Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reading: My Confession

When I was a kid, I was an advanced reader. In fact, I was always placed in the highest reading groups, though that was the extent of challenging good readers back in the day when I was in elementary school. Because I wasn't challenged enough, I lost interest in reading.

As a teenager, I never, ever chose to read a book. I would always choose to go to the beach, play basketball, go to movies, hang out with friends, flirt with boys, or play pranks. I never had a book in my hand and I never purchased books. My family didn't read, either. We watched a lot of TV, but we never read much. Grandma did read the National Enquirer or other celebrity magazines and Grandpa liked National Geographic and non-fiction titles that either promised him untold wealth or health secrets. He also read a lot of anti-Mormon books.

Despite my lack of reading, I always wanted to write and wrote as much as I could. But, I missed out. I didn't read the classics. I don't know Anne of Green Gables. I didn't get lost in the writings of Charles Dickens. I simply missed entire worlds, ones that I now want to create.

As an adult, I've tried to "catch up" with my reading because I now realize how my lack of reading affected me. I try to read as much as I can, but with all of my kids and other responsibilities, it's hard to read everything I'd like to.

I wish I could speed-read and devour all of the great books.

I have tried to break the non-reading cycle. We converted our old living room into a library so that books are the center of attention. I also let my kids go to the thrift store regularly to fill bags with books and I let them order books at school. We also attend the library program each summer to encourage reading. I talk to my kids about books and authors and let them see me read.

Some of my kids have taken to reading. My son has read some books over and over again and can read a Harry Potter book in a few days. My oldest daughter attends all the midnight parties when a new Harry Potter comes out and devours books. My younger kids all seem to enjoy reading, especially when they can cuddle up on my lap and listen to me read.

Reading opens up so many worlds and ignites the imagination. I know that I've suffered from my lack of reading because reading is so important.

Do yourself a favor and read today!


Amanda said...

I gave up reading in middle school though I was always advanced, simply because I couldn't find books that were interesting. All I could find were genre books like the Babysitters Club and country books like The Yearling, neither of which interested me. It wasn't until I got married and my husband brought his library to our relationship that I started reading again. In 2001, I read a book a week and discovered that I love classic literature. Since then, I've read tons. I read really fast, so it's easy to get through things now. Took awhile to get to that level, though. Now I run a book club, an online book review blog, and get through quite a few books each year (I'm on my 52nd of the year right now). My three small boys all read really well. My youngest, always seeing his parents and brothers read, started reading on his own at 3.5 years. All three boys are doing a challenge to read 50 books this summer and they are all around 30 so far. I'm very excited for them and hope they don't leave off the way I did when I was younger. There's so much out there to get excited about.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I have always loved reading and seemed to be born knowing how. I've always collected books too and spent all my allowance in used book stores. I still have those books.

Some of my kids love to read, some don't. Some waited until they were adults to enjoy it.

It's my youngest who is most like me. She loves to read. She's nine and reads better than most of her siblings.

I don't read now as much as I used to, but it's picking up again now that I have a blog and I'm reviewing books.

But boy, people hate it when I move and have to carry all those books. Non-collectors simply don't understand. said...

hi rebecca ~ so true. and you are being a tremendous example to your children in this arena.

best, kathleen :)