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 Jackie from Literary Escapism. 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 would have to be about Charlotte’s Web by EB White. I’m not sure why, but I always had a copy of it somewhere in my room and would read it three or four times a year. Even now I could still tell you what the basis of the story is and I haven’t read it since high school. It was also one of the first books that I bought to add to my son’s collection, once we started getting books with more than five pages in them. *grin*
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 always been a reader. I was that kid who was grounded from books because my nose was always in one. Seriously.
I totally enjoyed my language classes – I graduated from high school with the equivalent of six years of a foreign language (3 years Spanish, 2 years German, 1 year French) plus I made sure to get into the advance English classes since they were the Lit classes. I wasn’t always thrilled with what they wanted me to read – for some reason, the classics really don’t do anything for me – but I still read them because it meant I got to talk about them the next day in class.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
I don’t know. I never really thought about whether I had any habits or not. Even now, reading is simply reading. I do it to relax, unwind or simply to get away from whatever is frustrating me. Plus it’s the perfect companion. I generally always have a book with me – it’s a requirement that whatever new purse I have, a book must be able to get into it.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
On the floor. I’m not sure why, but whenever I think about where I read as a child, I’m always on the floor. Whether I’m laying down, sitting up or sprawled somewhere, I’m reading a book on the floor. There are two books I distinctly remember. The first one is EB White’s Charlotte’s Web. The second is a bit more risqué. It’s one of those trashy romance novels, which probably had Fabio on the cover although I can’t remember exactly. The only reason it stands out is because I was 13 at the time and staying in a hotel with a bunch of friends and they decided to start reading it aloud. Of course, they weren’t picking the action scenes or the dialogue. No, they went straight to the sex scenes. What can I say, my mother was a fan of the trashy romance and I came by it honestly.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
Other than Charlotte’s Web, I remember reading various romance novels. I had (and still do) a preference for those novels that were set in times long ago – medievel knights, revolutionary damsels, pirates. There were just something about those that clicked more than the westerns.
However, now, I haven’t read a romance novel in so long. Now it needs to have a vampire or warlock or shapeshifter to get my attention. I no longer want to escape to the past, but to some place completely different.
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?
Oh yeah, my kid is becoming just as much of a bookworm as I am. It helps that my husband enjoys reading, but we’re constantly getting him books. His library is easily as large as mine is and he loves hitting the bookstore just as much. When I started receiving books to review in the mail, he actually got jealous. Whenever a packaged showed up, he would want to know if it was for him. After awhile, I started getting on Bookmooch.com and finding books for him, just so he would start to receive books. He loves it. I think my proudest moment was when I realized what the first building he recognized was – it was our library. Oh yeah. Even now, an acceptable field trip is to a library.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Jackie 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!