Once Upon a Time

Student shares love of reading

Harrison Jones, Staff Writer

Photo submitted by Gaby Ayres; Graphic by Harris Jones

It’s no secret reading has become a far less popular hobby with the rise of streaming services as alternate forms of entertainment. But you can still find people who love to cozy up with a good book and get sucked into another world of fantastical stories. Affectionately nicknamed, one of these modern day bookworms is freshman Gaby Ayres.

Ayres’ love of reading began at a young age.

“The first time I got into reading was in first grade,” she said. “My teacher had a bookshelf that had books sorted alphabetically. I had a challenge in my mind to see how far I could get through the bookshelf by the end of the year, and I marked my progress based on the letter I was on.”

Her love for reading has only grown over time. She reads every day even if how long she reads fluctuates with her schedule. Over the years, she’s read so many books it’s hard to find ones that stand out. Some are bound to get lost in the sea of stories she has made for herself, but there is one that, for her, stands above the rest.

“‘Salt by the Sea’ by Ruta Sepetys is a book I first read in sixth grade and I have loved it ever since,” Ayres said. “It

 has everything I want in a book. It is historical and takes place in World War II with the main characters escaping from Germany. It has a lot of risk and adventure in it. It also has a bit of romance, which I love. It has become a comfort book to me.”

Ayres shares her love of reading with her friends. Whether it be her recommending them books or vice versa, they all bond over them. She also bonds with other bookworms in our school’s Galley Club, where students can read and then review unpublished novels to help the authors and editors make changes before the final version is released.

Ayres is a bookworm for many reasons.

“Reading is calming and helps me relax when I am overwhelmed,” she said. “I love reading because it takes me to another place. It is almost a form of escape from my everyday life and can take me to places and situations I would never experience in my average world.”