What’s Your Reading Story?

I often think back to my childhood and where my love of books came from.  I didn’t have a parent who I recall sitting and reading with me night after night, nor in later years did either of my parents read books.  Yet, I had found a love of reading at a young age.

In 2nd grade I won the “Bookworm” award.  It was a bookworm magnet that I displayed proudly in my locker.  It was true… I was the librarians best customer.. devouring books as fast as I could check them out.  Everywhere I went I had a book in my hand.

Little has changed…

As I think back on my history of reading, I think part of my start was I was an only child for the first seven years of my life.  Both my parents worked full-time jobs and those characters became my friends… maybe even for a while, my siblings. I could have adventuress with Nancy Drew… solve the mysteries alongside the Hardy Boys… and eventually move on to anything written by Judy Blume.

As I grew, my reading habits hardly wavered… in high school it was all Danielle Steel (how I wished we had more YA then!) and by the time I had kids I had moved into mysteries and enjoyed Dean Koontz, John Grisham, and Harlan Coben.

In 2001… I started the Bookies book club to increase my reading pallet, and increase it was exactly what it did.  I read authors I had never heard of…. genres I had never tried before…


the more I read…

the more I wanted to.

I know throughout certain times of my life, during certain hardships… books were my escape.  I know myself well enough to know that occasionally – that still can be true.  Yet for the most part… I am just a reader.  A person who truly enjoys a good story.

What is your story?

Did you come from a family of readers?  Do you have memories of being read to as a child?  Or did you find your way into the pages by some other way?

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on January 20, 2011, in Book Stuff, Book Thoughts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. my mom read to me as a way to improve her english 🙂 eventually as I grew older I would start correcting her when she would pronounce something wrong XD

    I read at an advanced level in elementary school so the library was always my hang out. During High school though, that sort of dropped (I regret that) then picked up again after finishing college. It’s not that I stopped reading during that time frame..I’m not sure what it was..perhaps life was very busy.

    Now that life is established I have more time (sort of) to read and it has picked up. Considerably. Life is good now 🙂

    I can’t wait until I retire though. Reading will increase thousandfold. Bwahahah!

  2. My family is identical to yours. I am the only one in my HUGE family who loves reading. I could read and write by the age of 5 and would read everything in sight. From the newspaper, ingredients on the back of food boxes, and of course…BOOKS!

    I was a ‘Little Matilda’ minus the powers.Boo. I can add large sums of number in my head. My mother has no idea how I came to love book and computers. She is not too fond of either.

  3. My mom and grandfather are both big readers. I can remember my mom reading when I was really little. Before I knew how to read, I would sit in front of her bookshelf and look at books, imaging what stories would be inside. 🙂

  4. My parents were both big readers, and I have very clear memories of my dad and I reading together. My mom was always getting us the latest Newbery or Caldecott winners, and all of us (except my youngest brother) are big readers today. We also didn’t have a TV for 6 years when I was growing up so I think that had a lot to do with it too.

  5. My parents both read every evening. We didn’t have TV until I was in my teens and by then my avid reading had taken over my life. I loved libraries and still do, but I also love owning books, being surrounded by books in my home. I can’t imagine a home without books and magazines all over the place.

  6. My reading story is this. Neither of my parents enjoyed reading, however, my mother to this day, takes credit, for my love of books. I can’t believe I am going to tell you how and what she tells people. She states it started when she was potty training me and sat me with a book. And from that time, I always had a book in hand. I was the only kid from 1st -12th grade that looked forward to the summer reading list, reading more than the mandatory number of books needed. I was would also bring my current read with me to school every day just in case, there was a substitute or if we had a “free period”, etc. etc. I can’t ever remember being without a book.

  7. hmmm… unlike most book bloggers I didn’t read a book until middle school after I was diagnosed with dyslexia and had to relearn how to read and retain. I asked my mother recently if I read as a young girl but have no memories of it and she said ‘no, you didn’t read and I didn’t read to you. You didn’t like it so I didn’t push it.’

    I think I’m afraid to stop reading… I like to challenge myself, there so much for me to catch up on!

  8. I am very fortunate in that both of my parents are avid readers. They encouraged my sisters and I to read as well. I have very early memories of my dad reading bedtime stories to us every night. We always took part in the summer reading program and the weekly trip to the library was a very big deal.

    Now I am lucky to be married to an avid reader who comes from another family full of avid readers who is helping me to instill a passion for reading in our little one.

  9. I credit my parents-My dad would always buy me books and my mum was always reading to us at bed time. I would try bringing a book to church-what can I say it was more interesting than the Homily-that did not go over too well.

    I sometimes wonder if reading is why I need contacts-I would plug in a night light and stay up reading in my room.

    My reading only slowed in law school-when I turned to magazines (I had too much assigned reading to do)

    When my parents did errands we would be dropped off at the library-the bookmobile also came to my grade school weekly.

    I wish my husband read-and that we could read books together.

  10. You and I are so similar it’s scary! I too had full time working parents and it was a rare occassion when either read to us kids. And yet I loved books too. I loved mysteries. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were what I started with, but quickly graduated to Agatha Christie and John dickson Carr. Sir Henry Merriville to this day is one of my favorite book characters 🙂 I hope to pass on my love of books to my kids. I read to them every night.

  11. I was an early precocious reader, too…and in school…I always was assigned to read to the non readers…I do not remember my mom and dad reading other than newspapers and magazines throughout their lives. My mom turned to reading when she was in her 60’s and she and a friend would go to the library weekly. But it is because of my mom that I love to read…she bought the books and walked me to the bookmobile and was so proud of her little reader.

  12. My parents are both readers and as kids we went to the library regularly and we always had books around at home to read. Now I think I have too many books, but have a hard time giving away a book in case I might still read it. While I save favorite reads that I know I will likely read again, I am trying to get the rest to exit my home soon after I am done with them with the exception of my children’s books. Those we read again and again and have so many of that some of them we still haven’t gotten to!

  13. My parents didn’t read to more nor did they read books of their own. I started reading books early in 2nd or 3rd grade. I really liked those books that gave you choices to make for the main character’s next course of action and you would turn to the indicated page to continue reading the story based on the choice you made.

    I loved getting lost in the stories of Judy Blume and the Sweet Valley High series.

    (Books became an escape for me from around 4th grade on until less healthy activities took their place when I entered high school.)

    My favorite authors were Koontz, King, and their genre in general. What a great topic…glad to be a participant! I also posted this topic last month on my new blog Writing With My Eyes Closed

  14. Everyone always seems to have such a clear picture of their reading history. I do not. I’ve always loved to read, but I don’t know why. Neither my parents or my siblings (I’m the youngest) are big readers. I don’t have “wonderful memories of being read to.” I do know that I was one of those kids that had a book in her nose between classes as she walked down the hall. (But I was popular, too — a cheerleader, no less- but brainy too.) I started out as a MATH teacher. Go figure. I’m now a school librarian. My true calling – but it definitely took me a while to get there. I tell my own kids this often — the path is very seldom STRAIGHT. Just keep swimming….

  15. My parents were not readers. My mother taught me to read when I was 4 and she was very proud of my love of reading, but she didn’t share it. She took my brother and sister and I to the library faithfully, which was good because she had a hard time keeping me supplied with books. My parents didn’t see a need to spend money on books to own and so the library was great. Mom would say that I was never any trouble because she would always find me curled up somewhere reading, totally oblivious to the rest of the world.

    I still use reading as an escape from many things. It is a necessary part of me. Happily, I don’t share my parents’ philosophy about owning books. LOL

  16. My story started with my first grade teacher Mrs. Wilson. She read “Little House on the Prairie” and I was hooked. From there I always had a book in my hand and a shelf full at home!

  17. Well, as a matter of fact I do. But my mother didn’t read to me “night after night” … only during the day and it was a book of nursery rhymes that first planted the seeds of reading in me.

  18. My mother read to me; later my brother and I would look at his books together (he was three years older), and I learned to read before I started school. I can always remember loving books, from ‘way back in those early days.

    I got my first library card at 8.

    We lived in the country and had no TV until I was about 10…actually, nobody had TVs until I was 8 or so. I credit that experience with bolstering my love of reading. There was no other escape besides reading—and then writing by age nine or ten.

    • That lack of tv helped a lot of us be readers Laurel 🙂 I think that is an obstacle now that there are so many other things to do for the next generation between tx, video games, Facebook, IPODS, cell phones…etc

  19. I grew up with a mom who was always reading. She encouraged mine and my sister’s reading habits in any way possible. I have had my years of low reading, i.e. the college years. But ever since discovering the blogging world, I am loving reading more and more.

  20. I love reading these stories! 🙂 My own tale of my love affair with books could be VERY long; here’s the short(ish) version.

    I taught myself to read when I was 3 years old, and I got in trouble in the 3rd grade for reading “The Scarlet Letter.” 🙂 I’ve pretty much had a book in my hands ever since.

    My parents are avid readers, but when I was growing up, because they were hard working farm folk, most of their reading was cookbooks & Good Housekeeping (mom) and magazines & newspapers (dad). Now that they’re semi-retired, they read books constantly and love to talk about books (which is beyond awesome).

    My paternal grandparents were constant readers. They always had piles of books everywhere.

    My maternal grandmother didn’t read a lot herself, but she loved to read to me. When I’m missing her, I read “Black Beauty” because I always hear it in her voice. My paternal grandfather was an intelligent educated man (who sadly died when I young). He always went through the newspaper and marked errors with a red pen, and when I was old enough, he would challenge me to find mistakes he had missed or to explain the corrections he had made.

  21. Mine started in 4th grade, when the teacher sent me home over Christmas vacation with on her and told me she was sure I would love the book. I did Christmas break could not end fast enough so I could get another book. From that point on I was a bookworm. Much like you Sheila, I read the same books as you and as much as I could. Still love to read today as well. Thanks for sharing your story.

  22. I really enjoyed your story. My mom always read to me before bed but no one else in my family was a big reader and there was something in me that wanted to read all the time that made me a little different all the time. I agree with you about the escape thing. It was for me to and it still works when I need one.

  23. Both of my parents were (and are) avid readers. I remember my dad could read SO fast! When I was grown, actually fairly recently, my grandfather would always talk about (before he passed) how my dad would always have his nose in a book when we would visit during the summers. So I guess you could say that I get it honestly. I started reading pretty early and always looked forward to trips to the library. I always had a book with me. We would go to a restaurant and I would read until the food came (I was only allowed to do this at casual dinners out). When we vacationed…most of our trips were by car…whether it was visiting the grandparents in Tennessee or Kentucky or going somewhere else, I would read during the entire trip. Thank goodness I wasn’t a kid who got car sick! When I was in junior and high school, I would take my book with me to class and read when I was finished with a test and during study hall….and on the bus. Reading has always been such a part of my life. It’s like my oldest, best friend and I’m so glad that I was given the gift of loving the written word! Thanks for the great topic, Sheila!

  24. What a wonderful idea for a topic!

    I’m lucky to have parents who are also book-lovers, who shared that with me. My mom took me to the library every week when I was a kid, starting from preschool age. I don’t remember this, but my parents tell me the first book I ever “read” was the Berenstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree–I couldn’t read yet, but I had memorized it and could go through the pages.

    I’ve always been a voracious reader–I read books quickly, so I go through a lot and then forget details. But that’s okay, because I can read them again and sometimes even be surprised by the twist!

    Finding enough bookshelf space has been a constant battle for as long as I can remember, even though I still get most of my books from the library. When I moved away to college, one of the first priorities was finding the most convenient library–I eventually found three.

    I still feel very comfortable at libraries, and if I want to get out of the house for a while and go somewhere else to read or write, I’m more likely to go to a library than a cafe.

    I think of reading as the opportunity to live in other worlds beyond my own. It’s not that I feel a great need to escape my own life…I’m just choosing to visit others. And I don’t know what people do who live in this world all the time–I couldn’t imagine it!

  25. I have always loved to read, but like you, it wasn’t because my parents did. I am the oldest of 6 and the first 4 came in 6 years. My poor mom had no time to read. I read for escape. It was my escape from the other kids and the responsibilities of being oldest. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were my best friends. I read lots of mysteries and loved nonfiction. In college I didn’t do much reading except what was needed for school.. Afterwards, I slowly got back into reading mostly with books on ancient cultures, travel, cultures and some mysteries. Now I like just about anything except erotica and horror. Historical fiction and historical romance are generally my favorites. They actually reflect my nonfiction likes.

    • Pat how fun to see that you too hung out with Nancy and the boys! I think I read every one of those books… now I am trying to find them all from the original printing.

      • I have a pretty good set of their books that were printed in the 60s. I have a 1934, 1937, and 1943 Hardy Boys Books. The earliest Nancy Drew’s I have are 1936, 1937, and 1941 I think. I have a really bad habit of picking up old books, both adult’s and children’s. I need to weed all the books I have, but it is hard to part with the old ones.

  26. I love reading since always. Both of my parents love reading, but I believe that my father was the one who taught me how to enjoy it and dream about it.

    It is absolutely incredible how a book can help you to scape from your real life, to live in another time or to believe in other world…

    I am who I am because of books.
    I think how I think because of books.
    I live how I live because of books.

    I cannot imagine that there could be people who do not read at all!not read much, ok…but anything at all!

    When I hear something like “I do not like reading; It’s boring”, I fell pity for them. I really do.

    I think that, unconsciously, I learnt and sudy English and languages because of books too. I enjoy reading original versions so much that, as a translator, it is not fair to myself!lol!

    Finally, I have to say that I loved your story. It is the first think that I read about you, and I love it. You know, I just found you- thanks to twitter!

    Best wishes from Spain,


  27. I didn’t come from parents who read but I did have a brother who was a book addict. I think I used to watch him devour books and curiosity got the better of me. Like you, I wish there had been more YA when I was teenager.

    • I think YA would have helped me keep a level of reading I know wavered a bit when I was in High school through the young mom years. I remember I waited for certain authors to put out a book then I would read it…. then I would wait for the next book to be released. My reading became gappy as I had no idea what to read.

  28. I was 2 when I read my first book and my great uncle dropped his jaw in amazement. He didn’t know I actually had it memorized from my mother reading it to me so often! My mother read to me a lot and my love for reading took over from there. In kindergarten I remember learning how to read Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear (Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy was he?) I have always read to my own children. I was still reading bedtime stories to them when my oldest was 10 and my youngest was 5. I sat on a chair in the corner where there bedroom doors met and read Harry Potter and the books from a Series of Unfortunate Events. Sadly, neither of my boys are readers. But I do believe reading is so important that a book is included with every present I give my young nieces and nephews. Hopefully they will expand someday on the library their Auntie Angie started for them.

    • I love the gift of books! I love to give them as well! Justin is a reader and Brad is off and off… recently he said he got his hands on a Grisham and then had to go and find others. I silently say :YAY! 😀

  29. We are a family of readers. One of my earliest memories is my mom and I going to the library, me on the back of her bike, to check out books and read them at the park. As I got older, my parents allowed me the freedom to read as I wanted, with my parents suggesting their favorites like Vonnegut, Conroy, Herriot. It was a very literary childhood.

  30. I loved your story! Your post inspired me to write my own (linking to you for credit). It’ll be published 1/25. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  31. When I was child I rarely read book. My sisters and I just read children magazine. That’s the only reading that my parents provided for us. I got my first book when I was in junior high school

  32. I grew up with 8 older sisters who were always reading to me before I knew how to read on my own. My mom was a big reader too and would take us kids to the library and let us pick out as many books as we liked. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t reading and can’t imagine that I ever will.

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