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 Kristi from The Story Siren. 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 mother and I lived with my grandparents shortly after I was born until I was five years old. My grandma read to me every day and every night before bed. The earliest books I can remember were two huge hardcovers I had… one was read and one was blue, they were about Nursery Rhymes. I wish I had them today. But I’m sure they were very well loved to pieces!
Books were always prominent in my home. My mother along with my grandparents were huge readers. My mother is still a huge reader to this day and was just over this weekend raiding my bookshelves.
Growing up I was always encourages to read and write. I was in an accelerated reading program from the time I started school. I think I had to have my mom buy me a book every time we got the Scholastic book order in class, and I’d often blow my entire savings yearly when the Scholastic book fair come to school.
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 language arts and English classes! We always had programs where you could get extra credit for reading books and then taking a test over the book after you read it. I was all over that! I read some of my favorite books durning those times!
I’d often finish the in class reading requirements in class so my teachers would always give me ‘extra’ things to read. One of the things I still remember today is when my seventh grade LA teacher had me read the short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. That story still haunts me today! The same LA teacher submitted a poem I wrote about the story of Anne Frank. I wish I had a copy of that! My mother didn’t believe that I had actually written it. Thank you Mr. Stefanski for encouraging my love of reading and writing.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
I didn’t really have any reading habits…. Although I am one of those readers that could have the world coming to an end around them and not even know it. I’m still like that today. I can tune anything and everything out. My husband always talks to me while I’m reading… and gets mad at me when I say…. “what?”
Where was your favourite spot to read as a kid? Are there any books you distinctly remember from your childhood? Why?
My room was my favorite spot. My two sisters are six and seven years younger than I am…. so they were very big into big sister. My room was one of the only spots that I could get away from them to get some actual reading done! There are so many books I remember from my childhood! I read anything and everything! I loved Jan Brett’s books because of the BEAUTIFUL illustrations. The Island of Blue Dolphins, Giver, The Fledging (I just picked it up because it was a Newbery Honor Book… I thought if books had those silver or gold seals on them, they must be special!), The Castle in the Attic. I loved Amelia Bedelia… The Boxcar Children, The Babysitter’s Club, Goosebumps…. I could go on!
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
I’m still a big fan of fantasy and paranormal and have been since a child. I read Vampire Diaries in elementary school and was so excited to see it come back…. I loved all things far from normal.
When I was in high school I didn’t read very much, and when I did read it was usually Michael Creighton or some literary classic we were required to read for school. I never had a YA…. no Judy Blume for me.
College cut out my reading completely, unless it was a textbook. (Besides HP… I had to make time to get those books in!)
Then after college is when I got addicted to YA. Sort of a strange way of getting there, but it worked out rather nicely I think!
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?
Well… I don’t have children…. but I think something to focus on to promote reading, is to encourage them to find a book that works for them.
I think a lot of times people, not just kids, are turned off by reading because they’ve only been exposed to books that are ‘required’ reading in school. They don’t realize that there are tons of other genres out there, one that they would probably enjoy if they’d only take a chance. I really do believe there is a book out there for everyone.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Kristi 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!