Thursday, January 6, 2011

How in the World Did I Become a Person Who Reads War and Peace For Fun??!!

The question posted by The Blue Bookcase at
How did you find your way to reading
literary fiction and nonfiction?

I found my way to reading when I was two years old!
Wasn't I lucky?
Across the street from my house, when I was little,
was a wonderful "playschool", what we call "PreK" today.
My mom needed a little quiet time,
so the teacher at the playschool offered to let me
join the four-year-olds a few days a week.
And---boom!---I learned to read. At two.

I found my way to reading literary works
much later. I think it arose out of a spirit
that was present in my family.
Every Sunday, we ate dinner with my grandparents
and my aunts and uncles and cousins.
After dinner, the grownups spent hours
discussing the issues of the day.
My grandfather and my uncles were big readers
and loved to thrash through social problems.
I loved that time, sitting by the table,
 excluded by my age and gender, but
listening to the snappy talk and clever comebacks.

So, now I ask you: 
How did you find your way to reading
literary fiction and nonfiction?

And, if you have any thoughts in this direction,
how can we help children find their way
to a love for thoughtful reading?


Jenni Elyse said...

That's so cool that you were so young when you found your way into reading. My parents read to me as a child, but I didn't latch onto reading myself until about three years (almost four) years ago. I'm just glad I found my way eventually.

Vasilly said...

What a great story! I don't know how I started reading non-fiction. Growing up I only read fiction with the exception of The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson. I guess it's when I became an adult, I started to pick up non-fiction.

Melody said...

That sounds great...that's what I hope I'm providing for my kiddos.

Em said...

I answer the first question on my blog. As for the second question, I think that it is essential that parents read to kids from a very young age before going to bed. It's a special time of sharing. I don't have kids, but I always offer books to the kids I know. I really enjoy it as I try to find books I read as a kid. My best friend has nicknamed me "the intellectual auntie"; she knows that through me her son will always have access to books!

pat.navymom said...

I was read to as a toddler and saw my father read. He took me to the library at six. Thnere were lots of books in the house.

mel u said...

I am trying to encourage my 3 daughters 12, 14, and 17 to become readers-we read to them when younger and now I often see the 12 and 14 year old looking at my book shelves for something to read-once I heard one of their friends say "Does your Dad actually read all these books?"-the 17 year old is too hooked on Facebook and the social life of starting college-

breadcrumbreads said...

Awww...the picture of a little girl listening to big talk over her head is so cute! I think it's awesome that you started reading at 2! Once I started reading I simply couldn't do without a book.:D


Heather said...

As a reading specialist, I can tell you that there is a trend in reading education right now is away from rote skills and literal interpretation and towards meta-cognition and higher level thinking. I know that my students, all of whom have reading disabilities, have shown a more positive attitude towards reading since I stopped focusing on drill and kill and started engaging them more in conversation about their reading.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I'm glad that I really don't have time to do drill and kill with children while they are with me in the library. I do wish we had more time to talk about the books we love.

Thank you for your thoughts. And thank you for bravely helping our children.

Here's my post for the Literary Blog Hop.

Listener said...

I think the most important part of getting children to read is turning off the TV. Secondly, I think that letting your children see you reading and continuing to read out loud to them even after they've learned to read is important because children do what they see you doing.

Red said...

That's great that you were able to start reading at such a young age! And obviously that love stuck with you :)

Kelly said...

How great that you learned to read at such a young age! I don't even remember learning to read, lol.

I definitely think that having parents or grandparents who love to read effects a child's reading habits and tastes. My sisters and I grew up in a reading household and now we are all constantly reading something.

ChristaJLS said...

What a fantastic story! If only they could start teaching all kids that young. My boyfriend's little guy is in Grade 1 and some of the material they send home for him to read seems like they're challenging students the way they did when I was a kid. Or maybe that was just me?

TheBookGirl said...

What a wonderful experience you had as a child...I was the only avid reader in my family, not sure where I got it from.
I read to my daughter from the time she was born, and she loved to read -- until she hit high school, and then, nothing..she claimed it was because she didn't have time, but she never picked it up over the summer :( She's in college now, and I still harbor the hope she will revert to her love of reading.

parrish lantern said...

It wasn't until i reached my early teens that i realised that there was a line in the sand defining the difference between say kids books & books of worth.

Melissa said...

I got reading literary fiction when I was about 12 because my school library at the time was very sparse and there was only literary YA fiction available and requesting a library book from the public library back in 1992 was much harder than it is today.

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

I started reading Nancy Drew mysteries in elementary school, and, somehow, I stumbled upon books like To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice. Thanks for sharing your experiences. :)

leeswammes said...

Wow, reading at two! I think my mother had some reading program that she tried on me pre-school but I'm not sure I was so bothered.

I learned to read at 6 and started writing poems at 7, though. :-)

dragonflyy419 said...

I'm not sure when I learned to read. I feel like I've been reading forever :)

Like you I always found myself at the adult table listening to their discussions and my dad was the one who would bring up books (mostly of a political and nonfiction nature).

Elizabeth said...

What wonderful answers and stories from everyone.

My story is at:

Louise said...

I see that you've started War and Peace. How is it going so far? Are you doing the year long chapter a day read? Or planning to knock it over more quickly?

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I have started War and Peace, but I am reading it very, very slowly. I thought I would finish it by the end of February, but it is going more slowly than that.