Chat Between Chapters: What is your literacy story?

October 26, 2014 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 41


 How did you become a reader? Is reading something you have always enjoyed? Share your literacy story with us!

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

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.

Rose review avatar Rose:

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.

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41 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: What is your literacy story?”

  1. Stefani

    Like Rose, I was pissed in first grade. There were a couple of girls who already knew how to read and the teacher went on and on praising them. One time I cried. My mum then told me: look sweetie if you knew how to read we wouldn’t have sent you to school at all. That calmed my 7 year old self. I started making progress slowly. Then in second grade…baaam! I took off. I read Heidi in one day. That’s a 300 page book and a required reading for fifth grade. So, yeah from feeling left behind I went 3 years ahead in my reading.

    Thank you mum! But also, that teacher. Cause I wanted to prove to her that I can read and read better than those other girls 🙂

  2. Tina at Mommynificent

    I loved reading both of your stories! Lots of surprises there. I don’t actually remember a time when I couldn’t read. My parents say I was about two. I too went through a time where I didn’t read much for fun though because school had taken all the fun out of it. When I finished writing my thesis, I read every YA book I could get my hands on! Thanks for sharing this discussion at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Kindle Fire Kids Edition Holiday Giveaway!

  3. Brenda @DailyMayo

    Learning to read in Russian- now that is impressive. 🙂 My story is more similar to Rose’s story, though. I learned to read well around age 7, but it wasn’t until 4th grade that I really took off with reading. I’m not even sure why. I remember we had a library within walking distance of our house, and at least once a week my mom would take us there after school. I always picked about 10 books (Boxcar children and Ramona were my favorite then) and read them all within the first 2 days. From there, I just kept reading and never stopped! What a thoughtful question! You guys always come up with great discussion topics! Thanks for linking up with Quote Me Thursday!
    Brenda @DailyMayo recently posted…20 Last-Minute Geek Costume Ideas for the Truly Lazy

    • Julie

      Ooh I remember in school I would go to the library and check out a bunch of books and return them the following week too. Loved that 🙂

      • Rose

        Julie, did you ever go to the book mobile??? We would go there every month with my friend’s mom. It was soooo cool.

    • Rose

      Thanks Brenda! I loved the Romona books and Boxcar Children as well. I liked Bill Wallace, too!

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    Aww, I love both your literacy stories! Julie, that’s incredible you could read in Russian! And Rose, it’s adorable that you were so disappointed at not learning to read. 🙂 I have always loved books. We lived close to one of my uncles when I was young, and every time he came over (probably daily) I would meet him at the door, take his hand, and lead him to my room so he could read to me. I really can’t remember a time when I haven’t read. My mom was also a reader and I used to steal books from her shelves. *shh* I didn’t pleasure read as much during high school and college – but only because I didn’t have time due to reading assignments. I really, really enjoyed my assignments though – A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies, The Scarlet Letter, Beowulf (which I’ve read 3 times). I majored in English Lit in college – with a focus on British Lit. (my father-in-law always told me I was a snob *haha*) I’m proud to say that I’ve nurtured 3 big readers – all my kiddos love to read just as much as I do. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**New Adult Review ~ True ~ Erin McCarthy**

    • Julie

      I think it is so awesome that you raised some great reading kids too 🙂 I might have to ask you for pointers heh.

    • Rose

      That is awesome Brandee! I dreaded taking Brit Lit in college, and absolutely hated Brit Lit I. But when it came to Brit Lit II, I fell in love! I loved it!

  5. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    That’s awesome that you guys can remember! I CANNOT REMEMBER. I just…I feel like I’ve always been reading. I’m sure I was about 5 or 6 when I started, but I have no memories of my “first book”. I grew up being read to and I remember my little sister reading her first book at 4…without my mum being around! Heh. My mum was so sad she missed that moment. 😉
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…YA 2015 Trend Predictions || Wherein I gather MANY BLOGGERS to chat

    • Julie

      Hey nothing wrong with not remembering. Feeling like you’ve been reading forever is awesome 🙂

  6. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    How cool that you learned to read Russian Julie – was that your first language or did you learn English simultaneously? I’ve always been jealous of people who grew up with more than one language, since I’ve had to work so hard as an adult for my languages!

    I could say some things to your second grade teacher Rose! Its been my motto with my stepson that it doesn’t matter S much WHAT he reads but that he DOES read. I mean, I want to keep it appropriate, but you loved horses – what’s the harm? My stepson was all about comics and now he’s into graphic novels – not my thing at all, but I’m happy he’s reading them!

    My story is that I struggled a lot too – mainly because I couldn’t see well, but didn’t know to tell anyone. They figured it out towards the end of first grade and wanted to hold me back, but my mom said, “she can read and will be caught up by the fall” and then she worked with me all summer. By the end of the summer, you couldn’t keep me in books, I was addicted. When I started second grade, I was the best reader in the class. So I owe my mom a lot – I think if I’d been held back, I would have quickly gotten bored and who knows how long it would have taken me to realize I love reading!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Riding Home

    • Julie

      I didn’t start learn English until we moved to the States when I was 6.
      I’m glad your Mom helped you through and got you into books 🙂

    • Rose

      WOW! Yay Mom for sticking up for and believing in you! I think it would have probably bored you to tears to be held back.

  7. Ann @ Books on the Table

    Love this post and everyone’s stories! I remember trying to convince my parents that I could read. They thought I was memorizing the books they’d read to me, and tried to trick me by skipping ahead. I remember how excited they were when they realized I actually could read. I didn’t know why they were so excited — reading seemed like walking or talking, it just came naturally.
    Ann @ Books on the Table recently posted…Nonfiction Friday — 10 Favorite Survival Books

    • Rose

      That is funny that they were so excited. I think my parents were excited, but then eventually got tired of me reading everything. Once, on a long roadtrip my dad told me to read every billboard and sign I came across. (His goal was to keep my busy and help him stay awake.) After about 500 miles, he told me to stop reading lol.

  8. Kristen

    I learned to read at the age of three. My mom worked with me to teach me because I had had a very tough birth and the doctors said I was going to be delayed (well, they were nastier than that, actually). I wasn’t particularly on target with physical stuff but books and reading obviously struck a cord and I picked them up immediately.
    Kristen recently posted…Review: Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

    • Julie

      UGH gotta hate it when doctors say someone is going to be delayed. Good job proving them wrong intellectually 🙂

    • Rose

      YAY for your mom. Doctors don’t know everything. And sometimes doctors accept things that they really shouldn’y. Every case is a person and every person is different.

  9. Braine Talk Supe

    Julie – That is so cool reading in Russian. What do you call your alphabet? Maybe if you brush up, it’ll come back.

    Rose – That’s a great story. Great of you to have persevered until you got good at it. It’s a great story.

    My mom used to read a lot to me and I guess I just picked it up when I learned to read on my own. I started like most people, children’s books, then moved to Archie comics, Sweet Valley Twins then High, Sweet Dreams, Harlequin, Historical romance, and the rest is history.

    Thanks for sharing your stories 🙂
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Suped Up: Last Light by M. Pierce

    • Julie

      Cyrillic alphabet I think? That’s awesome that you enjoyed reading because your Mom started out reading to you. Definitely need to do that.

    • Rose

      I remember stealing into my Granny’s closet and secretly reading mature romance novels. LOL. That is how I learned about the birds and the bees. Books taught me everything!!!!

  10. Kimber Leigh Wheaton

    Mine is the result of a sad tragedy that occurred when I was three. My brother was born premature with a myriad of awful problems. We were in a hospital in LA, our home hours away up the coast of CA. My grandmother spent endless hours in the hospital waiting room teaching me to read. Back then there were no laptops or smartphones to help pass the time. I spent two weeks– 10+ hours a day in that waiting room. By the end of that time, I was a voracious reader with quite a library since my grandmother bought so many books to occupy our time. Parts of that experience are the only vivid memories I have of my early childhood.
    Kimber Leigh Wheaton recently posted…Book Blitz: Seductive Supernaturals Boxed Set – Excerpt & Giveaway

    • Julie

      Wow that is quite a story, sitting there waiting for your baby brother to get better and be able to be released and learning to read in the meantime.

  11. Leila

    Like Julie I learned to read by 4 (but in English). And that was it. I’ve been addicted ever since. I never sent through a period in high school where I didn’t read outside school. I just read even more. I took books from my mom’s “forbidden” bookshelf and that got me through. My degree is in English and Creative Writing. So I just read and wrote for 4 years. My day jobs usually involve a lot of reading. Dry legal stuff, but reading nonetheless so I’m happy. And now I have blogging and other fan bloggers and I love reading more than ever.
    Leila recently posted…Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely #1) by Melissa Marr


    This might sounds a bit sad ( don’t feel bad for me a had s lovely child hood but I was never read to when I was a kid. I was raised by my grandparents who (my grandfather read as he got older) but hey were more of a go outside and kick a can type of parents. Lol. But I do remember learning to read prob when I did start learning to read, not being satisfied that things were spelled that way there were. Like I could not fathom the fact that there was an A in my name. Simply didn’t make sense being as my name is proudced Britt-ny that’s how is should be spelled Not Brittany. Let me tell you I had a hell of kindergarten teacher (hell in a scary way not a good way) and she always said to me your name isn’t Brittney its Britt-any! She would make me unnouciate everytime and it stuck and I suppose I should thank her since she was just trying to get me to speak proper…properly. I re ber not liking the shape of the A that’s why I didn’t want it in my name. I was also jealous of people with shorter names like Rose and Julie. Lol it’s hard to be a kid with a king a me and a last name at the end of the alphabet. Now I’m glad I can pass my love of reading on to my 3 year old and its quickly taken root. It’s incredibke but between me and abcmouse he’s sounding out words as he reads almost there!! What a fun post.
    ❤ Brittany @
    Please Feed the Bookworm
    BRITTANY T recently posted…Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

    • Julie

      Well it does kind of sounds like your teacher was a terror, but it got you into learning and reading, right?

  13. Brittany

    My parents used to check my room for bookish paraphernalia before I went to bed. They had to make sure there were no books, magazines, or flashlights (as well as notebooks and pencils) in my room when I went to bed or I would secretly stay up til dawn reading or writing.

    • Julie

      Haha you would read all night, that’s awesome. That’s a good thing to be bad about 😉

    • Rose

      hahaha i read by my night light. It took several years for my parents to figure out that I was not scared of the dark,but reading with the light. hahah

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