Hooked on Reading!

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….


3 thoughts on “Hooked on Reading!

  1. I had a similarily non-reading childhood. I MUST have read. I mean, I was surrounded by books and both my parents and all four of my grandparents were avid readers. I just don’t really remember it with much passion and it certainly did not use the word reader in my self-description – writer, maybe but not reader.

    I do remember really learning to write in my first year of university and falling in love with Canadian literature in my second year. This must have been something of a beginning?

    Truth be told, though, I only became a passionate reader and literacy advocate once I had children of my own. I read so much to my first born that the poor kid was reading words at three years old!

    For me, it is sharing the magic of the story coming alive on the page that enchants me and keeps me coming back for more… I can’t wait for World Read Aloud Day coming up this week!

    Thank you for sharing and good luck on your journey to becoming a reading specialist. I am sure you are an inspiration even to those kids who find reading to themselves boring with a capital ‘B’!

    • Thanks for sharing, Amalia. I totally agree that having kids really stepped up the reading activity in my household too. It was fun when I found myself developing preferences in even childrens books. I had my own fav’s that were my go-to whenever it was time for a book with my girls. Sandra Boynton was our all time favorite. Her books would often give me a chuckle too. One of my favorite is But Not The Hippopotamus. Hilarious!

  2. We also love Sandra Boynton. When my big kids were 9, 7, and 5 and my baby was 1, we took a long road trip. We had just discovered Boynton’s book and CD ‘Rhinoceros Tap’ and listened to it (and sang along) all the way there AND back! Our favourite was Bad Babies 🙂 Robert Munsch is also one of our favourite authors. Two of my kids began their personal reading careers reading Robert Munsch. When my daughter was 6, she used to gather the neighbourhood kids at the end of our driveway and read aloud book after book, full of lively storytelling animation!

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