Shackelford reads for fun, enjoyment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

This summer, 14-year-old Meg Shackelford read 10,085 pages. She was recognized for her achievement Tuesday at the Troy Public Library's summer reading awards program. But Shackelford didn't read all those pages just to beat everybody else.

"The main reason I did it was for enjoyment," she said. "If I didn't enjoy doing it than I wouldn't do it."

Shackelford has always enjoyed reading. Her favorite books to read are fiction, science fiction and Christian fiction and romance.

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When she was six or seven years old she and her family watched the movie "Gone With the Wind."

"I said that I was going to read that book," she said. "But I couldn't get through it, I didn't think it was as exciting as the movie."

But she's grown up a little bit since then and can appreciate the drama of a good book. Shackelford said her favorite part of any book is the characters.

"I like learning about new people and characters," she said. "I like to learn how they act towards each other and how they act in different situations."

It's that character development that keeps her coming back for more. In fact, the characters in a book determine whether or not Shackelford will count the story as good reading.

She said it's hard to read a book about characters she doesn't respect. For Shackelford, good values mean good books.

"Morals-you have to have a good basis and good morals," she said.

Shackelford said she tried reading books by a particular author and couldn't get into it because the characters didn't have values.

But Shackelford gets a little more out of a good book than sheer enjoyment.

"You learn a lot," she said. "You learn spelling, grammar and different ways of speaking."