My little sister Aila has never been a fan of English novels, and I'm suspecting it's either because (1) reading something that is more than ten pages long is the same to her as listening to someone talk about electronics in monotone or (2) the English language is not her forte. Or maybe both, I can't be sure. I'm always trying to bring her into the world of bookwormism, but she won't even let me get her past the threshold of eye-rolls and long-books-bore-me gestures.
About a couple of weeks ago, her classmates went over to finish a group assignment. One of them inspected my bookshelf and recognized a novel: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. She told Aila that it's a good story, and as quick as lightning my sister decided she's going to read it. I teased about it being induced by peer pressure, but deep inside I was sort of glad and excited. At least she's going to try, I thought.
One of those nights.
Holden became Aila's frequent company during her free time. When she read, she brought along with her our almost-spineless thesaurus in case she encounter unfamiliar words (apparently she gave up the search for our ancient dictionary). There were some nights when I found her asleep, with Catcher and the thesaurus lying not so far from her. She didn't finish it in one sitting--three or four nights maybe, which is understandable considering the heap of schoolwork on her study table.
After that, she's asking for recommendations. I think she's sort of amazed about the amount of YA books that have Holden Caulfield references in them, and that fact alone is an effective bait to get her to read more...at least for now. I'm coaxing her to read a Levithan and an Asher novel. She said something to the effect that she would put it on her mental to-read list since she couldn't read them right away because of prelims and yadda-yadda, but I think she's serious because she has that certain look in her that only appears when she's really interested.
I'm excited. A new bookworm that's finally ploughed herself out of the barren earth. *glee* And for this, I thank you Salinger. And Holden of course, because you're the primary magnet that drew Aila completely into your story.