Reading Roots: Tif from Tif Talks Books

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 Tif from Tif Talks Books 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 favorite memory from my early years was library visits with my Grandmother!  She would take my cousin and I on a weekly basis in the summer, followed up by a trip to a local restaurant for a bit of ice cream . . . I typically chose Bubble Gum!!  I loved going into the old library, taking in the smell of all the books, finding new adventures between those covers.  I think about it even today and smile every single time!

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 always considered myself a reader!  My parents would get very aggravated with me growing up.  I would do some stupid “kid” thing and get sent to my room, but it was never the punishment my parents intended it to be.  I would willingly head there, pick up my latest book, and get lost in my own little world.  To this day, I actually use this very technique with that exact purpose to re-direct my own children!  And, it still works like a charm!

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

I think my most interesting reading habit has to do with watching TV . . . ironic, isn’t it?!?  I have never been much of a TV watcher . . . I just simply have not had the time.  However, when I do sit down to watch TV, I get very annoyed with the commercials.  I find them a complete waste of my time.  Therefore, I mute the sound and read my book during that time.  It really annoys people, particularly my husband!

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

I do not remember having a favorite reading spot.  I literally can read anywhere at anytime as long as I have my book with me!

One book that I distinctly remember from my childhood was The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.  I remember checking it out from the library on a regular basis and reading it over and over and over again.  And, it was not uncommon for my good friend and I to imagine ourselves as Violet and Jessie . . . only it was in a barn loft and not in a boxcar!

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

Over the years, my reading habits have expanded and grown, just as I have as an individual!  During my teen years, it was not uncommon to see me engrossed in the “darker” works from authors such as Sylvia Plath, V.C. Andrews, and Stephen King.
While in college, I was introduced to a broader array of literature and I have not looked back since.  However, I must admit, I am still a big King fan!

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 book lovers just as I am, and I hope that it stays that way!  From the day that they were born, I have been reading to them on a daily basis.  During the nursing months, it was chapter books to help me pass the time, including Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and so much more!  I then moved on to classic picture books, asking them questions and getting them involved in the book.  It is not uncommon to hear us “reading” from books in doctors’ offices, in the car, or even just spontaneously . . . we have some classics that we have memorized and will share together whenever and wherever, particularly from Sandra Boynton.  As my oldest is about to start Kindergarten, we have returned to chapter books and are having a blast exploring them together, taking turns in reading the words!  You may even catch my oldest reading next me as I read on my own!

Other ways I encourage reading is planning activities around books that we have read, whether they be special snacks that we make together, scavenging for our own buried treasure, or coloring pictures to hang up on the wall from our favorite part of a story.  I also surround my children with books, with shelves in almost every single room in our house, allowing a quick story to be only an arms-length away at all times.  And, of course, as I mentioned earlier, I also use books to re-direct my children or to calm them down.

Books are an integral and daily part of our lives!!

I hope you enjoyed learning about Tif 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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