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 Jill from Fizzy Thoughts. 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”?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any particular early memories of books or reading. Or even learning how to read. I just know that I always had books in my room, and I was always in the advanced reading groups. While neither one of my parents were readers, they never discouraged me from reading. My mom does read more now than she did when I was a kid. However, we don’t have the same taste in books, so there’s not a whole lot of book sharing going on. When you look at my extended family, the book junkies start to pop up. One of my aunts and a couple of cousins are avid readers. In fact, my aunt and one of my cousins were both English teachers, My aunt was always giving me thesauri and dictionaries and reference books for Christmas.
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 loved English. Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t decide to major in it. In fact, I regret not majoring in it (I don’t use my history degree, so I’d rather have all that lovely literature knowledge floating around in my brain). I can recall my high school English classes much more vividly than my History classes. And I’ve always been considered a reader, by myself as well as friends and family.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
I’ve always loved to stay up late on weekends reading. And I always feel guilty, like I’m doing something forbidden. I used to lie to my parents when they’d ask how late I’d been up. My dad would say he’d seen the light under the door, and I’d say I fell asleep with it on.
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
As a kid, I always read in my room, sprawled across my bed. But that’s something that I rarely do now…I prefer a cushy chair. It’s much easier on the neck! As for memorable books, I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond and all of the Anne of Green Gables books.
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
As a young teenager I was in to Fantasy. I loved it. Then it was Harlequin Romances. I blame this on my aunt the English teacher…that is all she reads! I think there’s a recessive gene floating around the family tree for genre fiction. I still like to read the occasional paranormal romance, although you’d never guess it from my blog. As an adult, I’ve gravitated towards female authors, usually of the literary fiction variety. Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve been reading more non-fiction…I think I finally recovered from all those boring textbooks I had to read in college! There were years where I couldn’t bear to even think of reading non-fiction. And over the past year my reading has changed yet again and I’m seeking out some of those classics that I’ve never read but always felt I should.
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 I think the most important thing to emphasize is that any book is a good book. Reading should be fun, and if graphic novels float your boat, then graphic novels are a Good Thing. If Harlequin Romances do it for you, than hallelujah. I don’t like snobbery when it comes to reading.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Jill 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!