestly can't remember. But I can recall just about every detail from Metal Gear Solid and it's sequels and tell you what the underlying themes were. Some may scoff at such a notion, but you have to ask what did Metal Gear Solid do right that so many English teachers over the years do utterly wrong? Now I'd hate for anyone to think that I'm "anti-reading". That's not really the case. I actually do like the work of Clive Cussler. No surprise, it's what I enjoy. Daring adventures, narrow escapes, thrilling chases, etc. And it was recommended by a neighbor. But because of my experiences it's a constant struggle. I always feel like it's homework and not something I should be enjoying. Will it ever change? Who knows. But I'm trying and I think that's at least a start.