Reading Roots: Mystica of Musings from Sri Lanka

June 29, 2010

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 Mystica of Musings from Sri Lanka. 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”?

Its strange as no one in the family were readers. I was an only child till I was 16 years old and maybe that was why books became so very important to me.

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 the English language as a child and even at the 16 offered it as a subject both as language and literature in what I think americans call high school. In Sri Lanka we have Advanced Level which is a pre university entrance exam and we get to choose four subjects which we could specialise in. English literature was one of my choices.

I knew I was a reader from the age of 7.

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

I dont know what you mean by habits!!! but I still love to read and now its a family joke..

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

No particular spot to read – I guess in bed! but the books were starting from Enid Blyton to the Mallory Towers series to the Famous Five…

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

There was a phase in my mid 30s when I didnt have much time for books but I am so glad that is now way passed me by!!! I had three young children and I was 24/7 involved in running an orphanage with 43 very young children. I was living on the premises with my own family so there was no time for books.

I still like books about family, about growing up, and I like books on subjects like immigrants/adopted children maybe because of my background working with children from very different backgrounds.

I believe strongly in the nurture over nature theory because I did see how children developed so strongly and how well characters developed as a result of environment/love lavished on them so maybe that is why I still like stories involving family.

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 was initially very disappointed that my three biological children did not read very much. I am so very glad that as young adults two of them (the eldest and the youngest) have started to read. My eldest daughter likes books set in Asia and has started reading widely differing authors and my son is more or less in the fantasy genre. I am hoping he will develop further (he is just 20 now). My middle girl is so involved in studies that she just picks up chick lit on and off. I can still hope though..

For reading to develop parents have to encourage it – either by reading to their children, or encouraging them to read on their own. It is so important in this day of constant bombardment from the TV and computer games.

I have two nephews and thank god the elder one at 12 is an avid reader. Yes at the moment it is comics and Japanese manga but hopefully it will cover other subjects as well.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Mystica 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!

4 Comments

  • Amanda June 29, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Hi Carina,

    Thank you for this glimpse of Mystica’s life -I’m going to follow her blog as well. I enjoyed reading about her children’s reading interests and how they became readers as young adults (much like my daughter has).

    What I most enjoyed was that she’s Sri Lankan and has studied English lit. at university.

    Thanks once again for sharing.

  • Amy June 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

    A new blog for me to add to my reader 🙂 So great to be introduced to Mystica and to find out about her blog.

  • Mystica June 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks Carina for this my first interview ever!!!! Also thanks for introducing Amanda and Amy to me. I enjoyed the interview so very much.

  • erisian23 July 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    great interview!

    “[…] habits!!! but I still love to read and now its a family joke..”

    i want to hear more about this!

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