Becoming a Reader

I’ve seen lots of books and ideas about how to raise readers or how to encourage your children to love books. I find these interesting. I’m not sure why I am a crazy reader. Yes, my AParents read in front of my brother and I, but reading aloud was not something I particularly remember. I’m sure it happened, but it doesn’t occupy a huge space in my brain as a Pleasant Childhood Memory. I remember really starting to burn through books when I was in grade 2, or 7 years old. I know I read before then, but that was when I really got into reading. We were living in England, in Greater London that school year, and I was in a different place and space, out of my comfort zone. As a family we travelled and saw a lot that year. Everyone was stretched as we encountered a different culture and coped with driving hazards like roundabouts, smaller sized items at the grocery store, and different names for things — torch instead of flashlight for example. I think that maybe I remember the reading I did that year because it helped me figure things out. I read books that were British, not Canadian, and they helped me figure out some vocabulary. Also the books were an escape into a different world. If being in a different school was stressful, I could escape by reading. These are just theories, the adult looking back and remembering what the child did. I don’t know if I knew that I was figuring things out or escaping at the time. No, I think I knew I was escaping. Even then I re-read. I re-read because I wanted to go back to that particular world and experience.

It turns out that a love of reading might be genetic. Seriously. 1Mom is a serious book addict just like me. Stick us in a used bookstore and we are good to go. I was pretty amused when I found this out. Both of us admit to reading as an escape mechanism. We get lost in the BookWorld.

When did you become a reader and why?

Reading is still an escape and it still helps me figure things out.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Becoming a Reader

  1. Alice

    I was always surrounded by readers — so both nature and nurture — but my circumstances when I really got into it were somewhat similar to yours. I was in grade 2 and we’d moved from one state to another (in the middle of the school year). I didn’t have any friends yet, and sometimes had a little trouble with the local accent. I discovered my older siblings’ Hardy Boy mysteries…every day after school I would run into my room and flop on the bed to read.

    I also read Heidi right around then — when I came to the scene where Heidi cries because she’s so homesick, I cried, too, and told my mother I wanted to go home. She explained that this was now our home…it was an interesting example, I think, of a book helping me realize/articulate my feelings.

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