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Random Book Banter > What's Your Reading History?

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message 1: by Melki (last edited Nov 13, 2011 03:17PM) (new)

Melki | 205 comments This is a topic I introduced in another group and it really got people talking.

I'm always interested in finding out others' reading habits and histories. Were you always a big reader, or did you come to it later in life? Do your parents and siblings read? What about your significant other and kids?
Please share anything you'd like to say about your favorite pastime.


message 2: by Melki (new)

Melki | 205 comments My parents were both big readers and so there were always plenty of books around the house to choose from. My dad loved detective novels, but every summer he would choose a particular author - Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, etc... - and read EVERYTHING they wrote. My mom read whatever was popular at the time. They let me read anything I wanted and never tried to stop me from reading something that might be too "mature" for me. (And for that I will be eternally grateful!) They also let me order whatever I wanted from the Scholastic catalogues the school sent home.
Friday nights were big in our household. First we went to dinner at either George's Pizza or the Hamilton Restaurant. (I didn't care which, because I had a foot-long hot dog wherever we went. I think part of my childhood died the day they replaced the "foot-longs" with 2 regular hot dogs!) Then we would head for the little bookstore downtown and everyone would get something.
I read a lot of trash in my high school years - horror novels, movie tie-ins, and this series of sleazy teenage sex novels by Jack W. Thomas. (As I recall, they had very "moral" endings, where the slutty, druggy girls ended up in rehab, jail or dead!)
I majored in Art at college, which didn't exactly open too many doors career-wise. I eventually wound up working at B. Dalton Books. (Probably as close as I will ever get to Heaven!) Employees were encouraged to borrow bestsellers so we could promote them to the customers. Paperback books that had reached the end of their "shelf life" were to have their covers sent back, then be destroyed. Of course we ignored the second part of that directive, and all of us had vast libraries of stripped paperbacks! Why did I leave this job? Well, I married the manager.
Aw! A bookstore romance - still together after 20 years! My husband came from a family of nonreaders. I'm not sure there was a single book in their house, yet they were all highly educated people. They just did not read "for fun." My husband reads about 52 books a year - but he claims that if he had married someone else, he probably wouldn't read at all.
My sons read, though they'd both rather be playing video games.
I pick up a book whenever I have some free time and no matter how tired I am, I can't fall asleep without reading a little first.
To me, life without books would be simply unimaginable!


message 3: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (last edited Nov 13, 2011 03:34PM) (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
While my parents go through phrases of reading a lot and not reading at all (depending how busy they are) I was never much of a reader when I was young. I think I would read a book a year, and only because I was told I needed to read. It wasn’t till 3 years ago that I started reading (a lot). It all started with a radio segment (The Culture Club on Triple J) where they drew similarities from songs currently on high rotation with poets (mostly from the romantic era). This started my love for reading; gateway books were Hey! Nietzsche! Leave Them Kids Alone! (the author was responsible for The Culture Club) and Frankenstein.


message 4: by Rohan (new)

Rohan | 32 comments Have always been a big reader. It was instilled in me at a very young age that books were valuable entities, objects that contained the power to expand whatever limited horizons my life might have. My maternal grandfather, who looked after me when I was a small child, used to read voraciously. His whole life was spent in blue-collar, generally unrespected, occupations, but his reading gave his life dignity and meaning. I can remember being exposed to Coriolanus and Julius Caesar, Roald Dahl, The Children of the New Forest, Jane Eyre, Watership Down, The Coral Reef (that I'm rereading now), Grimm's Fairytales, Roger Lancelyn Green's childrens versions of the Greek Myths, The Box of Delights, Kidnapped (a book I still love to this day), The Call of the Wild and White Fang (and Jack London is still one of my favourite authors), Michael Morpurgo, Ambrose Bierce, Maupassant, Enid Blyton and many other works, all thanks to my grandfather, and all before the age of 10.

I also used to get sent stories that he created for me. They were normally light satirical pieces about our family, that used animal POV's heavily (Ferrets, Birds, Hedgehogs) because he knew how much I loved animals. In his freetime he painted and wrote poetry, so the stories would often come with cartoons and illustrations. He died back in the late 90's, but he left all his grandchildren a collected volume of poetry, published shortly before he died.

Aside from my grandfather, my mother had a reasonably large influence on my reading habits as she took me to my first library aged four. It was in a place called Crystal Palace, in London (where we'd moved to after leaving Scotland). My mum would take me to the library every day of the week except Wednesdays and Sundays (when it was closed). Normally I'd read a book in the library and then borrow a book to read at home. I was so proud of my little green cardboard library card, with my name written on it. It was definitely the most important thing I owned right up until my grandfather got me a typewriter for my ninth birthday. I can remember reading lots of series of kids books. Things like The Animals of Farthing Wood, Brian Jacques's Redwall series, a whole load of British sci-fi kids fiction that was about a wacky scientist who visited strange planets where the inhabitants had eyes in the back of their heads and such like (can't remember the author name here). I also quite quickly developed a taste for history and biography and was reading about The American Civil War, The War of the Roses, Florence Nightingale, Christopher Cockerell, the Berlin Wall and many other bits and pieces. I had a magpie intelligence not particularly good at exploring things in depth, but rather focusing on a little bit of as many things as possible. Over the years my tastes have become a bit more refined and a little less chaotic.

I briefly fell out of love with reading when I got obsessed with cinema in my early teens. After watching Taxi Driver and Dr. Zhivago, I devoted much of my teenage years to the silver screen. During this interlude I only really read teen-pulp fiction like Christopher Pike and sci-fi stuff like Robert Asprin, alongside whatever school set texts I needed to look at. At college I rediscovered a taste for books all over again with my introductions to James Joyce, John Fowles, John Irving, J.D. Salinger and Edith Wharton (The House of Mirth is probably one of the most important books I've ever read). From there I was grateful to get to University so I could effectively sit and read 3 years of my life away. Reading has been a blessing and a curse. The more I read the less I write. I've devoted myself to reading at the expense of really having organised a decent career path for myself. In this way it literally is a bit like a drug. However, I couldn't imagine life without some form of literature in it.

Nowadays I split my time between political non-fiction, crime fiction, biographies, sci-fi, classics, horror fiction and various different types of history. In terms of influences at key stages in my development, they'd probably be as follows:-

4-5 Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, RL Stevenson, The Dandy & The Beano, Oor Wullie

5-10 Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, John Masefield, Brian Jacques, Jack London, Colin Dann, Marvel Comics & DC Comics, The Legend of the Shield, Mark Twain, Charlotte Bronte

10-16 Stephen King, Christopher Pike, Robert Asprin, Shakespeare, Frank Herbert, Graham Greene, Ted Hughes, Dean R. Koontz

16-19 James Joyce, John Fowles, Edith Wharton, Grant Morrison, Daniel Clowes, Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, Clive Barker, JG Ballard, John Irving, Paul Auster, DJ Enright, Oscar Wilde

19-23 Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Wallace Stevens, Edward Thomas, Charles Dickens, James Hogg, Andrew Crumey, B.S. Johnson, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Claire McIntyre, Frank McGuinness, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, Marina Carr, Charles Burns, Henry Fielding, Daniel Defoe, Algernon Blackwood

Those are the main figures that mark my development. Nowadays I read too many different authors to list here. But I've been impressed in recent years with the likes of Marisha Pessl, Simon van Booy, Nicola Barker, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Tristan Egolf, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Peter Carey.

Above all other books mentioned the double-header that is Alice's Aventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is without a shadow of a doubt the single work that has had the longest lasting effect upon me.


message 5: by Lawyer (last edited Nov 14, 2011 05:09PM) (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) I have shared bits and pieces of my reading history with a few friends here in the group. For them, little new will be found here.

My mother and father married at an early age. My mother was still a student in high school. They eloped to a nearby state that allowed young people to marry without their parents' permission.

It was soon obvious that my parents were too young to share the responsibility of parenthood. My father abandoned my mother within a week of my birth. My mother took me back to the home of her parents. And it was there I was raised.

My mother found herself working long hours for small wages. I was essentially raised by my grandparents. The great depression had interrupted their education and what they might have become, had they not been caught up in terrible financial situations, will never be known.

Both of them, however, never lost their love of books. They instilled that in me. My earliest introduction to books was through the stories my grandfather told me, that he had learned from books. I began with a small library of Little Golden Books which my grandparents and mother constantly read to me.

But it was through an unusual conglomeration of businesses that I discovered the true world of books. There was only one bookstore in my home town, although those who were students at our local university had materials available to them, which were not known to the people of the town, not affiliated with the university.

Near the heart of town was Lustig's Bookstore. It had been founded by Henry Lustig around 1919. When Mr.Lustig died, having no sons, he left the business in the hands of his two daughters, Esther and Maxine. They both had different visions for the business.

In addition to being a bookstore, Esther had broadened the business to include a complete line of stationery, invitations,and writing instruments. I was considered the sociably accepted place for the purchase of wedding gifts and the place where one had their wedding invitations properly engraved. A framing gallery was installed behind the main store down a hallway. In the very back of the business was a beauty salon.

It was there, on Saturday mornings, my Grandmother had her weekly day of beauty. I was dragged along, my mother usually working, and my grandfather, being liberated from the duty of child care.

There was a small playroom outfitted with educational toys. I remember the earliest versions of Tinkertoys and the ubiquitous Lincoln Logs that were popular in the early 1950s.

However, my curiousity quickly outgrew the playroom. On Saturday mornings, I stealthily left the playroom and began to explore other areas of the business.

First I met Pete who ran the framing gallery. I watched him work, mounting prints, matting them, and framing them. Frequently he told me the stories of the paintings he framed.

Even that was not sufficient to hold my interest, so I wandered on into the main store front up the hall. Esther did not welcome me there. Being a child of divorce made me something of a disreputable person in her view, which was also shared by others of her persuasion and generation.

I believe that her sister Maxine found a secret pleasure in taking a disreputable child under her wing and deciding that I would become her unofficial pupil.

On that Saturday morning I departed Lustig's with a picture book of jungle animals with wonderful illustrations. My grandparents never denied me a book. And over subsequent birthdays and holidays most of my gifts were purchased at the suggestion of Miss Maxine.

My allowance was easily spent at Lustig's. As I grew older, Miss Maxine began to be more assertive in guiding my reading. Although I would have gladly spent every spare cent I had, her rule was that I was only allowed to purchase one book at a time. I could return and buy another after we had discussed my last purchase. Miss Maxine was exact in her questioning. She wanted to be sure that I "got" it.

Each of the books, Miss Maxine suggested to me, I read for the pure pleasure of it. A book suggested by Maxine was always fun to read. She made sure it was. Odd, that as I entered high school, I was reading Hemingway, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Eudora Welty for fun. Of course others followed. McCullers, O'Connor, Robert Penn Warren. Nor did she neglect the classics or drama.

It was only when I had entered the University that I realized I had read almost every item of required reading for fun. No book was ever ruined for me because I had to read it. It was merely the subject of a pleasant conversation with a tall, slim, aging red headed woman, who seemed to be filled with some sort of fire that spread to me in developing a love of literature.

Of course, there were others responsible for my development of love of reading. My grandmother was my stalwart advocate when visiting the library. I was most often perceived to be incapable of reading books classified for older readers. When the librarian questioned my ability to comprehend the contents of a book, my grandmother firmly stated that if he says he can read it, he can read it. And I could.

My health also had a decided impact on my reading. I was a childhood asthmatic, subject to repeated attacks, most often during the late night or early morning hours. I lived in a time when doctors still made house calls. He was a large man, the doctor who tended to me during those attacks. He would flutter into my room, pajama top out over dress britches, his suit coat thrown over his shoulders. He would pump me full of adrenaline, oder a Kaz vaporizer started and would stay with me until I was no longer blue. He and my grandfather would sit on either side of the bed, sipping strong coffee, monitoring my breathing. The doctor encouraged me to read, losing my mind in a book, as the adrenaline took effect, and the mist from the vaporizer would again begin to open my constricted bronchial tubes.

It was not unusual that I became something of a night owl, frequently reading late into the night. Nor was it unusual that I took on active Americans, such as Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Theodore Roosevelt,as my heroes, being bedridden on frequent occasions. I had no active life, other than in the pages of their biographies, so my adventures were of the most vicarious kind.

A bout of the red measles left my housecalling physician horrified when he found me reading a book in a sunfilled room. He immediately announced I could lose my eyesight and ordered the room darkened. Heavy blankets and quilts were hung over the windows. I was forbidden to read at all. I was completely at a loss for any way to pass the time. My grandparents and my mother took on the responsibility of reading to me, by a dim nighlight at floor level. Many hours they sat on the floor straining their own eyes, reading me books that I was not allowed to read myself. It was then I learned my grandmother was a fan of Zane Gray westerns and I was entertained with "Robbers' Roost," and "Riders of the Purple Sage." My mother and grandfather accommodated me by reading the books of my choice, so my grandfather obligingly read Walter Lord's "A Time to Stand," while my mother, rather suffered through it, although she never wavered from her task.

I read to each of my children as they grew. Now, at my son's wish, I build a library of books for my granddaughters. He reminds me that the hours we spent reading aloud are among his happiest of childhood.

Why am I rebuilding a library of books I had previously accumulated? Sadly,husbands and wives do not always share the same value of books,literature, or any other matters over the passage of time. My first marriage ended in divorce. The children's library was stored in a unit which was burglarized. Those books are gone, unfortunately. So I am rebuilding that library for I do see the value in it as my son does.

I have often learned more about people and their way of viewing the world in great works of fiction as readily as in any psychological text. And the words of those authors, whom I always credit, have often been recited in arguments before juries, as they, too, see themselves in the works of authors who seem to understand them as well as they understand themselves.

Each day I find the time to set aside time for reading. Often I find myself reading books I first read as a young man. I am always amazed at the wisdom of those authors I missed because of my immaturity when I first read those books.

My reading history is unfinished. That is as it should be. For as long as I continue to read, I find myself more connected to all those who cross my path each day.


message 6: by Marlene (last edited Nov 13, 2011 11:12PM) (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments My reading history can unfortunately not be as long as all of yours because I´m just 17. This does not keep me from having over 400 books in my room at the moment.

My mother started my reading fixation. Every night, since I can think, she read books for me. Fairytales were the first stories I really remember and I heard some of them so often that I can recite them by heart. I still find that I like fairy tales very much, even though I can look at them with more insight now. (And I have to admit, most of them are pretty cruel)
Those were followed by Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver or Momo.
When I finally started school, my greatest goal was to learn how to read. As it is I was really annoyed after a month or so, because we needed half a week to learn one single letter.
Anyway somehow I got through this period and started reading.

I have to admit that I did not read this much at first. When I got books for christmas or my birthday I would read them, but I never really whished for anything. This changed in fourth grade.

By this time I had two best friends and I got along with both of them pretty well - or so I thought. It turned out one was not as good a friend as I had thought her to be.
Long story short: She messed up roally and I was standing there alone, with no friends at all.

Every year there was a book market at our school and when I happened to look through it in fourth grade, I took two trilogies with me. You see, I had a whole lot of time and nothing to do with it. In this moment that changed.

Those two book series will always belong to my favorites because they opened my eyes. I dont know how they are called in english so you have to live with german: Kai Meyer´s "Die Wellenläufer" und "Merle"-Trilogy.

After this it just got worse. When I left the elementary school half a year later, I made the mistake of wanting to take a class with my former best friends. NOT a good idea, as you might guess. Lets just say it didnt work out much better than before and I didnt really catch up with my new classmates.
This left me with reading, which I did. Furiously.

Evereything I couldnt do in reality, I did in books. They got me through a difficult time and I never stopped loving them since this day.

Right now my life is pretty much perfect, but I just kept my book obsession. This shows that out of some situations you really wanted to advoid can arise great opportunities.

At the moment I have my 400 books in six bookshelves and my mother almost faints whenever she takes a look at my to-read-list. I mostly read fantasy stuff till now, but I just started reading classics.
I started reading english books two or three years ago to improve my english skills and at some point I realized I could understand them as good as german books. So I moved on to more difficult books - and found I love most of them.

My book consume has been rising exponentially (for example: 100 of those 400 books where bought this year!)

As Mike said, my reading history is everything but finished. When you keep in mind that Im just 17 and my reading taste will change often, this would probably result in me having a whole library at my command one day.


message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim Everyone has such great stories. I wish I could write something like that but I've always been a reader, not a writer.

I'm not sure where my love of reading came from. My mother likes to read but she didn't really read a lot until she retired. My brothers barely read a book a year so I know they didn't help it along.

I've just always loved books. I'd always read whatever I could my hands on for as long as I can remember. I'm glad my girlfriend is also a big reader so she is understanding when I vanish into the pages for a while.

For me reading is an escape so I'm not a fan of a lot of serious drama. There's enough drama and seriousness in the world around us as it is so why dwell on it even more. Hence my biggest love of fantasy, then sci-fi and, of course, books that make you laugh. But I'm not afraid to dip my toes into serious books once in a while.


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) My mother started me reading very young, as a “whole word reader.” At 18 months I could put sentences together by pointing (not particularly difficult one’s but I was a great conversation piece at parties). I pointed because I hadn’t started to speak yet (now they can’t get me to shut up!). I am/was also pretty dyslexic (now they call it “reading disorder” though I like Dyslexic better). Let this be something for parents to look into. If you teach whole word reading, your kids will be able to read, even if they are dyslexic. If you teach your child to break words down by their sounds, you’ll drive your dyslexic children crazy with feelings of inadequacy. For phonetic reading, letters have to stay consistently in the same place. Even today, I can look at “I”s and “e”s side by side and watch them trade places while I watch (of course it’s more complicated than that, but too hard to describe in a one liner).

Anyway…

I struggled with school, as any person struggling with dyslexia does. By the third grade I was convinced that I was stupid, my parents were in shock wondering what they had done to make me feel that way and finally the teachers suggested they get me checked out for Dyslexia. They did and I had it. I was getting therapy for dyslexia, to develop hand and eye coordination in Houston in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They didn’t understand it any better, then, than they do now. But I benefitted from having people who cared around me and offered a more plausible and much less emotionally painful diagnosis (it’s hard to find people who treat stupidity). Somewhere in there I abandoned the idea that I could learn this “phonetic reading” thing and stuck with the “whole word reading process” that my mother had started with. My mother had just been trying to stimulate our brains and help us get thinking.

The first book I ever read was “Harry is a Dirty Dog.” My wife recently found me a copy and I’m about to let my daughter (6) start reading it. Whole word readers take a little longer to develop because we need a large vocabulary and we have to learn to use context clues to help us “guess” what words are that we’ve never seen before. From then on, I read voraciously. I read Watership down cover to cover by the end of grade school (6th grade). Before I knew it I was draining every “Hardy Boys” mystery from the Library that I could get my hands on and I loved Biographies at the time, though that has changed now. I also read the John Carter of Mars books by E.R. Burroughs.

In Junior High (grades 8-9 for me) I completed, the Hobbit (first time) and the Lord of the Rings, along with the Silmarillon and Unfinished Tales. I moved on drinking in every fantasy and science fiction novel I could get my hands on, including Zelazny’s Amber series, Terry Brooks first Shannara Trilogy, and many others. I joined the Navy and spent my time between watches and military stuff, reading. There were times I’d read instead of sleeping, lots of books, cover to cover, mostly when my ship was at sea.

I got married at 30 and my reading slowed quite a lot, by the time I was chosen “Sailor of the Year” on my ship, I didn’t feel like I had time to read anything. I found time to do a lot of things I shouldn’t be doing, so it wasn’t like I “couldn’t have been reading.” Then my wife and I adopted our daughter, followed by a son two years after that and I stopped reading nearly completely for about 3 years.

Two years ago I found Audio books and iPod and started listening to books whenever I drove anywhere and walked my dog. From there I found a Kindle and realized that I am one of the few people who is able to listen to that computerized voice and still get the images, voices and sounds conjured up in my head that I get when I read it myself. I also hadn’t realized how much trouble reading had gotten for me. My eyes aren’t what they used to be. Given kindle with adjustable font size and clear pages I didn’t have to hold down and I burned through 30 books in a month, reading, before I decided to try the text to speech feature.

Now I take my kindle with me to any appointment. I listen to books driving and walking my dog (daily exercise 40mins a shot) and I read at home when I get the chance. I’ve a much broader pallet than ever before, fiction primarily but now I love just about anything from action adventure to police procedurals to horror, to epic fantasy and science fiction. I’m just now getting into classics like Frankenstein and The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard. I still haven’t developed a taste for non-fiction, but I give it a try when I can.

And that’s how I got to where I am as a reader.


message 9: by Marlene (last edited Nov 14, 2011 07:52AM) (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments All your stories are so interesting! Its funny on how different ways everybody got interested in books!

Hugh, I really admire you for staying with reading (or listening to books) even though you are dyslexic. Isnt it diffcult to write too? Or easier than reading?
Sorry, I just dont know much about dyslexia except that letter-swapping thing.

And Hugh and Kim, youre both right. Im not much for non-fiction myself. You used exactly the argument I always bring forth, when someone is asking me. Why do I have to read about reality, when I have enough of it in real life? Ive got those problems I read about anyway (or some of them) but have you ever met a magician in real life? A dragon? No? Thats the point. :)


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 14, 2011 08:07AM) (new)

Hugh (A.K.A. Hermit the Curmudgeon) wrote: "My mother started me reading very young, as a “whole word reader.” At 18 months I could put sentences together by pointing (not particularly difficult one’s but I was a great conversation piece a..."

Hi Hugh, I started my son off this way too by making flash cards. In first grade I felt I would never learn to read and spent time crying about it as it was too hard for me. That is one reason I didn't want my son to have similar experiences so I started him early. Since I have been chemically poisoned I often reverse numbers and letters. My environmental illness Dr. called it "learning disability". I don't think I had this when I was young but got it about age 33 or 34 when I caught CFIDS which the CDC said it did not exist. Dr. Weil said there is no such thing. I am very bitter so sometimes it comes out.
thanks for writing about this as it is so interesting to me. I joined this group when I read what you wrote here. When I was student teaching I taught "Teach Your Baby to Read."
Alice

Osler's Web: Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic
How to Teach Your Baby to Read


message 11: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) Marlene wrote: "All your stories are so interesting! Its funny on how different ways everybody got interested in books!

Hugh, I really admire you for staying with reading (or listening to books) even though you a..."


It's now called a "Reading Disorder" (thouhg I think Dyslexia was a better tearm. It's sort of "dumbing it down" to call it a reading (only) thing.

Yes, it has affected my writting. Computers and spell checker are amazing. However, it has been noted, by my mother, that spelling and writing must not be the same thing, because when asked to spell a word, I'm not bad at it. When I write I misspell everything. (I even mispelled curmudgeon which someone pointed out to me.)

What I'd say about fiction vs reality in writing is this. Remember the Movie (and book) "Jerry Mcguire?" There's a line in the beging that goes "Nobody ever says exactly what they mean."

When you read fiction, you get the entire story, with nothing held back, when you read non-fiction, there is always a spin put on things. I think you can learn as much or more about human nature in fiction than you can in non-fiction. It's just a trickier lesson.

Again, that's me. Take magic for instance, magic is power, don't you get a true image of how power corupts to the core of the soul in a Dresden Book? Isn't that a metaphore for how we deal with powerful things in life?

Just a thought, but that's me. Better an unvarnished metaphor for learning, than a incomplete, or "spun" message from reality.

Didn't anyone read 1984. The past can be changed. Just write it the way you want it to read.


message 12: by Janice (new)

Janice (janaz28) Well my reading history isn´t that exciting and I am not really a writer either so I apologize for being a little bit broing!
Ever since I can remember my parents used to read to me, mostly fairytales or things like Felix, Mama Muh, Der kleine Rabe etc ( sorry for not knowing if there are any english edditions). When I was finally able to read myself I wouldn´t stop, no one could get me to stop. My parents would go to the local book store with me and get me a card to a public library near my home town! They also ordered a scientific magazine for children. I just love reading and there has never been a time when I wasn´t fascinated by books and as said before, I bet my reading -history isn´t close to being over!


message 13: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) Alice wrote: "Hugh (A.K.A. Hermit the Curmudgeon) wrote: "My mother started me reading very young, as a “whole word reader.” At 18 months I could put sentences together by pointing (not particularly difficult o..."


Alice,

That's a wonderful story. Yes, I remember crying in my teachers arms over my hand writing, but when it came to reading, my mother, following nothing but her instincts got me going on the right foot. I've come to learn that both methods of reading "Phonetic" and "Whole Word Reading" have strengths and weaknesses, but for someone with a reading disorder, relying on leter positoins isn't going to help.

I find it very curious that your own issues with reading came about later in life. I bet that's happened to a lot of other people. For example, a lot of our Veterans coming back from Iraq and Afgahnistan with Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD find they have trouble reading. I wonder if a program teaching "whole word reading," to adults would help?

What I've found is that I've always been dyslexic, and, when I begin to think that I've grown out of it, something happens to prove that this is not so. All I've learned to do is live with it, and manage it. In unconscious ways I've compesated for and corrected for dyslexia, mostly without knowing it.


message 14: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) Janice wrote: "Well my reading history isn´t that exciting and I am not really a writer either so I apologize for being a little bit broing!
Ever since I can remember my parents used to read to me, mostly fairyt..."


Your stoyr is wonderful too, it reminds me of how I first heard the Hobbit. I was in the 2nd grade and came down with chicken Pox, Poison Ivy and some other child hood illness (maybe the mumphs) at the same time. My father stayed home from work and, because I wanted to hear what he was reading, he read the Hobbit to me for hours. I had nightmares about the spiders in the Mirkwood forest but I wanted to hear it every day.

I'd also add that we did not have a television set in our house until the 1970s. My parent's read to us (and themselves) for entertainment. This is how I heard "Little House on the Prarie" and the other Laura Ingles books and many other books considered classics now. So, your story is heart warming for me, not boring.


message 15: by Janice (new)

Janice (janaz28) Hugh (A.K.A. Hermit the Curmudgeon) wrote: "Janice wrote: "Well my reading history isn´t that exciting and I am not really a writer either so I apologize for being a little bit broing!
Ever since I can remember my parents used to read to m..."


Thank you :) Yours and I think everyone elses stories are really heart warming too! I love to hear other people´s experiences and they are all really inspiring as well ( some good recommendations of books that need to be read or reread!)
I used to have a TV-set in my room but I realized I absolutely don´t need it so I gave it to my mom! My parents have phases of reading, basically when they have some days off of work they´ll read but usually they are too tired or too busy to sit down to read. I am so thankful though that they read to me when I was little. That has been helpful, especially in school, to me ever since! Peolpe just tend to smile at me when I tell them about my favorite books or reading! It is great to be on goodreads and I am excited to hear all the other stories about everyones reading-history!


message 16: by M.L. (last edited Nov 14, 2011 07:59PM) (new)

M.L. | 309 comments Story time is one of my earliest memories, as special as Christmas, and it was there every night. I had many little books lined up on a bookshelf, but the one that stands out was Babar - I loved that elephant - and there was nothing more natural in the world, than Babar and his wife Queen Celeste in a hot air balloon, or having tea with the kind Old Lady. I thought it was very clever when they frightened away the rhinoceros army led by old Rataxes by painting their rear ends to look like monsters. De Brunhoff's illustrations had a lot to do with it - those wonderfully confident - or confidently wonderful - wavy lines. Most illustrations were shaded and blended, but his were different and I could not get enough of them. Somewhere in the earlier time, my mother introduced audio stories, and while I was very entertained by the funny voices in A Midsummer Night's Dream, when I heard the witch in Hansel and Gretel it scared me! To hear a witch cackling that was not in my imagination but right in the room - well, I don't remember any audios after that.

Animals were and are a favorite theme and I think I read with much more interest if there were animals. Doctor Dolittle became another favorite - what could be better than being able to talk with animals, and what a wonderful household to belong to. And of course later, Watership Down, a page-turner if there ever was.

The Grimm and Andersen stories were magical and often with harsh circumstances (I thought many of them paid much too dearly, like the girl who trod on a loaf, and many endings were not rosy), but those were a favorite.

Then came The Wizard of Oz. I read it seven times, it was just the most fantastic story. Eventually Nancy Drew detective stories came along. I thought she was great, smart, independent, and had her own car. She did very interesting things and I thought it would be pretty cool to be a detective.

I've just always been a reader, and my husband is too, much more than me. He introduced me to SF writers, Card, Herbert, LeGuin, and Feist, and I introduced him to Tolkien, Jordan, and McCaffrey (he went on to read every book in Jordan's Wheel of Time, and all of McCaffrey's so he outdistanced me as usual), which is cool. If I came across a book that had what I thought was an interesting SF or fantasy cover, I'd buy it for him, and a Christmas or two ago, he gave me the biggest dictionary in the world, which I had asked for. I read dictionaries too sometimes.

We both read to our kids and when he read the Arabian Nights, one story a night, I listened too - I haven't listened to many audio books, but hearing someone read is really fascinating, and especially when they do the voices. You can't help but be drawn in. Then around the age of ten, our older daughter started reading to me while I fixed dinner, and our younger daughter when she was about nine wrote a 12-page typewritten fantasy that was really good! They both do a lot of reading.

Fast forward...we're all still happily reading away! :)


message 17: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) I mentioned it in my review of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. But I'll put it here basically again.

I'm part of a family where reading was my childhood. I was home-schooled and so Mum taught me to read. I actually didn't like it until I discovered all the unique worlds and ideas present in books and then I didn't stop reading. I think I've probably averaged about a hundred books a year or so since I was able to properly read voraciously. Which was about when I was eight.

So I've spent about ten years reading voraciously. Only it was the last few that I've read more widely. I know for a fact that since year six when I went to school I borrowed over eight hundred books from that library and I've read about 1000 others I would say. So I'd have read close to 2000 books maybe. All of different standards and a majority being young adult fiction or classics.

Reading is a major part of my life. Writing too which has stemmed from my obsession with books. I hope to actually teach English or Literature studies in the future after I complete university...


message 18: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 107 comments I'm not too sure how I developed my appetite for reading. My mother is a high school English teacher, and studied the 'classics' at university but I don't recall her ever having encouraged my reading more than any other parent might. My father reads exclusively non-fiction, and not a very great deal of it at that, and none of my sisters are what you would call avid readers at all.

Regardless of whatever set me going, I do remember that books were always one of my favourite playthings, as early as I can recall. When I was very young I had piles of Little Golden Books and Ladybird books. By the time I got to school and had moved on to Roald Dahl, I was pretty much left to my own devices because I needed no encouragment to complete my assigned readers and learned to navigate the dictionary when I had questions. During most of my primary school years my mother used have to remove the light globes from my lamps/night lights after 'lights-out' because otherwise, inevitably she'd catch me reading through all hours of the night. I'm pretty sure I devoted a lot of energy as a kid to devising nighttime covert reading strategies.

My early teens were occupied with fantasy series, entry-level classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, and many readings of Jane Austen's works. The last two years of high school really broadened my reading, and my taste for modernist and post-modern literature can be credited to the incredible Ms. Montgomery who taught my Adv & Ext English classes. At around the same time I also discovered how much I loved poetry and drama.

Once I got to university things changed again, and non-fiction history, philosophy, politics and law texts dominated my reading horizon. Now I try and balance my fiction/non-fiction reading and attempt (not very successfully) to keep a lid on my book purchases.


message 19: by Theobroma (new)

Theobroma (theobromacacao) | 4 comments Kim wrote: "I'm glad my girlfriend is also a big reader so she is understanding when I vanish into the pages for a while."

I'm just glad I have a boyfriend who loves to read :) It means the world to me.

I've loved reading my entire life. My parents always read to me while I was growing up. My dad first read me The Hobbit when I was eight and it has been my favorite book ever since. In my family, it's never "I wonder if I will get books for Christmas", it's "I wonder how many books I will get for Christmas".

Of course now we all have Kindles.


message 20: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
Theobroma wrote: "Kim wrote: "I'm glad my girlfriend is also a big reader so she is understanding when I vanish into the pages for a while."

I'm just glad I have a boyfriend who loves to read :) It means the world..."


Get a room you two......and have a reading competition


message 21: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Great idea. ;)
Im lucky my boyfriend likes to read too. Its already difficult to discuss anything with my friends (who are totally NOT bibliophiles) and so Im really happy I can talk with my boyfriend about reading as long and often as I want to.

Every time my mother sees my wishlist for christmas, she almost faints, when she sees all the books. I think shell never get used to it... (sigh)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Marlene, I guess you got the love of reading from your father? My mother loves to read and has read far more than I have. I learned to love it from her.

Hope you get all the books you want.
Alice


message 23: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Well... no, not exactly. My father reads a book per year, if even. My mother reads more and she was the one reading to me when I was little too, but she just doesnt have the time. I just take the time and this is the big difference.
Still she doesnt share my opinion that you can never have enough books and that they are a good investion. Well, she buys books for me, but mostly I have to spend my own money (no wonder, or wed be broke by now).


message 24: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) Alice wrote: "Hi Marlene, I guess you got the love of reading from your father? My mother loves to read and has read far more than I have. I learned to love it from her.

That's the same with me. I learned a love of reading from my mother's side. All their family are readers.

Although my Dad has an appreciation of creative works such as books. But he doesn't read a lot at all...


message 25: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
I've gotten to the point where I tell my parents to look at my "to read" for Christmas present ideas for me


message 26: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Well, same here. (and still shes fainting) xD


message 27: by Booksy (new)

Booksy | 96 comments Theobroma wrote: "Kim wrote: "I'm glad my girlfriend is also a big reader so she is understanding when I vanish into the pages for a while."

I'm just glad I have a boyfriend who loves to read :) It means the world..."


My dad also used to read Hobbit to me when I was small, and I loved those nights and w looking forward to them. I wish my parents were around to see me reading books in a few langauges, and loving it. This had been mu Mom's dream and I am so glad and proud that I realised it for her and for myself of course.


message 28: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Looks like I really have to read the Hobbit. Everyone seems to have read it...


message 29: by Theobroma (new)

Theobroma (theobromacacao) | 4 comments You haven't read the Hobbit?!? High treason!!


message 30: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
Marlene wrote: "Looks like I really have to read the Hobbit. Everyone seems to have read it..."

I haven't read it either


message 31: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 107 comments Do it! The Hobbit is brilliant; a rollicking good story! And, you never know, one day Peter Jackson & New Line Cinema might actually climb out of the enormous litigation hole they dug and actually make the film like they always promised. So you should definitely read it before then.


message 32: by Kim (new)

Kim Victoria wrote: "And, you never know, one day Peter Jackson & New Line Cinema might actually climb out of the enormous litigation hole they dug and actually make the film like they always promised. "

Which hobbit hole have you been down? :P Filming began back in March. Filming is still going at the moment. The first movie is due for release December 2012.


message 33: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 309 comments Not read The Hobbit - that's almost high treason!


message 34: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Well, I havent read any of the books. None of the Lord of the Rings. I just watched all three movies at once and almost fell asleep.
Though someone already told me the bokks are supposed to be way better.

Seems like I have something to add to my to-read-list. ;)


The Bamboo Traveler | 20 comments I love this topic! I grew up in a family of non-readers. I can count on one hand the number of books in our house. I don't know where I got my love of reading and books. There were no adults around me who read. I disliked all of my English teachers in school, so I know I didn't get it from one of them. I have always had this idea in the back of my mind that I was switched at birth, and that out there is some family filled with people who read who happen to be my real family. I believe this interest is a sign of my rebellion against everything my family has stood for. They are conservative; I am liberal. They have never left the US; I lived overseas for many years.

I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old, before I ever actually learned to read, pretending that I was reading. When I was in elementary school, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books and all kinds of detective novels. I also read the Encyclopedia Britannica--all letters of the alphabet. Then in high school, I am ashamed to say that I read mostly teenage romance novels. Then in college, I read mostly non-fiction, but I still loved fiction. I remember reading a lot of James Michener (another guilty pleasure). I also loved travel books. In my mid-20s, I moved to China, and started to read the classics because that was all you could get in China at that time (1990s). When I started my business in China, I cut down on my reading because I was too busy, and I couldn't handle anything unexpected or anything with suspense. I was so stressed out that I could only watch movies or read books in which the ending was predictable and as long as nothing really horrible happened to any of the main characters. After 2000 in China, the classics disappeared and the bookshelves were filled with mass market paperback mysteries. I read some of those, but they didn't last long. I remember reading 7 books over and over again when I was in China: To Kill a Mockingbird, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and the Harry Potter Series up to book 4. Whenever I got stressed out, I would turn to one of those books for relief. I still turn to the Harry Potter series whenever I am sad or I have too much stress in my life.

I eventually returned to the States with a broken heart. For the next 3 years, I spent all of my free time reading. I found movies and TV to be intolerable. I read mostly fiction, but also some non-fiction (history and science). Then I went to grad school and became burnt out on reading. I didn't read for a year afterwards. I found books to be slow and boring,and I found TV and movies to be more stimulating and relaxing. I remember it took me 4 months to read The Help, whereas before grad school it would have probably taken me a couple of days.

A few months ago, I began reading again particularly books on Buddhism. I am stuck in a horrible city working at a job I dislike far away from my friends and family, so I now find reading to be one refuge. I bought a Kindle, and now I am reading as I once was doing before grad school, but at a much faster rate than ever before. I don't know if this improvement in my reading speed is because of my Kindle or the workout that I got from grad school. I read fiction and non-fiction, and I read about 1-2 books a week. I think that's pretty good considering I work about 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week at my job.

I used to have this fantasy that I could read every book that has ever existed.

To add to the discussion on the Hobbit. I've read it. I read it when I was a teenager after seeing the cartoon version of the Hobbit. I loved it. I also read the Lord of the Rings books. I think there are 3 of them, but it was long ago and they didn't spark my interest.


message 36: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 309 comments Speaking of book tie-ins and 2012 movie releases - Snow White & The Huntsman I'm looking forward to.


message 37: by Brandie (new)

Brandie Sump | 36 comments Marlene,

Don't worry you are ok by me, I have never read Tolkien and, chomp off my head if you want too, I don't ever want too, mainly because he makes me feel dumb because I can't understand his writing style and therefore his stories make no sense to me and if I want to read Fantasy, I have Harry Potter to read which is more awesome anyway!


message 38: by Franky (new)

Franky Amazing stories from everyone. It's interesting to see so many diverse ways we all started reading (I just assumed most of us came out of the womb with a book in our hands). I really wasn't into reading too much when I was a child, but was more fascinated with writing. However, this sort of got me going with reading, because I loved the escape factor of being able to pick up a book and instantly be in a different place and time. I loved to make up stories and write about adventures in grade school and high school, so reading came soon after. I also noticed that reading mysteries, adventures, comedies, poetry, etc gave me ideas for my writing, so reading and writing had a strong connection in my life.

Pupukat, I remember reading those "choose your own adventure" books as a kid. I was ADDICTED to those. I don't see those anywhere now. I wonder if they are around.


The Bamboo Traveler | 20 comments Franky wrote: "Amazing stories from everyone. It's interesting to see so many diverse ways we all started reading (I just assumed most of us came out of the womb with a book in our hands). I really wasn't into re..."

Franky, I know the Choose Your Own Adventure books are still around because one of my colleagues used them to teach English.

Julie


message 40: by Kim (new)

Kim I loved Choose Your Own Adventures as well as the Fighting Fantasy books.


message 41: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 107 comments Kim wrote: "Which hobbit hole have you been down? :P Filming began back in March. Filming is still going at the moment. The first movie is due for release December 2012."

A very deep one, it would seem. Last time I looked into it, New Line were still trying to figure out whether the Lord of the Rings trilogy managed to turn a profit or not. Is it still going to be a Peter Jackson/ Fran Walsh production?


message 42: by Lawyer (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) According to IMDb, "The Hobbit" is scheduled for a December, 2012 release. It will be a two parter. And, yes, it is a Peter Jackson/Fran Walsh production. Here's to the project remaining on track and on schedule.


message 43: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Thanks, Brandie. :)

I think Ill stick to Harry Potter too. The Hobbit doesnt range high on my to-read-list. Ill maybe read it when I have time and nothing else to do (as if this would ever happen... sigh).

My sister reads those Choose Your Own Adventure Books. She absolutely loves them and they were the first books she really got addicted to. I got her to read more now, though, but she still likes to read them.


message 44: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) Marlene wrote: "Well, I havent read any of the books. None of the Lord of the Rings. I just watched all three movies at once and almost fell asleep.
Though someone already told me the bokks are supposed to be way..."


The Hobbit is incredibly simple to read I've found and it's one of the best. I read it when I was eight or so...so that indicates it's not too hard a read.

Lord of the Rings however I didn't attempt till a few years after that.

The first real book (as in a longer novel) that I remember reading was The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.


message 45: by Moon (new)

Moon | 32 comments I have always been a big reader since I learned how to decipher those curious letters on the paper. No one else in my family is quite the obsessive devourer of words that I have come to be.


message 46: by Mercè (new)

Mercè (maidcc) My mother and aunts love reading. And so my mother taught me how to read when I was very young, before going to the kindergarten. Ever since, I've been a bit of a bookworm. Obviously, when I was that young I just read some tales and kid's stories.
Most people my age love reading thanks to "Harry Potter", not my case. I love reading because of all the books! I mean, there isn't an specific book that introduced me into the marvelous world of books.
What I'd love to, is to have other bookworm friends, but I don't have. So I've got to be content with forums and other stuff. (:


message 47: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (marlene1001) | 289 comments Same for me. :)
My friends always get bored after a while when I won´t stop talking about books...


message 48: by Sandie (new)

Sandie | 39 comments I wasn't a big reader until 5th grade. We were moving to a new house we couldn't actually move in yet so we lived out of our fifth-wheel trailer for a month or so. My parents and I had get up early and commute to school and work during that time since I was still enrolled at the same school. In the morning I would have nothing better to do so I would read and I read a LOT of R.L. Stine books in that time. After that I was done for and couldn't get "reading" out of my system. lol I was different about the "Harry Potter" books...I didn't start reading them till high school/college because I actually didn't like the first book when I was little. My mom had tried to read it to only I got bored so it took me a while to warm up to them. Even now they aren't my all-time favorite books but I can understand why people obsess about them.


message 49: by Therese (last edited Jan 26, 2012 09:17PM) (new)

Therese (tpoh) | 4 comments I never had the privilege of having my parents read to me when I was younger but I was lucky enough to have a mum that was patient enough to start teaching me how to read before I started school at 5 years of age. So it was Ladybird and Golden Books for the first few years of my reading life and once I achieved reading an Enid Blyton cover to cover it was all downhill from there and I've been a bookworm ever since.

My childhood years were filled with Enid Blyton (I must have read almost every single one of her works - except for Noddy, I didn't really enjoy him too much)and then it was Roald Dahl (who I love dearly and can easily read his books over and over and over again) with some Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in between.

Then came the fantasy stage (which I admit is still ongoing but I am trying to balance out my reading) initiated by my mum and one of my brothers which began with the Hobbit when I was 12. Loved it! I did attempt LOTR after that but it took me 3 tries over 2 years to really get into it and I've been a Tolkien fan ever since. So for those of you who find starting Tolkien difficult - persevere! It's worth it. Other works devoured were those by David Eddings, Tamora Pierce and R A Salvatore among others - and of course, JK Rowling (I mean who can not love the Harry Potter series).

I also got into the classics when I was about 14/15 with Jane Eyre being the first and I've read at least one classic a year since then namely works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Elliot and the Bronte sisters. Then came fun fiction like James Herriot and Terry Pratchett (this man is pure genius)and the ones that make you think like C.S. Lewis (not the Narnia series, which I have read, but his other works like Screwtape Letters and the Problem of Pain).

Currently, instead of sticking to one genre I read a mixture of things from historical/realistic fiction to biographies. Definitely broadens one's horizons and some people are just so inspiring it really helps you see the bigger picture in life.


message 50: by ♥Xeni♥ (new)

♥Xeni♥ (xeni) | 220 comments 1. I love reading all of your stories!!

2. The Hobbit was the only of all Tolkien books I could enjoy. All the rest I felt so annoyed and bored by. But the Hobbit was amazing!

3. My own reading history:

I can't remember a time that I couldn't read. I literally cant. I suspect I was born being able to read. And I suppose I have utilized that gift immensely!

My parents don't read much outside of their work / hobby environments. And then it's usually non fiction (engineering, automotive, history from my dad's side; biology, nature, animals from my mom's). Out of all my siblings, I'm the only one that reads so voraciously (although my sisters read a lot as well; only my brother couldn't care less). My dad would tell us bedtime stories 4-5 times a week; tales of his childhood (like when he made his grandma's chicken's drunk. Or when he teased the prize bull of his village. Or the time he tied a rope over the main street in his village and sat up there, annoying all the passerby's. Or the time he punished his teacher for hitting him by biting her in the leg. Or when he got back at his principal and stuffed potatoes up his exhaust pipe. Or when he was a bad little boy and used his slingshot to make his neighbors clothes fall off the laundry line into the mud. And the stories go on and on and on!) and these stories really shaped my imagination. Without them I'm sure I would have seen the world as a very bleak, unfriendly, unfair place. Instead my dad's childhood experiences gave me courage, while also entertained me and made me lust for such self-same literature.

Growing up, I remember my mom taking me to get a library card, and I was too young to get one. You had to wait to be 4 years old to have one. And once I finally got that little bit of plastic in my hands, I used it on about 150 books a week (mind you, children's books, picture books and such!) I think I still own that card, although it's since gotten bits broken off and it's over 2 decades old. And has my really adorable 4 year old signature on it!

Later on, after I read everything in my local public library and delved through my school library and my individual teachers libraries, I discovered the amazingness that is a book store. After that, every time we went out for dinner or lunch, I'd angle for a place near a book store and furiously beg my parents to go there afterwards (though it always felt that those trips lasted only 3 minutes before my dad said "Okay, Xeni, I'm going now!" "Nooooo dadddy! I need to go through these books still!!" "You want all (20) of those!? No way! Pick 3!" "Daddy! 10!" "Five, and that's it. I'm going now. You better come or I'm leaving you here." *Xeni quickly grabs 5 of the most interesting looking books and runs after her daddy.*)

I also had to defend each and every choice with conclusive arguments as to why a certain book or series or special group was worth buying (especially from those home order Scholastic fliers you'd get once a month through school, as someone else mentioned). Years later, I still had to do this as I started delving into the Sci Fi & Fantasy genre and my father really didn't support that train of development!

I started with picture books, quickly upgraded to those with words, since the words always painted more beautiful pictures in my mind. I've going through so many (and so many more I can't remember!!!):

as a child: Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle...

as a teenager: Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Harry Potter, Melanie Rawn, Christopher Pike, L J Smith, the gist of the classics

as a young adult: a lot more non-fiction on a very diverse range of subjects, mostly GR recommendations...


There have been so many books/authors that have shaped me, if I started mentioning it all, this post would never end. The main thing that shaped my reading life, though, was the fact that I really did not like my peers throughout most of my life. They always felt immature and interested in mundane TV and sports and whatnot. My books allowed me to live innumerable lives and events without ever having to leave the safety of my own room. (Something that rather concerned my parents.) I've since learned how to get along with people and make friends, but without having had books to turn to, I'm sure my childhood would have been a lot more traumatizing.

It's still an everlasting battle with my parents on the issue of how much I read. Ever since I came to university, though, I've found something even more interesting than just reading: learning about the human body and how to fix it's ills. I still read a lot, but I fear it won't be as much as I'm used to (300 books a year vs the 100 I might get in now).

I am so thankful to finding Goodreads. Without GR I would have been at a loss at finding new good books (Amazon REALLY sucks at it's recommendations, eh?) and probably wouldn't have met so many other awesome people interested in reading. For a long time I could easily say that GR was the only social networking site I was on, and the only one I'd ever want to be on. Now Reddit has joined that very short list. But GR and it's members and all the books I've found through it will be a huge part of what made me a reader. Thank you for existing, Goodreads.

And thank you to all who read through this enormous post. <3


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