Monday, June 20, 2011

Discussion: Who got you into reading?

I wasn't always a reader, though reading was always part of my life. For example, when I was a little kid, my mom and I would read Laura Ingalls Wilder books in bed before I went to sleep each night. It was, at that time, rare for me to actually want to read. I was busy climbing trees and scraping my knee and all that fun stuff. 

Then, in fourth grade, I had a teacher who was a total bibliophile. I can't even remember the challenges she'd give us, but she would give us challenges to read certain books, or a certain number of books or something. Most students didn't do them, but for some reason her absolute passion for reading just infused me with desire for these paper filled tomes of wonder. I started devouring them and I haven't stopped since. 

Therefore, if I was asked, "who got you into reading?" My answer would be, "my fourth grade teacher." Her passion for literature was contagious, and all these years later, I still feel it. 

What about you? Who got you into reading? 

9 comments:

  1. My mom. I don't remember her ever NOT reading something. To the point where she would be no happier than killing an entire day sitting in the sun with a book and a bowl of sunflower seeds. She showed me that books are where your imagination can run wild. Which is why I now am inseparable from my Nook.

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  2. My parents. I mean, my mom named me after an Anne McCaffrey character! I can't recall a time when my mom or my dad wasn't reading. As the youngest child of 4, growing up on a street with no other children, I spent a lot of time alone. I turned that time alone into time with books. I was reading at 5th grade level at the age of 5, I was obsessed with biology books especially. If it was about animals or dinosaurs I read it.

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  3. I assume my parents and probably my paternal grandmother but I don't remember it. The (possibly apocryphal) story is that I came home from the first day of kindergarten saying that I didn't want to go back--they weren't going to teach me to read.

    There's also a photo somewhere with toddler me in a crib surrounded by books.

    In school, my 5th grade teacher really pushed books, but I was already hooked.

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  4. My patents were always reading and the library was like our temple. I always remember my mom reading to me. It was the only time I would cuddle with her, so she did it frequently.
    I've been reading since I was 4. I still remember it was a book about Big Bird.
    In Kindergarten I got to go to 1st grade everyday to learn to read.
    I've been hooked since day one.
    Now I have a master's degree in lit and am working on a PhD.
    I agree with Thomas Jefferson, "I cannot live without books."

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  5. My parents. They were always reading and my dad read to me every night before bed until I was eight. That little one on one hour every day meant the world to me and gave me a love for books that will be with me for the rest of my life!

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  6. I'd love to say that nobody really got me into reading, that I've always been a reader, but in truth, it was really an ironic consequence of a decision that my parents made when I was 9. My parents were big on elaborate and needless punishments. I don't even remember what I was being punished for, but whatever the reason, the punishment was that everything but my bed and my clothes were taken away from me. No toys, no anything. I wasn't allowed to leave my room except to go to school, meals, or the bathroom. It was to be this way for a month.

    So I did the only thing that I could do. I read. I started with reading my school textbooks, but quickly discovered that if I brought home books from the school library, my parents wouldn't or couldn't take them from me, so that's what I started doing. And while it would have been so easy for me to learn to resent reading thanks to this experience (or rather "these experiences", since this is a punishment my parents gave me more than once), I actually found that I loved reading. I'd always loved writing, making up and telling stories, and now I found that I liked reading them as much as writing them. I spent my entire grounding with my nose in various books.

    So it wasn't something they intended, and over the years my bibliophilia has annoyed them more than once, but ultimately it was thanks to my parents that I became a big fan of reading.

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  7. My dad. Oddly enough, of my parents, my mom was the sci-fi/fantasy reader, but it was my dad who bought me books (my first Star Trek novels) or passed them on to me when he had read them (Jurassic Park, Watership Down).

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  8. For me it was my dad who got me into reading. It sorta happened inadvertently during my early elementary school years, and I just outright refused to pick up a book and do the reading assignment that was to be my homework. And then my dad in an effort to get my homework done, and done on time, sat me in a corner and gave me the first book of the Harry Potter series, telling me that I couldn't move until I read at least the first two chapters (and after sitting moodily for an hour or so I finally relented) and was hooked from that moment on.

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