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 Daisy from Queer YA. 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 can remember being very small, in bed one morning awake before anyone else, and holding a book up to my face so I could read the words. I learned to read when I was two and I didn’t get glasses until I was three – not sure if reading was the cause of my bad vision or just how my parents discovered it so early.
Yes, I really did learn to read at two – my parents have it on tape! They say that they didn’t teach me; apparently I learned the basics from Sesame Street and then they started teaching me things when they saw my interest.
Both of my parents read fiction for fun – my mom more than my dad, but he still buys every Stephen King book as soon as it comes out.
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”?
Whatever the opposite of “reluctant reader” is, that’s me. Antonym dictionaries have my picture next to “reluctant reader.” In my entire life beginning at age two, I have never *not* been in the middle of a book. Loved language arts, hated math and science until college, when I realized you didn’t have to be one or the other.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
I never finish a book I don’t like – there are too many in the world that I will enjoy, including 529 on my Goodreads to-read shelf. I’ve always been that way. I used to read only one book at a time, but now I usually have at least three going, including an audiobook in the car.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
I wish I had an awesome answer to the spot question like “this cool treehouse my brother built” or “an old bathtub in the garage that I lined with antique quilts,” but it was usually the couch or my bedroom floor, or (later when I took public transit to school) on the el.
Childhood favorites included a lot of series – Ramona Quimby, Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie – and a lot of classics. My parents liked Stephen King, so I read his pretty early, and my mom would pass on books she’d finished like Gone with the Wind, The Thorn Birds, and this book called Ballerina that I still love.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
As a child, I would read pretty much anything except fantasy or science fiction. I’ve discovered these genres as an adult, but as a kid I was all about realism. I also like narrative nonfiction nowadays, and I’ve gotten into the YA dystopia thing quite a bit. I’ve never liked poetry, romances, or graphic novels.
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 kids, but as a public librarian, I want all kids to READ FOR PLEASURE. If your kid wants to read something you think is crap – whether that’s comics, magazines, series fiction, etc. – get over it and let them read it. Let them see you reading, and read things (sometimes) that you wouldn’t mind passing on to them when you’re done.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Daisy 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!