Discussion- Have you always been an enthusiastic reader?

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I got to thinking about my history with books and reading. I was raised with a family of readers. I was able to gauge my growth by how much I could see over the counter at the library. I think we made a trip there and to the bookstore weekly with my parents and sister. I can’t even fathom a moment of my life that wasn’t impacted by books.

I have one sister that is four years older than me. Her and my mother gravitated to fantasy and I’d listen to them talk about all these books they were both reading and discussing. This made me crazy eager to know what they were talking about (first one was Dragonlance). I began my venture into adult fantasy in fourth grade. I was such a reader in fact that my gym teacher actually allowed me to sit out to read. I have no clue how I managed that. It wasn’t an everyday thing but she let it happen on occasion.

My father was a reader of about anything but he always seemed to appreciate science fiction over other genres. I’ll admit, I was much slower to get into science fiction than fantasy. I had such an easier time connecting to a world with dragons and swords than that of space. As I’ve gotten older though I’ve grown more and more in love with sci- fi.

This continued throughout my life- my sister and parents influenced so much of the books I read. I can thank my sister for introducing me to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and George RR Martin. I’m so grateful that reading was such a focus in my family and I wonder if I’d have gotten into it if they weren’t all such fans.

So I wonder, have you always loved to read or did it develop over time?

Comments

  1. Natasha says

    I’ve always loved reading. When I was little my grandma always read to me or would record herself reading on a cassette so I could listen to it later. I inherited her books when she passed and I had plenty of my own so in my last apartment I turned my spare room into a library and put a plaque above the door that said “The Jeannine Schumacher Memorial Library” in her honor.

  2. says

    I remember loving to read when I was young. I was the only girl in the family that’s why my brothers and cousins doesn’t usually like including me while playing because they fear I might get hurt so I just go home and read with my mom. But another thing that I can remember is not liking when school give us assigned readings. I just don’t like the feeling of telling me what to read and when to read it. I read for fun and not because it’s a task.

    • says

      I always preferred to read my own choices too. Even if the school gave us a list and we choose that was better than being forced to read a specific book.

  3. says

    Sounds wonderful with a family of readers… On the other hand I can’t complain. Both my parents like to read, although they don’t spend that much time on doing it as I do. And my grandmother is reading everything she gets her hands on (She read my Harry Potter-books faster than I did!). My father is a big fan of comics, so I startet with comics. As soon as I could read I spent most of my time reading books, a lot of them I got from my parents and friends of them.
    My younger brother also loves reading, and as I do especially comics and fantasy. So only our sister stands out… She’s reading a book here and then, but very few. And she prefers love storys πŸ˜€

    • says

      I love that your dad loves comics! My mom read Harry Potter too! It was so awesome being able to talk books with them but they read a lot less these days. I’d be lost without our bookish community for sure.

      • says

        Comics are great πŸ˜€ I can always discuss them with my father and my brother. But I’m glad I can talk about books with the growing community here, too. Most people around read less and none of my friends reads in english, so they often don’t know the books I’m talking about (but as long as they tolerate me talking about books all the time it’s fine^^)

  4. says

    I think it developed slowly over time for me. When I was a kid, I like reading but I didn’t go looking for books to read. Ironically I really got into reading when my parents bought my sister the first four books to the HP series. I ended up devouring them while my sister didn’t read beyond the second book lol. It’s so nice that your whole family reads! Nobody in my family reads so I don’t really have anyone to talk books with at home….. I’m so glad for the whole book community being so welcoming πŸ˜€

    • says

      I’m so grateful to our book community. I’ve forced a couple of books on my family members and they ended up liking them! But they don’t read nearly as much as they did when I was younger. I keep hoping I can push a book on them they’ll become obsessed with. I was so pumped that both my dad and sister really enjoyed The Bone Season. I need to make them read The Mime Order, haha.

  5. says

    I loved reading when I was kid but all that stopped when I got to the age of ten where it was “no longer acceptable to enjoy reading” in my peer group. Luckily, a few years later I started reading non-stop again and I wish I had never stopped when I was younger.

  6. says

    During my childhood I was a member of several book clubs (not at the same time) and I had a LOT of books because of it. Obviously I didn’t read at the same pace as I do now, but I always enjoyed reading. My summers basically consisted of reading at my grandparent’s fruit farm. Also, my brother and I lived for Harry Potter. We listened to the audio books every single day (while also playing with the HP Lego).

    Then when I was in Secondary School and High School, I went into a year long reading slump because I felt like I didn’t have the time or brain capacity to read other books than those for school.

    That slump ended after my first year at University and I am now a happy reader, and even “worse” than I was when I was a kid πŸ˜€

    What a great post, Kristen! πŸ˜€ Both interesting and engaging.

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

  7. Maraia says

    I was also raised in a family of readers, so I come by my love of reading honestly. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV (only movies), so the time that most kids spent watching TV, I spent reading. I have fond memories of weekend breakfasts, which were eaten together at the table, each of us engrossed in a book. I’m so grateful to my parents for making reading something that I can’t live with out. I pity my non-reader friends. πŸ™‚

    I definitely take after my dad’s reading preferences more than my mom’s. He’s always read lots of fantasy, and that’s what I gravitated toward early on. Actually, he read almost all of the books I was reading as a kid. Since I don’t have any siblings, it was really nice to be able to talk about my books with him, and I guess for him it was a good way to keep up with what I was doing. He hasn’t done that since I left home, of course, but even now we recommend fantasy series to each other. He introduced me to Robin Hobb, one of my favorites!

    Great discussion!

  8. Sierra says

    I couldn’t read until almost 2nd grade (my school at the time started at kindergarten) so my grandma bought me the Hooked On Phonics box set and I only got through 2 or 3 of the 5 boxes and already knew how to read. No one but me, my younger brother, and maybe a cousin out there somewhere reads so I can’t talk to anyone about books. When I was younger and really got into reading series (Goosebumps, Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderwick Chronicles) my mom got me two bookshelves and always encourage me to read when I could and by the time I was 12/13 I read all four of those massive Twilight books. I’d say that’s pretty good for someone who couldn’t read until they were almost seven.

  9. says

    While neither of my parents are big readers I have always been a huge reader. I can’t remember not loving books every πŸ™‚ My sister on the other hand used to hate reading! My parents had to make her read for a certain amount of time each week but something happened and now she loves reading as much as me πŸ˜‰ Great post!

  10. says

    My family reads a lot, too. My mom’s a developmental psychologist and she worked on how reading aloud helps small children improve their vocabulary and such, so we always had a lot of that – my brother (he’s two years younger) and I would crawl into the big bed and we’d listen to mom reading to us.
    Later I started going to the library at least once a week and I devoured books – both the classics and the pulp-fiction type books that my parents weren’t too happy about. I used to read with a little flashlight under the covers after I was supposed to be asleep.
    My first adult fantasy book was Lord of the Rings, which is kind of cliche, but it made me fall in love with high fantasy for which I will be forever grateful πŸ™‚
    Great post, as usual πŸ™‚

  11. says

    I love this post! I may be inspired to write one of my own like this (with a link to yours, of course).

    My parents made sure my life was full of reading! My dad loves sci-fi, fantasy, and books about history. My mom loves mysteries and thrillers (she mostly won’t read a book without a murder involved in some way). I can remember countless trips to the library and bookstores throughout my life.

    I love that my parents were not only supportive of my reading, but were just as crazy about it as I am!

  12. says

    I’ve always been a reader. My mom read to me and my sister like crazy when we were little, she’d take us to the library and bookstore and we loved it. Which is interesting, because as long as she’s been a mom, she hasn’t read that much for herself (she used to, she says, but doesn’t much anymore). I went through a phase in college where I read less and watched tons of TV, but that ended up being an activity that was too passive, for me, if that makes sense… I like the activity of reading more. I got back into it a few years ago thanks to my sister recommending a string of amazing books to me, that I devoured, and the rest is history. ^_^

  13. says

    I’ve always loved to read! Somedays I would be very difficult about getting up for school until my mom agreed to take me to the bookstore after school. Have to say though – adult fantasy in 4th grade? I’m impressed!

  14. says

    I grew up in a family of readers. I loved to read as a child and could not get enough. However in middle and high school I stopped loving to read. I hated all but one book I had to read in school and decided that reading was just not for me after all. These adult books sucked! Little did I know I was only exposed to ones that dried out my interest. I got back into it in college. As much as I do not like Oprah, she did bring the reading movement back and she inspired me to buy Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. And, much to my surprise, I loved it. After that, I was hooked for life.

  15. says

    I’ve always loved reading. It kinda took a nose dive during university because I simply didn’t even have time to read all my assigned coursework! But after university I was so happy to be able to read again. I think I read more every year.

  16. says

    Aw, hugs. <3 I love this post Kristen. And YAY! My sister is also four years older than me πŸ™‚ How awesome, hih. And aw, I love that you have loved reading for that long, and started that young πŸ™‚ That's amazing. But oh. Me. Well. I didn't read much at all growing up. Sad face. I read a few short books while in school, but not many, and I didn't want to read more at that time. Sigh. But then I read The Darren Shan Saga in 8th grade. And I fell in love. Then I heard about Twilight. So I read book one. Then watched movie one just after it had come out. And I loved them so much. (Doubt I would today, though. Sad face.) But yeah. Then started my reading journey πŸ™‚ I found Twilight. And then I found twitter. And people. And then I discovered blogging. Sigh. So much love. <3 Anyway. Awesome post sweetie πŸ™‚

  17. says

    Oh, this is a nice post. If anything, I’d say that my love of reading was even stronger when I was very young. I can remember asking my grandmother to read the same books over and over – (including one of my favorites about a little piglet.)

    I grew up in a very small town, and while I have a vague memory of it, I don’t think I visited it much. Our town was so small that even the grocery store was a bit of a hike, so I’m sure the library was, too. I know I owned a lot of books, but it’s hard to remember where they would have been purchased. When we traveled, I would always be allowed to purchase books from the airport bookstores. And I’d get to buy books when I visited my grandparents in the great metropolis of Albany, NY, so it was always a special experience.

  18. says

    My parents were always readers– my mother moreso– so I was raised to be an enthusiastic reader. I spent a lot of time at the library when I was a kiddo. My mom would take me to the downtown library a few times a month. I would read picture books while I was there, but I would take home stacks of chapter books– enough to last me to the next library visit. In elementary school, I was the library page. A few times a month, I would go to the library before classes started and shelve books or stamp the return date onto library cards. The love of books and libraries hasn’t diminished in adulthood!

  19. says

    I have always been an enthusiastic reader. I learned to read at 3 years old and would read anything I could get my hands on. However, the first books that really stick out in my mind as books I got LOST in, were the Goosebumps books. I’m sure I got lost in books I had read before that, but I think I always knew I was still reading, and I was still aware of the world around me. But with the goosebumps books, I really think that might have been the first time I got transported into the world of the book and became unaware of the real world.

  20. says

    This is a really late reply, but as far back as I can remember, I’ve loved reading. My parents read to me from infant-hood, so I was an early reader (3 or 4), and I couldn’t get enough books throughout elementary school. (We were only allowed to check out 2 books from the school library but since my mom was an assistant, I could check out more.) Middle school, I lagged a bit (I did a lot of rereading), but in recent years, I’ve started reading more and more. I love hearing about reading journeys, so great post!

  21. says

    I have always been a reader! I was recently watching a little recap of my life and there are a lot of photos where I have a book in my hand! I have been reading since I was a child, and with time the addiction to words has grown. It’s never going to end, I believe <3

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