One of my first memories as a child was my mom reading to me. There was a tornado warning, so we all rushed to the basement and crammed ourselves into the back bedroom. To calm my hysteria from wailing sirens and howling winds, my mom pulled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone off the shelf and began to read. The storm faded away and I was absorbed in a magical universe. Over the next year, she read the whole series to me, and ever since then, the power of words and the English language fascinated me.
Literacy memories and events began at a young age for me, and while teachers and family members all impacted my opinions and preferences for reading, every book I read and writing assignment given to me helped me form my literacy story and come to enjoy reading. Many literacy moments came from when I was young, like my mom or dad reading to me before bed or teachers reading to me at school their favorite books. All of these memories were accompanied by everyone saying how great reading was, and for a while I didn’t believe them. I had so many forced experiences with reading that it was almost painful for me to pick up a book. But as time went on and the reading I was still forced to do intensified, a better relationship with reading and writing
My reading experience has had a lot of ups and downs. I was never an over-achiever in my language arts or reading classes, which has affected my passion for reading. A lot of my opinions about reading have changed even just since this summer. I don’t have any recollection of reading before kindergarten except for learning the letters. Kindergarten was a struggle for me, but after kindergarten to third grade. In third grade I peaked and absolutely loved reading and writing, but it faded in middle school and has been fading since then for me.
My love of reading blossomed when I was a child, because my parents showed me how wonderful reading is. There were countless nights when I remember myself as a little girl refusing to go to sleep before ‘tucking dad into bed’ by reading him a picture book. Not only did I uphold that tradition though, but my mother is a preschool teacher, so she gets really into reading out loud, and she would help me read books such as The Boxcar Children set, The Secret of NIMH and The Chronicles of Narnia weekly until I didn’t need help anymore.
My mother taught me how to read at a young age. She read to me before I could read which helped me learn new words and develop a basic understanding of literature at an early age. When it came time for me to attend elementary school, I remember heading to the library quite often. Books were organized based on what was thought to be the appropriate reading material for that grade level. I often found myself wandering down the isles with the older kids. I’m so grateful my mother encouraged reading as much as she did. If she hadn’t, it’s very possible I could have struggled with reading. If this were true, I wouldn’t have learned as much as I did, or had the desire to read, which is very important in order to become as advanced in literature as possible.
One of the most eye opening experiences of my life occurred in the second grade. I would have never thought that doing one simple assignment in elementary school could change my whole perspective on literacy. My understanding of literacy was sparked when I had read my first real book. I remember sitting down on the vividly colorful carpet day dreaming about playing Mario Cart on my Nintendo 64 while everyone was obediently listening to the teacher read a book out loud. It wasn’t that I did not know how to read or listen, I just didn’t care. Reading to me used to be tedious because I did not understand the purpose of it. I did not grow up with the luxury of my parents reading to me because they weren’t literate in English, so I had to figure out for myself why literacy is vital in everyday life. My ongoing learning experience with literacy can be traced back to one simple visit to library.
As a child, I read non-stop. I used to spend entire nights reading, so much so that by the age of 9, I had developed grey circles under my eyes, which I wore like a badge. In school, I would use every free second I had to get just a little closer to finishing whatever book I had on hand. Ms. Carpenter, who always seemed as though she didn’t like teaching very much, frequently yelled at me for keeping my books on my desk so I could get to them quicker whenever I finished my classwork. She insisted that they were a distraction. But I always had a book to read, because every Friday each class walked in a neat line
Richard Rodriguez, in the passage “Remedial Reading” from his autobiography “Hunger of Memory”(1982), promotes active reading as a developer of one’s mind. He justifies his position by describing his initial experiences with reading, specifically his attachment to the reading. Rodriguez’s anecdote functions as an encourager of stubborn minds trying to read and displaying its potential to change their life for the better. Rodriguez uses a very descriptive style that may be too verbose for children but compliments the verbosity with enough explanation of his purpose for his message to be known or ascertained.
I am sitting at my work desk reading an autobiography called the Blood of the Lambs, and I ponder about the amount of time having passed since I have sat down to a nice personal evening with a book. Upon reflection, I realize that the path I took to learning to read wasn’t an easy one and involved time, effort, and hard work.
Reading has been one of my favorite hobbies since I was a little child. I grew up as a normal child should grow and eventually I had to start learning for me to fit in society. My literacy started many years ago, after I knew how to talk and communicate with people. Reading my alphabet was quite stressful and I had to be given a hand by my family members. I remember my parents reading with me and it was the most meaningful and memorable way to spend time with me. This is because I liked reading a lot and I was eager to learn so that I could fit in with my older siblings. My favorite books were storybooks taking about adventures and fairytales
As for my experience as a reader. I really don’t have too many fond memories that were important to my life as a reader. Not to say I didn’t grow or learn anything from reading. I just had a huge lack of interest and didn’t pay much attention to it. I didn’t hate reading, but I definitely didn’t like it either. It was just there and I personally never found any enjoyment out of reading a book or a novel like others would. That same lack of interest kind of caused me to stay away from reading for most of the time, but despite that and my very few experiences I still remember my most memorable moment as a reader. Way back in the 7th grade when we read “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hilton. If I remember correctly it took us a total of two full weeks
At this point in my life, reading would definitely not make a list of my favorite things to do, but this wasn’t always the case. Some of my youngest memories involve reading, and many of these memories are enjoyable. Every night before bed my mom would read to me, and I remember begging to read just one more before she tucked me in almost every night. This is when my love for reading sparked. Throughout grade school, I continued to read frequently and never found it to be a chore; however, once middle school hit I no longer included reading as a past time or found it pleasurable. Looking back now I realize this was when English class included more forced literature, and school consisted of reading extensive pages in textbooks. Reading
I’ve never been one to read much outside of school without being assigned to do so. After looking back at my childhood I think I finally understand why. When you’re a student in elementary school teachers want you to be interested in reading and they tell you that it will make you smarter. Their approach to this is to assign you many readings during your early school years, have your parents sign that you actually did it, and make you write book reports about what you read. I remember when I was a kid I absolutely hated some of these exercises and absolutely loved some of these as well. I distinctly remember being in kindergarten and having to read a book to a high school student. The five year old version of me was more than embarrassed when my reading skills were not up to par and I was having to do it in front of a teenage boy. I also remember being in fifth grade and having to read one book every two weeks and write and draw a report on it. I loved this. Probably because for once I got to choose my own books and they were never assigned for me. I thought of it as a
"Taylor why can't you read this. This is so easy," I remember my younger sister Ashley saying to me. My path to literacy started in Kindergarten when I struggled to learn how to read. We had just moved from Kennewick, WA to Denver, CO a couple weeks before my first day of kindergarten. I had always been into playing school with my two sisters and pretending I was the nerd that knew everything when it came to reading and math. The real shock came to me when I started Kindergarten and everyone could read but me. I felt stupid. I would come home and try and do my reading homework with my mom and my three year old sister could read things that I couldn’t. I tried my absolute hardest at school and I just couldn't read. I could do everything else such as adding and subtracting and could even writing my name 26 times in a minute but it felt impossible for me to be able to read.
From an early age I loved to read. At just two years old I would beg my mother to enroll me into school. I watched as my older sister meticulously picked out her outfit each night in preparation for the next school day. At such a young age I somehow knew that this thing called “school” was the answer to something spectacular. My home was chaotic and reading became an escape and helped distract me from the unpleasant family dynamic.