How did you become a reader? Is reading something you have always enjoyed? Share your literacy story with us!
My Grandma taught me how to read (Russian) at a young age, like 4, and I took to it very well. I’m told I used to read Pushkin’s children’s stories and people wondered if I was actually reading or had it memorized from hearing it a lot, since they didn’t think I was old enough to really read. Yep, I was reading. Now my Russian has faded since it is one of those use it or lose it skills, but I read just fine in English thank you very much. I remember in school I used to check out a book from the library and I’d read at least an hour before bed each night so I’d bring the book back and check out another sometimes the very next day. I loved reading. I often saw my Dad reading so I guess I got that from him. My interests varied on what I actually read, but I was always reading. I kind of lost my way in high school due to all the stuff we were forced to read in English class, but I gained it back in college and beyond and am making up for lost time heh.
I am told that I came home from my first day of 1st grade quite angry! In fact, I was more than angry, I was spittin’ mad, according to my mother. I wanted to learn to read and I knew other kids my age were learning to read. I remember enjoying kindergarten, but once it was all over and the fun was no longer distracting me, I began to realize that I had not learned to read. I could count and I could say my alphabet, but I could NOT read. I looked forward to 1st grade so badly, that I stayed up all night before the first day of school. I did NOT learn to read the first day of 1st grade. I came home, voiced my displeasure and promptly fell asleep. Of course, I did eventually learn to read, but surprise, surprise, I was not good at it. In fact, I was quite slow (still am) and did NOT like reading aloud. Still, I enjoyed reading and read every horse book I could get my hands on. Until, that is, my 2nd grade teacher banned me from doing anymore book reports on horse books. I really did not like reading after that. I felt like I had done something wrong. I felt like the things I liked to read about were not appropriate. I felt ashamed. It was not until 4th grade when I became a good reader and got my confidence back. We had to read The Black Stallion by Walter Farley and I was sort of a 4th grade expert on all things horse related, so I began to read again and enjoyed! The following Christmas, my grandma bought me the first three books in the Thoroughbred Series by Joanna Campbell and I was a gonner. I fell madly in love with reading, majored in English Lit in college and am currently working on getting my teaching certification to teach secondary English.