Friday, May 22, 2009

Musing Mondays (better late than never)

Yesterday I stumbled across three intriguing book blogs. And I thought I was a crazy book lady. These ladies put me to shame. The three bloggers are Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm, MizB at Should be Reading and Rebecca at Just One More Page. Apparently every week Rebecca hosts MUSING MONDAYS in which she poses a question about reading and books. Being a bibliophile myself, I couldn't resist. So even though it's Friday, here is this week's Musing Monday question:

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane)

I don't remember exactly how or when I developed a love for reading, but I do remember always being curious about books. I also remember my dad reading to my brother and me when we were very little and using different voices for the different characters. I also remember the Scholastic book orders in elementary school and how, even though we didn't have a lot money when I was growing up, there was always money for me to order books.

I do, however, remember exactly when I fell in love in libraries. I was 10 years old and in 5th grade. I had a friend who always seemed to have an interesting looking book in her desk. I asked her about those books and she said she got them at the public library in town. Believe it or not, I wasn't familiar with the public library - just the school library. I asked my mom to take me to the town library and she did. I can still vividly remember standing in the children's room, holding a Katie John book (do any of you remember that series? I absolutely loved it!), and marveling at all the books I could choose from. And, unlike the school library, I could browse as long as I liked and take out as many books as I wanted. That was it! I was smitten. I've been in love ever since.

How about you? Do you remember how you developed a love of reading? I'd love to hear about it.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your thoughts in a comment here. Thanks.


Alex the Girl said...

Yes! I remember. Both of my parents were readers. My mom read historical romance and my dad read westerns. I read the typical childrens picture books and just did not get the whole reading of books without pictures deal. This curiousity led me to reading my first novel, it was a Harlequin Romance that was left behind by someone at girl scout camp. I think I was in the fourth grade. Once my mom realized I was an obsessed reader, she began carting me off with her on trips to the used book store. They sold books at fifty percent off the cover price (used) and allowed you to trade your old ones for store credit. That is the absolute best memory of my childhood. We grew up poor as well, but like you, there was always money for Scholastic. As a teacher, I've noticed many teachers don't bother with book orders, but remembering how they "grew me" to love reading, I take time to mess with the mess. Great musing, Pam. I love talking books. I think I left a novel comment reply over at Tammy's the other day when she asked about books made into movies.

Shelley said...

Like you, I don't remember specifically at time I began to love reading. As far as I can remember, I have always loved to read. School was my favorite place to be cause I was learning. I know for a fact when I began to love libraries. I was in 4th grade and got picked to be a library assistant. Oh, the bliss and joy of reshelving by the DDS. I still love to go to the library and have volunteered at the local schools reshelving books in the library. I love to touch the books. I L O V E to read. I devour books left and right.
My mother read when we were children and I'm sure that had something to do with it, but I have always enjoyed the written word. In my mind, I have been many places that I will never actually get to go.

Sandy said...

I sure do have memories....mostly I just remember reading anything and everything!! Couldn't even eat breakfast without reading the cereal box over and over again. And this house is full of piles of books & magazines! Will this link work???

Sandy said...

Okay, link doesn't seem to work....just click on the icon before my name!

Terra said...

I have no idea. I can tell you that have I loved to read and write from as far back as I can remember - Perhaps it was the B book, or Shell Silverstein...I am not sure, I wrote my first poem at 5 and it is actually framed at the mountain house...maybe someday I will write for real. Maybe.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

I loved to read when I was little--The Secret Garden and The Little Princess and anything by Judy Blume were all good friends of mine. But i wasn't until I got to college and discovered Toni Morrison that I truly fell in love with books... The Song of Solomon was assigned reading, and my professor clearly loved the book, too. Her lectures opened up a new world to me--a world of books by African American writers. I became thoroughly addicted... J. California Cooper, Toure, Paul Beatty and Colin Channer are some of my favorites.

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day and especially for leaving all those wonderful comments!

Anita said...

I found some old "Dick and Jane" books before I was in Kindergarten and I started looking at them and my older sisters and my mom helped me learn to read them. I was hooked, I began to look for things to read everywhere. I remember very early age 5 or before, trips to the library and I could spend hours just browsing the books and checking out big stacks, and then begging my mom to take me back sooner, because I'd read them all. I too was indulged with schoolastic book orders, only one book at a time, something I've had to limit my own kids to at times. It does make for them choosing books they really want to own. We had a bookmobile that came to our school too, I loved the smell of it!
Prior to my reading, everyone read to me, my parents and my 2 older sisters, and while I don't recall them reading much beyond the newspaper I was always encouraged to read and given every opportunity to do so.
Thanks for this post Pam, I'm going to check out your blog finds!

Tammy Howard said...

I don't remember any pivotal moment - that love was always there. My family went to the small local branch of our library faithfully one day a week. It snowed a lot where I grew up, but even if school was closed for snow, we still managed to get to the library (and they always managed to open). I read everything I could get my hands on and had a particular fondness for historical fiction. And I, also, looked forward greatly to Scholastic books. :-)

Pam said...

Alex - I can't believe the teachers don't do the book order. What a bummer for their students. I still remember how exciting it was when the book order came. Can't they ask a parent to volunteer to administer the book order?

Shelley - Wow, I'm so amazed that someone else can remember when they fell in love with libraries. Especially since we were both so young. Very cool!

Sandy - I did (and still do) the same thing. I actually keep a magazine stashed in my car at all times for the off chance that I get stuck somewhere and don't have a book with me. Horrors!

Terra - I would LOVE to see that poem you wrote when you were 5. Have you ever posted it on your blog?

Denene - I loved Judy Blume books when I was younger as well. Her books are a true service to the young and curious. How wonderful that a whole new world of books was opened up to you by one of your professors. This is the type of thing teachers live for. Did you ever tell him/her about what his/her course did for you?

Anita - A bookmobile?! How exciting. I love that you can you still remember its wonderful smell. How cool is that?

Tammy - Gotta love those dedicated librarians opening up even on snow days. I love that your family had a regular weekly library trip. We have lots of moms who come to our library every week for story hour. Some of them have become "friends" of a sort.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm not sure why I loved it. My mom was an avid reader. (Ayn Rand was the big writer I first remember her reading. Atlas Shrugged.)

I always wanted to be a good reader, was very eager to learn. I, too, adored Scholastic Books, savoring each book order. Eyed the order sitting on the teacher's desk. They'd make us wait until the end of the day. Always rode my bike to the library in summer and checked out book after book. I wish I knew what made me that way so I could bottle it. Make every kid swallow it.

Gail said...

I've been a reader my whole life too...I don't really remember when I first started reading all the time but I always had a book with me when I was growing up. The first series I really remember reading was Nancy Drew...I read every one my library had when I was in 4th/5th grade. I am now the mother of a reader -- Eric reads (and rereads) constantly. He will read almost anything -- I actually bought him 5 books at the middle school book fair last week and I gave him 1 every time he emptied another box from his bedroom! He still has 1 box and 1 book left...the other 4 are all done already. Maia is not a reader -- though if you can find a book or series she likes she does enjoy it. Getting her to try a book is hard though.


C said...

Okay, I don't remember exactly when I fell in love with reading, because it was always a part of my life, as evidenced by this poem that my Grandmother wrote for me when I was born:

Since I know that Karen is hardly ever
without a book in her hand, I think that it’s fitting and proper
For her baby to understand
That a book is something to cherish -
A treasure, a pleasure, a joy!
Books can bring hours of fun
To the littlest girl or boy.
So here is a first one for baby -
One that has things to do,
Like pick the fruits and vegetables
And the puppet flowers too.
This is a book for tiny hands
That soon will be able to grab it,
From a Grandma who hopes that loving a book
Is the start of a lifelong habit.

Grandmom wrote for Turtle and Humpty Dumpty magazines, and on this point she was absolutely correct. Loving a book really was the start of a life-long habit! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Pam said...

Jobhunter - I, too, remember staring at the Scholastic book box and waiting for the teacher to pass out the books. And it would be great to bottle our love of reading and feed it to all kids.

Gail - Great idea to use books as incentives for Eric. A new book would make me clean my room, too! My kids are just like yours. Madeleine is an avid reader and Katie doesn't like to read AT ALL. Every once in a while she'll find a book she likes, usually on vacation. The rest of the time, it doesn't even occur to her to pick up a book. She's always been this way, so I doubt it will change when she gets older. *sigh*

C- That is a great poem! And a great story. How lucky for you to grow up with a grandmother who was a writer for children's magazines. I bet it was magical!


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