Friday, August 16, 2013

Were You Born a Bookworm?

This week's question from the Book Blogger Hop is one that I have actually been wondering a lot about, so I spent the day thinking about it before sitting down to write this post. If you want to join in on the conversation, check out Billy Burgess' Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer for the official blog hop.


Were You Born a Bookworm?

Here's what I know - I was a shy kid. I loved to draw, write and hang out in my neighborhood. Lots of times I would be on my front steps or floating on a raft in my pool with a book. When I try to think back to my earliest years - where I got my first exposure to books, or how I learned to read - I come up empty. Sadly, both my parents are deceased, so I have no one to ask about this. As that is the case, I must piece together where my passion for books came from on my own.

I grew up surrounded by books. Our "playroom" had a bookcase built into the wall, and my childhood bedroom had the complete set of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit books organized on a shelf. I have no memories of bookstores or libraries, but neither of those things were needed. The books were all around. At Christmas, my brother and I always knew that our largely absent well-to-do Aunt and Uncle would send us two beautiful books - these things were more like pieces of art with their pop-ups and moving pieces, rather than casual reading material. My cousin, Lisa, four years older than me (now an English professor), became my pen pal when her family moved up to Massachusetts. Before she left we were both book lovers, but having someone to write to about books and exchange stories with added a new layer of fun to my reading when I was still in elementary school.

In school I would froth at the mouth when the Troll Book Club order forms would be handed out. Nothing else would matter once I got the colorful newspaper-like pages in my hands with the latest Garfield titles, books from Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, or other authors I had not yet heard of. The bus ride home would entail another scrutiny of the pages, discussing it with friends, finding my little brother and developing my persuasive argument to my parents to ensure the purchase of all my circled items while still allowing for my brother's desires.

Lastly, before the age of twelve, I lived in a home with a teacher. My father taught the fifth grade in Brooklyn, NY. From the moment I could start reading, he would bring books home to me from his school. When I was in the second grade he was already bringing me books that his students were reading. At first, I felt as though the ability to read these stories was incredibly important, soon after I read them just out of sheer joy. Some of the titles I distinctly remember as being books from the library of PS 221 are Robinson Crusoe (this must have been some abridged version, for sure!), The Island of Blue Dolphins, and The Incredible Journey

While I don't remember seeing my father or mother read books on their own, they were both readers. Every morning my father read The New York Times over a cup of coffee and two pieces of rye toast. My mother subscribed to The New Yorker and Life magazines. My father made collecting the Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedias being sold at Pathmark an adventure for the family. My mother poured over cookbooks and cooking magazines in order to learn new recipes and techniques in the kitchen.

I don't know why we never thought of using flashlights!
For my brother and I stories were always fun. As an older sister, I felt it was my responsibility to entertain my brother with stories I made up on my own (there was a very long running series of Chicken nugget stories that we still talk about today). We would whisper to each other each from our respective bedrooms discussing which books we were "sneak reading" using our night lights when our parents thought we were sleeping.

I think I was lucky to be born into the family I was. I don't know if I was a born reader, but if I was I couldn't have asked for a better environment to be submersed in. There were always age appropriate books at my fingertips any time I felt like drifting off into another world. Not only was there always something to read, chances were there was always something around that I hadn't read yet.

What about you?
Were you born a bookworm, or can you remember the person who introduced you to the love of books?
How do you remember finding new books when you were a child? 

Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway for an Advanced Reader Copy of If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan!!


  1. Hi, this is so interesting! Thanks for sharing! I feel like I was born a bookworm and that my mom introduced me. I have a baby picture of me surrounded by books and chewing on one. My mom and I still go to the bookstore today (:

  2. I had a playroom that was stocked with books too. I think I had every Clifford book available. I loved that big red dog.

  3. Haha, the chicken nugget stories reference made me smile. I had a similar habit of creating my own stories for one of my friends, but they didn't have any nuggets.
    My answer to the blog hop.

  4. Fida I love the idea of this book chewing picture! Trips to the bookstore with mom also sounds like so much fun!!

  5. OMG! My brother loved Clifford books - we had those everywhere!!

  6. The chicken nugget stories were quite hilarious. For some reason nuggets from McDonalds were the "good guys" and the chicken tenders from Burger King were the "bad guys". Just to have the perfect balance of gross-ness for my little brother, the way the nuggets would come alive would be by being vomited up. For this reason there were all kinds of nugget lairs in the NYC sewer system!

    I am cracking up as I am remembering this and writing it down!! XD

  7. Thanks for sharing your wonderful life story about reading. I love it.

    Have a great day!!

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

  8. This was such a wonderful story! I always love hearing stories of how people got into reading.

    My parents were definitely readers too! I think my dad may love reading as much as I do...maybe even more! If they weren't as big on reading as they were, I don't think I would have been either.

    And I was LITERALLY born a bookworm. My mum read to me even when I was still in the womb. Reading was the #1 way my mum taught me to speak English.

    I never had a problem finding books to read. My school was pretty well-stocked and my wonderful teacher allowed us to borrow any books. When summer came, I would go to the bookstore to buy books to read with my mother. So I always had a book at hand!

  9. I had a bookshelf in my classroom as well with books for my students to borrow. I loved whenever I got requests. It was just a cool, quirky part of my math classroom! ;)

  10. Yes - I'm definitely a born bookworm! Though it was my mother who encouraged me. I remember going to the library every week with her. Something I now do with my daughter and love doing. Thank you for the beautiful post!

    Classic Children's Books