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 Carrie from Nomad Reader. 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”?
I’m fairly certain it wasn’t the actual earliest memory, but I remember getting to meet Marc Brown at my brother’s elementary school library when I was four. Given how excited I remember being, I must have already been enjoying the Arthur books. It was my earliest celebrity signing, and I treasured his personalized autograph for years.
Truthfully, I may not have an earliest reading memory because I can’t remember a time in my life without books. Everyone in my family is a reader. My parents read to me and read for pleasure. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, and one of the first stops in a new town was always the library to get our new library cards.
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’ve been a reader as long as I can remember. I enjoyed English classes, but I often enjoyed my pleasure reading more. In elementary school, I was always eager to finish the in-class work so I could read my book until the other students finished. Although there were a few required books I enjoyed, I was mostly obsessed with the series books as a child. I knew what day the bookstore put out the Sweet Valley Twins, Baby-Sitters Club, Sleepover Friends, Fabulous Five and (later) Sweet Valley High. The characters felt like my best friends, and I could never wait to read about their latest adventures.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
I loved books in a series and sequels then, and I still do. There is something so comforting to me as a reader to revisit beloved characters. The series I read now are all mysteries, but when sequels come out of favorite books, it’s always a celebration.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
We moved around a lot, and my reading spots moved around a lot too. There were times I tried to make my bedroom feel like an apartment, and I’d build a reading nook (with pillows and stuffed animals) in my closet so I had a reading room. There were times I liked to read on the family room couch. I read a lot in bed, as I don’t know that I had other furniture in my room, and I’ve always enjoyed my privacy. The spot that sticks out most in my mind is a spot I didn’t have until my senior year of high school. We moved (again), and I had a loveseat in my room for the first time. It was right next to a window, and I have the fondest memories of reading the hours away next to the window on my very own loveseat.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
As a child and teen, I mostly enjoyed realistic fiction, or at least contemporary fiction. I gravitated to coming of age stories about people mostly like me. As an adult reader, I still adore coming of age stories, but I’m much more interested in writing than character. I love to identify with characters who inhabit different times and places. Writing is so much more important to me than setting or character. I love character-driven novels, but they don’t need to be so much like me anymore. I still adore novels, love some nonfiction and occasionally become enchanted with short stories. Now, I mostly read literary fiction. I would probably appreciate all the books I begrudgingly read in school so much more now.
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?
I don’t have children yet, but my husband and I are both readers. One of our favorite things to do is sit next to each and read. Occasionally we’ll stop to discuss something, but it’s a lesson we both learned in our families, which are both full of readers. Reading can be a solitary activity, but in our house, we can all sit in the same room and read our books.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Carrie 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!