Posted weekly on Tuesdays, Reading Roots features a variety of book bloggers talking about their early reading influences and experiences, letting us catch a glimpse of the “roots” that each person has built upon in forming their identity as “a reader”.
Today, I’m interviewing Amy from Reading Teen. Let’s explore her reading roots!
What is your earliest memory involving books or reading? How were books, reading, and literacy approached in your childhood home? Were your parents or other family members “readers”?
My earliest memory was Mrs.Carnes my kindergarten teacher teaching me to read. I went to a private school, so they actually taught the kindergartners there, not just play games. It’s funny, I can still remember going through the alphabet with the class and reciting out loud… A-apple, B-Ball, C-Cat and so on…
No one in my family were readers. My parents did not encourage me to read and it wasn’t important to them at all. Sadly, I did not read as a child or even as a teen. I only read when my teachers required it.
Did you enjoy language arts/English classes as a kid, or were you more of a reluctant reader? When did you first consider yourself “a reader”?
I loved English class, it was my favorite subject. History was my second favorite subject, but it was English that I excelled in. Don’t ask me about math, I just might crawl under the table. I wasn’t a reluctant reader, I’ve always been a confident reader. Standing up in the middle of class reading out loud was no problem for me. I just didn’t enjoy reading, it was always a struggle for me to get involved in the storyline. I played outside a lot as a child.
I first considered myself a reader after the Harry Potter series came out and I started listening to the brilliant Jim Dale read on audiobook. I couldn’t stand not knowing what happened to Harry next, when I wasn’t driving in the car, so I started to actually read the books. I would look funny just sitting in the car in my driveway just listening to Harry Potter (which I have done on numerous occasions). After HP, my teen daughter was reading YA books and really getting into them. I decided I wanted to know what she was reading. Was the content clean? Appropriate for her age? I was curious, so I started to read the YA books she was reading. I wanted know the questions to ask her. Now, that’s pretty much all I read and I’m loving it!
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
No. No habits while growing up. I do have some now. I like to drink coffee while reading, and the room I am reading in, has to be clean or it distracts me. I like to be comfy also. T-shirt and my favorite pair of jeans, hair in a ponytail. I’m noticing that I crave a bowl of soup while reading a good book. If I’m not craving soup than the book is probably not doing it for me.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
I know that when I had to read required books for school, I read outside on my swing set. I would get lost more in my toes drawing in the sand though rather than the story in the book. For some reason I always made a pretty good grade on my book reports. I guess I was born to be a blogger.
Old Yeller, Annie and The Wizard of Oz, were the ones I remember growing up. If I had to pick a favorite, that would be Annie. I loved Annie! Mostly because of the movie with Carol Burnett but I do remember reading the book a couple of times.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
My taste have changed along with my food palate. I used to love sweet Annie now I need something spicy like Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. I’m not sure of my book phase but I also love salty so would that be MockingJay by Suzanne Collins? Hmmm.
Bonus Literacy Question: If you have children, how did you encourage them (or how are you encouraging them) to become readers? If you do not have children of your own, what do you think is the most important thing to focus on in order to promote reading in the coming generations?
Yes, I have five wonderful children. My children are required to read. It is mandatory in the house like brushing their teeth and bathing. They are all involved in book blogs, Reading Teen & Reading Tween. I was blessed with a couple of avid readers but all my children have to read and blog (book reports) for home school. Since I am their teacher I can get away with a lot. They enjoy blogging and it is producing some major self-confident kids!
What I would focus on is your local library, to keep them open for the future generations to come. Donate books to your local library or do as my children do and volunteer your time to help shelve books and read books to the little children.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Amy as much as I did! If you haven’t read her blog before, I suggest that you go take a look.
See you next week for a look into the “roots” of another fantastic blogger!