Reading Roots: Kathleen from SMS Book Reviews

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 Kathleen from SMS Book Reviews. 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”?

Although I have memories from age 5 I don’t remember anything with regards to reading. My mom says I probably learned in school in Grade 1 but she doesn’t remember either. I do know though that ever since I was able to read well on my own I read lots of books. We owned books and we went to the library often. My mom is a reader (more then than now) but I never saw my dad reading. My brother read too.

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”?

No I was a fast reader from fairly early on. Most kids can read books themselves without too much help at age 8. I know at least at age 9 I was reading books in the classroom faster than everyone else and my speed just increased with age. Whenever we were all reading a book to ourselves but as a class, I was the first one done but a long shot. I loved doing book reports. I love spelling and grammar and yes, I loved Language Arts/English.

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

Nothing comes to mind.

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

I’d read anywhere. Outside in the summer, on my bed, in a chair, on the couch. It didn’t matter to me. I remember Amelia Bedelia books, I loved those. Later it was Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin and Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. I read children’s nonfiction too on many subjects but especially science (especially animals and pet care), babysitting and the arts (songs, putting on plays, poems etc.)

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

I read way more nonfiction than fiction now although it was more balanced for me as a kid. I didn’t really go through any phases. As a kid it was split fairly evenly. As a teenager I was already reading more nonfiction than fiction, probably because I LOVED learning new things and that’s where nonfiction came in. Now as an adult, it’s even more nonfiction and even less fiction.

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?

My children are 31/2 and 5. I am encouraging my children to become readers by reading to them often and they also see me reading my books a lot. They will play with my books, pretending to read them and they “read” their own books, either making it up or recalling it word for word if it’s one of their favourites. I give books to other people as presents and my children see that. We have lots of books in the house and visit the library often. My five year old is learning to read and is doing very well. I read her a book and we talked about how it takes a while to learn to read as fast as adult but that when they can, they will enjoy reading even more as they can read anything they want themselves. I plan to continue these practices with my unborn child when he comes.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Kathleen 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!

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