I just registered to take my reading certification test for the state of Illinois. This will allow me to work as a reading specialist soon. Needless to say I enjoy reading and am fascinated with how we learn to read. However you may be surprised to know that growing up I was NOT a reader at all! I would do pretty much anything else instead of picking up a book. The thought of reading to myself….Boring with a capital ‘B’! In spite of this I was a confident, strong reader. My father sold educational phonics book series to teachers back in the early 70’s so he had me and my siblings reading about Dick and Jane even before setting foot in kindergarten classroom.
I did read a few books, I remember Ribsy by Beverly Cleary and Secret of the Grandfather Clock in the Nancy Drew series, but nothing ever resonated with me. I also remember being placed in honors English class my senior year in high school. Walking into desks arranged in a circle and then being asked my personal interpretation of the reading threw me for a loop. Deer in headlights comes to mind. I was not prepared for, nor comfortable in that class.
During college I was forced to do so much reading from textbooks, reading for pleasure was never part of the equation. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I joined a book club that I even considered myself a reader. I remember being so amazed that I actually enjoyed reading an entire book. The WHOLE thing!!! “Wow! I enjoyed that! Maybe there is something to this reading thing…” I remember thinking.
Almost twenty years later I am on my third book club group and have enjoyed countless novels. I have now been known to pick up a book from the library to read just because! No social event with wine even required! Turns out the social aspect of reading got me hooked. It single handedly made me a reader.
Think about when reading worked for you. Did you always enjoy books? Was there a series or author that got you hooked? Was it modeled in your home and it just came naturally? Or was it later in life for a different reason altogether? What was the key for you???
More next week on getting hooked on reading….