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 Heather from Book Addiction. 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 honestly cannot pinpoint my earliest memory involving reading, because my entire childhood was spent reading and surrounded by books! If I had to pick one thing out, there’s this picture of me reading a book on the floor of my hospital room when I was about 3 – I was a super early reader and had a lot of health problems as a kid, so books really got me though some of those tough times. I have to admit that I don’t really remember this part of my life very clearly since I was so young, but the picture makes it FEEL like an actual memory 😉
Reading was instilled in me from an early age because once my parents realized I loved being read to, they (especially my mom) would read to me constantly. We didn’t have a lot of money, so the library was encouraged as was re-reading books. I learned to read VERY young (just under 3) probably because I spent such a significant portion of my first few years surrounded by books and learning.
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 didn’t really enjoy language arts/English classes, not because I was a reluctant reader, but because I didn’t like the idea of someone else telling me what I have to read. I liked to choose my own books, and when I had to take a test on a book, the act of reading it became significantly less fun. I did find English/Reading classes to be my easiest subjects, though, so that was a bonus.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
The most interesting reading habit I had as a kid was the fact that I read everywhere. Literally. I read in the car, at baseball games, at the swimming pool, at family get-togethers, even while walking. I still make it a habit to bring a book anywhere I go, but it’s no longer to the point where it causes me to be anti-social.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
I would almost always read sitting on my floor with my back against my bed, laying on said floor, or laying on my bed. I still read in most of these same places. 🙂 The most memorable books I can think of from childhood are the Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. I read those books over and over again, I practically lived them.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
I would say that as I got older, my reading tastes have become more like actual tastes, and less like I will read anything I can get my hands on. When I was a kid, I didn’t really have anyone I could turn to for book recommendations, so I would just pick random books from the library that sounded good or that I knew were bestsellers based on their placement on the shelves. But with college came more literary-minded friends, and then book blogging came along, and now here we are. I now have a much better grasp of what I really enjoy reading and what is just okay to me. I also have a more astute sense of being able to decide whether I will like a book or not before picking it up.
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 (yet) but I do think that it’s important to encourage reading as a fun thing for kids to do, not a chore that they have to do. I have three younger siblings, and while my parents read to me a ton when I was little they sort of stopped with the three of them, and as a result I am the only one who enjoys reading as an adult. I think it’s super important to read to kids even at really young ages, and to be seen by kids reading. If they see that it’s a fun, engaging activity, they’ll be intrigued to try it themselves. Although I must admit that I fear bringing non-readers into the world! I sincerely hope my kids like reading even a fraction of how much I do. 😉
I hope you enjoyed learning about Heather 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!