Discussion: “How did you become the reader you are today?”

March 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm 6 comments

In the comments from yesterday’s post about audio books, one of our readers brought up the issue of the best ways to create readers and, more specifically, she asked of everyone at LT “How did you become the reader you are today?”

We’ve discussed something similar here in the past, but it is definitely a topic worth revisiting. In the comments, it was asked whether or not people inherently need to like reading at all and, if they do, what can we do to create new readers?

They are both fascinating topics and ones which we would be happy to hear more about, so we turn this discussion over to our readers and open the debate to include everyone. How did you become the reader you are today? And what are some ideas for creating new readers? And is a love of reading even necessary in the TV and Internet age? Let us know what you think!

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Entry filed under: Musings and Essays. Tags: , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. walkinintheway  |  March 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I became the reader I am today because my mother is a reader and she read to me before I was even born. Now my 5 1/2 yr old daughter is reading at least at a 2nd grade level. I would say it is a combination of genetics and environment because I can tell that my 4 1/2 year old will not be learning to read as quickly as my oldest.
    I think that the love of reading will outlast much current technology. You can still sit and read a book with a flashlight when you have no electricity! There is nothing like sitting with a real book in your hands!

    Reply
  • 2. Britney  |  March 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I don’t even know! My mother has told me that she lost me when I was about 11 months old, but I had just disappeared to look at books! I wasn’t an early reader (I recently discovered that I was exactly at grade level in first grade) but sometime between first and second grades I really started reading (in second grade I was the most active reader in the class).

    I think my parents’ willingness to support the habit really helped. My mom would surprise me with a brand-new Baby-Sitters Club book every once in awhile and she stashed away Sweet Valley High books for me, giving me access to her accumulation the summer after fifth grade. I got a public library card when I was eight, and when I was thirteen my parents told me how to get to the library so I walk over when I had time between ballet classes.

    And my parents aren’t even big readers! They do read (my mom reads a lot more now than she did when I was younger; my dad reads much less now than he did in high school) but I didn’t have a constant example to follow.

    (I have a younger sister who read at an earlier age than I did, and reads better than me now – by “better” I mean she has a better head for comprehension and retention than I – but I’m the more active reader. I read a few books a week; she reads a book or two a month. In the summer.)

    Reply
  • 3. silverseason  |  March 12, 2010 at 3:20 am

    My mother read to me and my brothers from the time I could remember. In those days they didn’t believe in teaching children to read early, so I looked forward to going to first grade where I would learn to read by myself.

    Dick and Jane were a big disappointment. I saw no connection between their boring activities (Look, Jane, look! See Spot run!) and The Wizard of Oz, my favorite book at the time, so I continued to rely on my parents to read to me.

    Every Sunday my father had a ritual of reading the Sunday funnies to me — Blondie and the Katzenjammer Kids. One Sunday morning he was called away from the reading. As I was waiting for him to come back, I picked up the paper and looked at the comic strips. The words jumped off the page to me. I could read! I ran upstairs and pulled The Wizard of Oz off the shelf. I could read that too. I have been reading ever since.

    Reply
  • 4. neuroticmom  |  March 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    My daughters made me the reader I am today. As I child I read but did not have a real passion for it. I remember my mom taking me to the library a lot but I don’t ever remember really owning any books except the very first 2 Dr. Seuss books. When I had my first daughter I read to her all the time and when pregnant with my second and not feeling that great a lot of the time, time was spent reading. She actually read books to her preschool class and the passion of books never left her. I started reading her books as she got older just to see what she was reading and gradually started reading more and more on my own. Now I feel lost without a book to read. We don’t have the same taste in books at all, but we all are avid readers.

    Reply
    • 5. Kate  |  September 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Aw. :)

      Reply
  • 6. Aishwarya  |  March 14, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I don’t remember what made me love the act of reading, but the two things that really shaped what and how I read were having The Hobbit read to me when I was seven(ish) and having a crush on a Samuel Beckett fan when I was fifteen(ish). Does that counf?

    Reply

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