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”.
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 parents weren’t big readers but my mother taught me to read around kindergarten time; I don’t remember exactly how old I was, just that I was very little. I had a set of learning materials that I worked with, both on my own and with my mom. I remember learning to read was like a really fun game I couldn’t get enough of!
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 have never been a reluctant reader! I loved English classes and languages; I majored in French literature and sorely regret I never learned Russian well enough to read in that as well.
Did you have any interesting reading habits when you were growing up? Do you still have them now?
I don’t think so. I just liked to read.
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 has always been out of the house somewhere- the library, a coffeeshop, on a train or airplane. Books I remember from my childhood include the FROG AND TOAD series, HARRIET THE SPY, the RAMONA QUIMBY books, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and Judy Blume’s books. I remember when I wanted to buy ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET from the school book fair, I had to get written permission from my mother!
How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?
I read kids’ books exclusively up till around fifth grade, then started reading YA and adult books. I stopped reading YA books sometime in high school. One of the first “adult” books I read was GONE WITH THE WIND and by early high school I was reading 19th century classics and some contemporary fiction now and then. Nowadays I read almost only adult books. I never really read any science fiction or fantasy apart from THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING which was required reading in high school. I started reading contemporary fiction more in college when I discovered AS Byatt, Ian McEwan and others like them.
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 children but I think it’s very important to model good reading habits for children, to allow children to own, and choose, their own books, as well as visit libraries and take suggestions from teachers and librarians. Libraries and schools should focus on providing top-quality literature for children of all backgrounds and using reading both for recreation and to promote lifelong learning.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Marie 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!