Friday, June 26, 2015

My Reading Story

#bookshelfie
Lately, I've noticed articles such as this one about influential librarians that fostered the love of reading in their patrons. While I love skimming a write-up that reinforces the necessity of librarians, I don't remember a librarian ever recommending a book to me. It might have happened once or twice, but no memorable instance ever implanted itself in my brain for me to rhapsodize about later in life.

So how did I end up here, championing librarians on Twitter for Lerner, garnering reading recommendations from review journals and blogs, and consuming mountains of books?

First of all, I’m naturally predisposed to love stories; almost as soon as I could talk, I'd tell my mom to tell me a story. If things weren't going my way, I'd edit it as needed, interjecting my changes and annoying the heck out of her. In one (in)famous instance, I made our family into a kind of reader's theater based on my favorite Disney movie ever (at the time), The Little Mermaid. My father was awarded the dubious honor of portraying King Triton.

But it was my parents who ultimately made me a book lover. Though neither one of them particularly loves to read (I think my dad reads one book a decade, if that), they introduced me to board books, then picture books, then early reader chapter books. Seriously, my parents read me piles of books—most notably the American Girl doll stories. My dad's favorite American Girl to read about was Molly. He'll deny it if you ask, though.

Totally his favorite.
Even after I could devour pages by myself and would read late into the night with a flashlight, my mom read books such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Hobbit to my brother and me. As a family, we'd listen to audio books in the car together. Mom and I still joke about checking out Quentin Corn again, a book about a pig who became a boy for a while and sang in the church choir. (It was an especially funny book to listen to because my brother's name is Quentin.)

I did well in English classes and majored in English literature in college, and so here I am, in this wonderful community of people who love stories.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve enjoyed perusing the Our Reading Lives posts on BookRiot. The writers talk about a wide variety of topics: how certain books have changed their worldviews, how they prioritize unwieldy to-be-read lists, and, yes, how school librarians have the power to change lives. Sometimes, the writer simply recommends a book or two.

And so, all this to say, what’s your reading story? Did your dad read you American Girl doll books, or were you raised on Chaucer and Proust? Was there a librarian who inspired you to bring wagonfuls of books home? How did your life as a reader begin?

Or, you can just tell us what you’re reading…there’s always room in my library reservation queue for another recommendation.




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