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 Jamie from Bookmarked. 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 has always been a reader, and it was very important that her children love books, too. I’m pretty sure she read to me when I was still in the womb, so I really can’t remember a distinct “beginning” to my love of reading. I do remember one of my favorites being The Wind in the Willows and my mom taking me to see the play. This was a very big deal to my six-year-old self.
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 always did well in English so I enjoyed it. I do specifically remember in fifth grade there was an excerpt from Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars. I’m pretty sure I made my mom take me to the library that day so I could read the rest of the story. I think that’s what started me actively looking for things to read.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
No, I’m pretty boring. I do always use bookmarks, I never write in my books, and I always take the covers off of hardbacks while reading. I don’t typically lend my books out either, unless it’s to my mom. I’m very picky about keeping them in good condition.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
I usually read in my room or in the car. I lived way out in the country, so car rides were usually spent reading. I read The Saddle Club and Thoroughbred series in middle school. That was also when I read To Kill a Mockingbird, Night, and Death Be Not Proud for the first time. All three are still a few of my all-time favorites.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
Number the Stars was what spawned my interest in WWII, which stayed with me and had a huge impact on my college studies (Religion-Judaism). I didn’t read a whole lot in high school, but when I did it was adult fiction or nonfiction. Now that I am an adult, I read mostly YA. This flip-flop amuses me to no end.
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 do not have children (yet), but I very much look forward to incorporating books into their lives. Children learn by seeing, so I think just being surrounded by books and seeing me read will show them they should. I’m an advocate of reading anything, so if my kids only want to read the back of the cereal box, I will buy every kind they make.
I hope you enjoyed learning about her 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!