Reading Roots: Lauren from Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

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 Lauren from Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf. 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”?

One of my earliest memories involving books would be the weekly library trips my mom used to take me on when I was just about three or four. I clearly remember being so excited to find brand new books, which at that time usually had to do with some of my favorite types of animals (like pandas and monkeys), to read, because even then I was a big reader and read nearly everything in sight.

Books, reading, and literary were always approached in my childhood with lots of enthusiasm. While my dad has never been a big reader, my mom was and still is an ardent book lover, so she always has supported my reading addiction- even when I already had ways too many books to handle at once, which happens more frequently than you would think. 🙂

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 was and still am one of those “dweebs” who love language arts and English classes, especially as a kid because it has constantly aided to my love of reading, thanks to all the amazing English teachers I have had.

I first considered myself “a reader” the very first time I got my own official library card. It was a groundbreaking moment, in my opinion, and I still remember being handed that bright yellow card and eagerly signing my name in my poor attempt at cursive at the time. It was as if I had won a million dollars, and to think of it, I had, because starting then, I had the ability to read hundreds of books and get lost in countless worlds.

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

I can’t really recall any specifically interesting reading habits besides the fact that I am obsessed with keeping my books in pristine condition. I love sharing my books with others, but what I do not love is when I get a book back that is in horrible condition. Thankfully, I have learned to let go of my OCD-ness bit.

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

My favorite spot to read as a kid was basically anywhere comfy and cozy, preferably somewhere I could sit for an hour or two (or more accurately as I long as it took me to finish my current book) without feeling restless.

Some books that I distinctly remember from my childhood would have to be Eva Ibboston’s Island of Aunts (a truly lovely read) and Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord. Both books contained the aspects I love most in books: complex and intriguing worlds, characters you cannot help but to love and root for, and most importantly beautiful writing. They are timeless books, and ones that I still enjoy today.

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

My reading tastes have definitely developed from childhood until now. I am more into reading books out of my comfort zone, and I have matured to higher-level books obviously. Some phases I have gone through include that one or two years when I just was not able to enjoy reading (believe it or not) and another was the time I was slightly in love with that sparkly vampire series. Thankfully, that one ended after about a month or two and never have I returned. 😉

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?

Letting children and teens pick their books for themselves. If there is one thing that constantly turns readers into reluctant readers, it is when they are forced to read a book (for school for example) that they cannot stand. And this a terrible thing, because it makes them think that all books are boring when they come across one they can’t stand, when in truth they are not. They just need to find their niche- mystery books, contemporary books, dystopian books, etc.  In order to do this, they need to pick their own books. I’m not saying that required reading isn’t necessary because it is in some ways, but in others I feel there needs to be more ‘nurturing’  done with reading, one that comes with an equal amount of unrequired reading as well as required reading.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Lauren 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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