My Relationship With Reading
I’ve always loved reading. I can remember my mother reading to me at a young age; I absorbed every word she said, loved the stories she read me. When I got older, I started listening to the Disneyland long-playing records that were tucked into a little pocket in a book. When you heard a certain sound, it was time to turn the page. I learned a lot of classic fairy tales, such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland that way.
When I got older and went to school, I started learning the different sounds the letters made and how to string them together and make words. I was so excited! I could finally start reading the stories my mother had read to me when I was a child! I started by reading paperback books — the first readers I remember reading in elementary school were “Sun Up,” “A Happy Morning,” and “A Magic Afternoon.” Later we moved to a few hardback books, “Sun and Shadow,” and “Together we Go.”
As I moved through elementary school, I started to learn more about the English language and the different parts of speech, and how to write effective sentences. I also started to enjoy reading even more, because I started reading chapter books by authors like Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. I loved the Beezus and Ramona books, and books like Superfudge and Tales of a Forth-Grade Nothing.
The Reading Starts Changing…
When I entered junior high school though, the reading started changing. I read less fiction and more non-fiction. And what fiction I did read, my teachers spent a lot of time explaining how to analyze. I learned about metaphors, similes, and symbolism. I still did ok in my reading and English classes, but they weren’t as much fun anymore because I couldn’t just enjoy reading. As I went through junior high and high school though, I started to enjoy it more, and started getting better grades in my English classes again. I also didn’t have to take reading classes anymore, but instead started learning a foreign language — I chose French, though when I look back now I wish I’d chosen Spanish, simply because it would have been more useful.
In high school the reading didn’t change much. I started reading some fiction and creative writing again, but still wasn’t enjoying it much because I was having to analyze it and explain what the author meant when he used certain words or phrases. Plus, I started reading Shakespeare, which was like reading a whole new language. One thing I did enjoy about learning Shakespeare was learning about literary devices and forms of poetry I’d never heard of before. Things like sonnets, iambic pentameter and soliloquies were introduced to me when I started reading Shakespeare.
More Analytic Reading in College
When I started college, the reading became even more analytic, plus I started to learn how to do different types of writing. In my first English class, we read a lot of books and stories that were written for different audiences, and the writing we did focused on writing for different audiences as well. My second semester of my freshman year focused on learning research writing.
And still, I wasn’t doing a whole lot of reading for enjoyment. In fact, it wasn’t until I got my first eBook reader around 2012, 15 years after I received my Bachelor’s degree, that I started doing any reading for enjoyment again. I still read a lot of non-fiction, but I would occasionally read a fiction book written by someone with a medical or legal background, or a romance novel.
My Reading Today
Today I still read a lot. So far this year I’ve read 16 books. Most of them have been non-fiction, but I have read a few fiction books this year, “When You’ve Got a Good Thing,” and “Once Upon a Wedding,” by Kait Nolan, and “Anthem” by Ayn Rand. I have a lot of other books on my “To Read” list, and I’m sure I’ll add more as I find out about them.