How Goodreads Members First Fell in Love with Reading
We like to say we're lifelong readers, but the truth is we were all nonreaders once. And even after we learned to sound out words, the love of books came later—with a particular story or a friend or family member who showed us the way.
In partnership with Rebel in the Rye, the new biographical drama about the life of The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger, we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter to tell us who inspired their love of reading. Read some of our favorite responses below and then share your own story with us in the comments.
1. "My father. He read to me every night before bed and made it a treat. If I was good that day, we would read two books. When I was three, he told me that if I read an entire book to him, cover to cover, he would take me out and buy me $100 worth of books." -Hannah
2. "My mother. She read voraciously. She believed that when you die, your soul and spirit stay for a while…so you would have time to read. She asked that she be buried with her favorite book, To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I put it in her hands in her casket." -Joan
3. "My BFF during our sophomore year in high school. She thought I needed a new hobby. After reading Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures, I traded my boy hobby for a book hobby." -Jeanny
4. "My aunt. I remember the day she took us to the library, got The Little Mermaid out, and read it to us in the backyard on a gorgeous day. She also had a wonderful bookcase at home. She rocked." -Sandra
5. "My best friend, Else. I have always loved the idea of reading, but I never got into it. Else and I were 'only' online friends through a game. I did know she loved to read, so I suggested a book to her. After that we started to talk a lot, and I started to read for real. Now I can't imagine a world without books or a life without her." -Sussie
6. "I come from a family of readers—my mum, my grandmother, my aunts, my cousins… They all read truck-loads of books. How could I not?" -Au
7. "My sixth grade teacher. She read The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler during the last half hour of every school day." -Jolanta
8. "My parents. I can remember going to the library and to the book fair with them at a very young age. No matter how many books I picked out, I never heard the word "no"—and we didn't have a lot of money. But books and reading were that important. One of the best legacies my parents left me…the love of reading." -Patti
9. "My uncle. He was always reading and always seemed to know something about any topic that came up in conversation. At the time, being a young boy, I thought he was the smartest man in the world, and I wanted to be just like him. I still consult with him regularly." -Cody
10. "My first grade teacher in 1965. She put me in the "middle reading group," and when I protested—nothing average in my plans—she told me that if I worked hard, she would move me up. I was soon reading ahead to learn what Sally, Spot, Dick, and Jane were doing. I have never stopped reading and sharing that love with my friends, my daughters, and my students." -Pam
11. "The children's librarian at the Fall River Public Library. Every Saturday I would walk the two or three miles to see her—and she knew me, recognized me, and recommended good books. She even allowed me to exceed the allowed number of books to be taken out at one time!" -Paul
12. "My father. He was an avid reader, but he became very sick when I was young, so I didn't get to spend that much time with him. No one else in my family liked reading, so I didn't initially take to it.
Then when I was eleven, my teacher introduced me to the joys of reading. She gave me Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass as a present. I think she saw that I was a bit of an outsider and thought I would enjoy a book about a fellow day dreamer that didn't follow the rules. She was right. It was the first book I can truly say I fell in love with.
Now that I am older reading lets me connect with my dad, even though he is no longer around. I love finding his old books and reading them. It's my way of having a part of him all to myself." -Judy
How did you fall in love with books? Share your story with us in the comments!
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