When I was but a wee bairn, I loved to read books because of the colors on the pages. Not the pictures, but the words. Different words had different pastel colors, and the pages were filled with disorganized rainbows.
I remember mentioning this in fourth grade to some friends, and they looked at me like I was crazy. Which I guess I was, since I apparently suffered from synesthesia, a condition in which people have difficulty distinguishing between various sensory inputs. Poor little me saw words as colors. But I never got confused — although I was sometimes distracted; words and colors were distinct in my head.
Anyway, convinced that what I saw was wrong, and being a geeky boy who wanted to fit in, I started to ignore the colors. They went away — whether because of and now the pages of books are just one color.
A few years ago I found out a co-worker was familiar with the phenomenon, and had a good friend who still was synesthetic. That’s when I learned I wasn’t some kind of freak, and started to really miss the colors.
I think being synesthetic at a young age affected how I read. While colors are gone, I still see pages as filled with different densities of letters — something that’s similar, but not identical, to the weight of letters in areas of that page. I don’t start at the beginning of a sentence; instead, my eye falls to a comfortable, soft place in a paragraph, maybe next to a corner, and I move backwards from there, then forwards the rest of the way, sometimes skipping if there’s a line in the text that draws my eye. It sounds pretty awful, but I actually read very quickly and with excellent comprehension.
I see things that other people don’t. But I’m not crazy! Not crazy at all!