How did your parents/other adult help you become a reader?

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How did your parents/other adult help you become a reader?

Post by sahmoun2778 » 11 Oct 2014, 10:31

My parents encouraged reading from an early age. Every gift giving opportunity included at least one book. I remember often around the dinner table being told to get the dictionary because there was a word that someone didn't know the definition of. My dad never just told you something, you had to look it up. We also had a set of encyclopedias are were often sent to look things up in them as well. We were frequent visitors to the children's library and there were magazines all over the house. My mother would often ask us to read out recipes to here if she was cooking or the instructions for a craft project. My parents themselves never had a college degree but they nevertheless turned out two avid readers who are both college graduates. I am forever grateful.

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Post by JennaFay » 11 Oct 2014, 10:52

My parents used to read to me and my siblings as a child, pretty often at bedtime. They'd also take us to the library frequently, but other than that the love of reading that I have is something that they were both delighted by and somewhat puzzled over. They definitely encouraged me to read, and often gave me books as gifts, but that was well after I had demonstrated a strong preference for reading over any other hobby. I think what really helped was that size of my family; four kids, all incredibly close in age - reading was an escape from the noise and crowding. Still, I have very fond memories of my parents reading bedtime stories, and I definitely thank them for it.

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Post by sophie_mcmaster » 11 Oct 2014, 11:55

My parents kind of encouraged my reading, but it was probably through 'reading time' in primary school that my love for books truly started and developed. I was always the first kid to pick up a book and the last one to put one down. I've been hooked ever since.

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Post by LSWS07 » 11 Oct 2014, 12:23

My parents aren't readers, so I was never read to growing up, but they always pushed the importance of education. They encouraged me to do what I liked, so long as it was productive, and bought me innumerable books growing up.

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Post by Airam Velarde » 11 Oct 2014, 13:59

My mother always encouraged me to read when I was a child. She loves to read herself, so there was always many books for me to choose from while growing up.
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Post by rssllue » 11 Oct 2014, 16:21

My mother used to take us to the library for different events they set up for children and my father always had books around the house and was constantly reading when not working. But I guess the biggest thing was that they let me read when they saw me reading and did not try to get me to go do something else with my time. As long as it was appropriate, they always encouraged me to read. Pretty cool! :D
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Post by DATo » 11 Oct 2014, 18:26

Boredom with religion class made me a great reader.

I went to Catholic primary school. We were always seated alphabetically by last name which almost always put me in the first column of seats nearest the windows at the very back of the classroom and, more importantly, next to the small bookcase (to be found in each classroom) we had of story books and other literature. While the nuns would be going on and on about catechism and the history of the Roman Catholic Church I would deftly sneak books from the bookcase and simply lose myself in another world. Being seated so far back they never caught me.

I have several saints to thank for my appreciation of poetry in 7th and 8th grade for instance. As Saint Teresa was having spiritually orgasmic interludes with angels, as Saint Francis of Assisi was organizing the Franciscan order of monks and as Saint Peter was requesting to be crucified upside-down in his efforts to become a trend setter I memorized Casey At The Bat; The Charge Of The Light Brigade; and, despite your disbelief, Poe's Raven and Kipling's Gunga Din - word perfect, mind you. There were also an ample supply of short story books which I found to be quite serviceable to my needs.

One day while reading about some guy named Walter Mitty, who had a penchant for burping at the most awkward moments, Sister Magdala called my name to ask me what I found so amusing about Saint Sebastian being tied to a tree and shot repeatedly with arrows as punishment for his devotion to God. I replied that I found nothing amusing about it but rather that I had been beaming with pride to know that he had not relented and renounced "our" faith .... I was a quick-witted but awful liar at that age.

And so let it be stated throughout the land that the Bard of Avon, Goethe, Dostoevsky and other authors, playwrights, poets sonneteers, and several haiku writers owe my patronage to that noble, pedagogical system of didactics - The Roman Catholic Church. To this very day I do not know a damn thing about Pope Leo IX ..... but I can still recite Casey At The Bat word perfectly .... I consider this an equitable compromise.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright

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Post by ALynnPowers » 11 Oct 2014, 23:53

Definitely reading to me at a very young age, and then just "playing" with the words in the books. Like, "Hey, look at this word, it's spelled C-A-T. If we mix it around, it says A-C-T." Or something. I just made that up. I guess they really instilled a love of words in general, not just of reading.

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Post by gali » 12 Oct 2014, 01:22

My parents used to read to me, took me to the library, bought me books and encouraged me to read. I do the same with my kids.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by mellysw » 12 Oct 2014, 01:43

Both my parents made sure books were available to me. I lived with my mother till I was eleven, and she refused to have a television.

"It rots kids brains!"

So when I lived with her, reading was one of my primary forms of entertainment. I was reading before I got into school. I learned to read by sight by watching my mother read the Bible. Every afternoon she called us in from play and read the Bible for an excruciating half hour. She followed the words with her finger (she wasn't the best reader), and out of sheer boredom my eyes would follow her finger, and I learned to read. Later in third grade I was taught phonics. That same year my class was taken once a week to the school library where we could check out ONE book. My teacher quickly learned that just didn't cut it for me, and I had special permission to check out up to four books a week.

Periodically my mother would take me to the library, but it was a miserable experience because she was so controlling over my reading material. If the writer hadn't been dead for about twenty years, I probably wasn't going to be allowed to read it. It was my father that really taught me how to appreciate libraries.

When I went to live with him, he allowed me and my brother much more free rein. He made my non-reading brother drive me to the public library each weekend so I could get books. However in eight grade he learned my education was deficient according to his standards, and he blamed the school system since I was a straight A student. Knowing I would read anything in front of me he marched me down to the library himself and made me choose a history book, a science book, and a biography. He inquired if I read them later that week, asked me a few basic questions. This was repeated a few more weekends till he saw me checking out nonfiction that he didn't require. Satisfied the damage had been done, he turned me loose once again in the library and no longer inspected my choices.

My father also took "book availability" to a whole new level. Once while I was in high school he and I went to visit my aunt in Raleigh. There is a bookstore there, I think called Stephen's Bookstore. Perhaps it is gone now, I don't know. But back then it seemed like a warehouse FILLED with books. Literal piles of books on the floor. It was a reader's wet dream. Me and my dad spent all day there, and when we walked away my dad was $400 poorer. My aunt was aghast, knowing most of the books were my selections (not all by any means though!). I remember my dad shrugging as he walked out. "It would be one thing if she didn't read them, but I know she will. What do you want me to do, tell the kid she can't read?"

It wasn't all about reading, though. My dad was all about education. He didn't just teach me to read, he taught me to think about what I read. To ask questions and seek answers. He taught me to pursue knowledge, and insisted that a high school and college education was not really an education, but the starting point and building blocks that were intended to provide you the tools and the knowledge you needed to educate yourself. My dad would spend hours talking about education and knowledge if I let him - and I often did! We would sit and talk about all sorts of things, from religion and philosophy to history and engineering. I have fond memories of one of our last "lectures" before he passed away.

Sitting out in the open garage at his little country home on a dirt road. The smell of his tobacco pipe. Kris Kristofferson low in the background. Dogs all over the cement slab floor. Staring out at the night sky and smelling the fresh cut grass from earlier in the day. Talking about statistics for two solid hours. An absolutely fascinating conversation.

So I credit my mother for my early reading career, but I credit my father with my interest in nonfiction and learning in general.

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Post by obiebookworm » 12 Oct 2014, 08:28

My parents weren't much of book readers. My mom would from time to time. One of the things that attracted me to reading was my parents vast book collection, which was ironic considering, like I said, that they didn't read much.

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Post by sahmoun2778 » 12 Oct 2014, 09:26

I love everybody's memories of their reading experiences!

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Post by LivreAmour217 » 12 Oct 2014, 09:54

My parents taught me how to read in the summer between kindergarten and first grade. I have two learning disabilities that made it difficult to learn in the classroom setting, and as a result my kindergarten teacher's methods were just not getting through to me. So, my folks bought a bunch of Dr. Seuss books and read them to me over and over, and then had me read out loud to them over and over, and something just clicked. When I began first grade, I had no problems with the reading exercises and was placed in the advanced reader's group. By fifth grade, I was reading high school level books and was given an exemption from taking the reading comprehension tests.
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Post by Wind Wise » 12 Oct 2014, 09:57

My parents read to me all the time when I was a baby/young child, so I was way ahead in my reading skills of everyone else in kindergarten. Went to the public library all the time when I was a kid, not so much nowadays. (I blame work, it really whittles down your free time!)
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Post by klnadams » 12 Oct 2014, 10:16

My mother always encouraged reading. She reads all the time. When I was little she read to me. She still encourages me to read now. She is always giving me books to read. Love it... love her for introducing me to the world of print.

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