Reading Roots: Darlyn from Darlyn and Books

March 15, 2011

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 Darlyn from Darlyn and Books. 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 mom forced me to read since I was 3. I don’t really remember but it was told by my aunt. She said I cried a lot when my mom said I’d never be a smart girl if I don’t know how to read. It was harsh but there’s a story behind it actually; my mom barely finished her high school and so was my dad. They were married so young and she just don’t want her children to be like her. Being forced to like something when you don’t
really like, made me know how to read fluently when I was 4 for Malay language and fluent for English when I was 5. She made me love the Famous Five, the Hardy Boys and The Naughty Girl, and mostly written by Enid Blyton. English books are considered very expensive and that was my beloved books in my possession. My mom and I are the only readers in the family. My other siblings don’t really read as much as my mom and I. But she read Malay fictions a lot and I’m the only person in family who reads English.

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 love English so much when I was in primary school. I love Spelling Bee the most and excelled in every competitions of it. It’s considered the proudest thing when I was a kid. LOL. But I guess I’m a late bloomer reader. When I was 13, my best friend Inayah lent me R L Stine and Christopher Pike’s books. The Goosebumps and The Last Vampire Saga are my favorite and my reading habits never stop ever since. Inayah was like my book’s source. We shared the same reading interests and she is like my biggest influencer.

Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?

I don’t think I have interesting habits. I guess I’m just an avid
reader who just loves to read. Maybe this one is considered as a
habit; I can’t read an unwrapped book. So, all my books are wrapped neatly and nicely with unprinted plastic wrapper. That’s the only weird habit I have. That’s why I don’t borrow books from library and friends who don’t wrap their books.

Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?

I don’t have a particular favorite reading spot. I can and will read anywhere I find it’s okay to read where the book and I are safe. But let say that I love reading at my desk.

I think I remember all books I’ve read when I was a kid. If a
distinctly remember from my childhood that would probably a book which I stole from my school library; Treasure Island, a hardback version with beautiful graphics. That is a secret! LOL.

How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?

I think the pattern doesn’t differ much. I still love mystery,
thrillers, suspense and fantasy. Only that, I start to read YA too
much lately. I think maybe everyone is reading it now and I think it’s a trend. Or maybe I don’t read YA much when I’m a teen. I’m twenties now but I guess I just like to consider myself very much like an old person.

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 think my mom’s method is a good way. LOL. I don’t have kids yet but having little cousins really taught me encouraging them to read. I love helping them reading school books and sometimes I read them stories from Dr. Seuss. They love them so much and sometimes I treat them by buying used story books (Well, it’s all I can do). Graphical story books really help a lot. It attracts their interest and enhances their reading creativities and imaginations. Sometimes they like to question whys and ifs which help them to think and love reading. My advice is to just let them read whatever they want and a little
guidance will help a lot. But supervision is crucial and a must. =)

I hope you enjoyed learning about Darlyn 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!

4 Comments

  • Darlyn March 15, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Thanks so much Carina for having me!

  • Teacher/Learner March 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Wow, what great stories about your early reading years! I think being encouraged to read to further your education by your parents gave them opportunity to offer more for you than they had for themselves. And now you’re passing that love of reading on to your cousins 🙂

  • Helen Murdoch March 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I can’t believe she was reading in two languages by 5. Very impressive. I just introduced my daughter to Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series, which I read when I was her age (10) and that’s been fun to revisit the stories with her

  • Amy March 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    That is impressive both that you read so early and that you enjoyed it so much after being forced into it! Great to hear more about your early reading days Darlyn.

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