Why I am a Reader Today

Why I am a Reader Today

I know it may shock some of you, but I used to hate reading. (Gasp!) I know! But have no fear. This story has a happy ending. I was home-schooled and I’m the oldest child so I was, as my Mother lovingly termed, the guinea pig. She hadn’t worked out all the kinks in her reading curriculum when she started teaching me, which basically means we tried everything. I did the more conventional stuff like flashcards and spelling quizzes. When that didn’t work we moved to the less conventional stuff. I glued sounds together in long craft paper caterpillar lines. I wrote in cornflower on cookie sheets. You name it. I probably tried it. Or rather, my Mom tried it on me. But none of it worked. I still couldn’t read “see spot run.”

That’s when my mom discovered something. I love stories. I used to sit with books and pretend I was reading them all the while telling myself a made up story. But when it came to reading the actual story I wouldn’t do it, because they were boring! Who cares if Spot can run? But if she would read me stories of adventurers and magic, I would sit captivated for hours. So my mom sat me down with the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and made me a deal. If I would read the first page of each chapter out loud to her, she would read me the rest of the chapter. And it worked .

We read all seven books from the Chronicles of Narnia and I loved each and everyone of them. And guess what? I learned to read. One of the most basic requirements of any book is that it must be engaging to the audience. This is still a requirement I have when reading a book. If I feel like I’m slugging through the most boring story of my life, I’m going to hate it. Even if it has vital information, I won’t retain the information unless I’m engaged.

I would be remiss if I didn’t finish with the book series that sealed the deal. I may have learned to read from the Chronicles of Narnia, but I learned to love reading from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I still remember the day, my Mom handed me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I read the entire book to myself and loved every second of it. I was inspired by Hermione. I wanted to be her! She is a big part of why I became such a voracious reader. Because I wanted to be just like her, I learned to value knowledge in a way I never had before.

Stories have the ability to change us and move us. I became the person I am today, because of Lucy and Hermione. I owe it to my Mom who never gave up on her stubborn kid who refused to look at another spot or dot. She gave me to the tools I needed, and now I can adventure in any land I want.

Did you have a hard time learning to read? What helped you? What books where foundational in starting your obsessive book passion? Comment below! I would love to hear from you.

1 thought on “Why I am a Reader Today”

  • Hallo, Hallo Brianna!

    πŸ™‚ I had to smile into a ‘knowing laugh’ as I’m the dyslexic who struggled to understand how to read whilst dealing with teachers who were less agreeable to understanding why I was struggling to read as I didn’t realise I was dyslexic when my reading issues started to surface! I found out rather late – almost into Middle School – I took it in stride, as it just made so much sense! However! Reading wasn’t always my favourite thing to do — like you, I tried a myriad array of things to kickstart my reading joys. Including in 5th grade to humour my teacher, I read the Comics in the Newspaper! If it was ‘required’ reading – I opted-out (on principle!) or I found a reason to pick something else (sometimes I was just cheeky and frustrated!). Odds are in favour I’ve never read the regular avg of required reading for ANY grade level because I used to chart my own path in books. πŸ™‚ I could debate with my teachers ‘why’ those books didn’t interest me back then; you’d be surprised how well I debated topics in books I had no interest in reading! lol

    The turning point for me – my 4h grade teacher – since I was indifferent to reading & wanted to exit school at my previous school (parents switched schools to re-encourage me to find joy in learning), he took the opposite way round: don’t want to read? okay. Find something to read (ie. street sign, billboard, menu, newspaper comic strip (only one!) or a quote – tell me why you liked it or didn’t like it. We’re talking baby steps here! By the end of the year, I had graduated (of sorts) into Robinson Crusoe! I know, how!? Wells – since the pressure was off, I just went ‘exploring’! I read books because I had freedom of choice. I went through genres and sorted out my own path. I struggled but I overcompensated for what was leaving me out of the stories – my issues weren’t typical but they were uniquely my own. I found Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, The Babysitter’s Club, The Black Stallion (series), The Saddle Club, Thoroughbred (series), etc. Once I was started on the idea I could read ‘whatever’ I went to towne!

    So, I do understand unique entrances into reading! πŸ™‚ It really boils down to the individual – how much we each want to overcome an obstacle in our lives… irregardless of age, we have to find the will and strength to work through what is blocking us from moving forward.

    You see? Your not the only one who was BORED by most stories which were ‘required’ or rec’d for young readers! I did eventually find my way – this is why I have a page dedicated to Children’s Lit – my own personal map through literature for young readers – it’s a full list of the stories I still feel attached too and the ones I’m still discovering now – it’s in need of updating (so go between that page & my Story Vault; both linked in my top menu)… ooh! The memories!

    I did feel equally motivated & inspired by Hermoine – except I was one and twenty when I met her! πŸ™‚ I only could read about a quarter of the novel before Sorcerer’s Stone released – I am a Potterhead of the films who will be RAL’ing the books with her Mum in the future! Evenso – Hermoine just felt like the character who reminded me so much of myself in so many little and big ways! I feel like I’m housed in Ravenclaw and it was only recently I learnt she was meant to be in this house too, but she was sorted to be with Harry and Ron! I found that fascinating! Rowling gave me a ‘second childhood’ — Hogwarts has a special place in my heart. Always will. And it will deepen as I read the stories. I did finish No1 and a quarter of No2 when the second film released. Then I just opted for the films. I was in a reader’s rut – so for me the films helped me feel inspired but not guilty for not being able to read the world directly. Almost like opting for an audiobook – except I hadn’t found those to be my ‘thing’ back then…

    I hope you come visit me and see which books were my foundation stories! I also talked a bit about this recently on my #WaitingOnWednesday No.3, go to the Comments! Thanks for sharing your story!

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