Do you remember how or why you fell in love with reading? I was thinking about this the other day and I was wondering if the way I learned to love reading is common. I was also wondering how everyone else falls in love with reading and why other people don’t like to read at all.
The reason I fell in love with reading wasn’t love at first sight, I hated it at first. I remember as a child my dad would take my brother and I to the library every couple of weeks. He would tell us we had to choose at least two books to check out and take home to read. Both my mum and dad would then make sure we read both books. Most often we had to read the book out loud to them, or 30 minutes before bed time we had to read to ourselves.
The reason I fell in love with reading wasn’t love at first sight, I hated it at first.
This tradition started because both my brother and I actually had difficulty learning to read as a child. I remember in school I was way behind my classmates in reading, I’m not sure why. All I remember is that I hated Silent Reading time at school. My teacher had a meeting with my mum, I guess to talk about the fact it appeared I didn’t read very well. And that night my dad took out my book of fairy tales and asked me to read them to him. Originally I only used to get that book out to look at the pictures because it had all of these colourful images.
I remember staring at the words and having no idea how to say them. The memory is very strange, I remember staring at these squiggly lines on the paper and wishing I could understand them because I knew everyone else could. But for some reason I had no idea how to. I hated it when I was asked to say those squiggly lines out loud. I think before that point my parents hadn’t realised how much I didn’t know how to read. My dad used to read us stories all the time, so I guess they never realised I loved it so much because I couldn’t read them to myself.
I remember staring at the words and having no idea how to say them.
This was the same with writing, it was as if I couldn’t connect the lines on the paper to the sound they made out loud. So whenever I would try and write I would just write loops and pretend they were words. I think back about that now and I feel like that is incredibly odd. Did anyone else react like this to learning how to write and read?
So whenever I would try and write I would just write loops and pretend they were words.
In the end my parents hired a tutor to teach us after school. One way the tutor taught us was through computer games on a laptop she would bring with her, which is weird right? This was the mid-90’s and household computers let alone laptops weren’t very common. But as a child it was so much fun. They were all timed word games. My favourite game was this castle game where the words appeared to shoot out of a cannon at a castle. The aim of the came was to stop the words from destroying the castle. I would have to type the word into the computer before the castle got destroyed. The tutor would ask me to say the word out loud as I typed. I’m sure the tutor taught us other ways, but that’s one way I remember because I really enjoyed it.
Going on from there my parents started making us read stories to them every night. Hence the reason we always went to the library. In the end my brother and I caught up and I ended up falling in love with reading. To this day I love fantasy stories with castles, maybe this was because of that castle computer game. However my brother doesn’t really have fun reading fiction books at all. If he reads anything, it’s a non-fiction book or it’s a text book on computers. Very different outcomes.
I fell in love with the fact that when you read you aren’t in reality anymore. You get to live this other life in your head for a while.
So this is how I fell in love with reading. Ironically, it was because I couldn’t read and I hated it.
How did you fall in love with reading? Was it anything like the way I did? Or did you have to learn to love reading?