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My Reading Journey

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I recall with fondness the day my mom kept my brother and I home from school to read to us. I was about 7 years old. We had gone home for lunch as usual but there was an unusual treat for us. We had the most delicious dessert – fairy tales! My mom had borrowed a book of fairy tales that was on a short-term loan. She started to read as soon as we were through eating and I guess because we were so fascinated with the stories, she allowed us to play hookie that day. Although I cannot recollect any other such story time reading with my mom, she did a lot of home work type of reading with me.

We did not have a library in our Primary School. There were no shops around us that sold books, and even if there were any, we would not have been able to buy them. Books were luxuries my parents could not afford. As a result, we did not have any story books at home. However, we did have the “grandfather” of the neighborhood who kept us riveted on burlap sack mats as we gathered around his knees under the afternoon shade of a tamarind tree. His awe inspiring storytelling planted the seed for a lifelong love of reading – the groundwork for my journey as a reader was set in place.

When I was about 9 years old, I discovered the Enid Blyton books through a friend whose aunt often gifted her with books. Shezida didn’t think twice about lending me her books. I remember turning the pages slowly and savoring the time I spent with her books. What a beautiful time in my childhood.

One of the most treasured memories I have of my childhood is the time when I got the gift of a book from my dear friend, Sharon. The message on the inside cover read, “Congratulations on passing the Common Entrance Exam”. I was most excited because I held in my hand the very first book that I could have called my own. I was 10 years old. That precious gift was “Hello, Mr. Twiddle by Enid Blyton”. My relationship with books and my journey as a reader had only just begun.

My friends and I borrowed books from each other and with each book I read, my appetite and passion for reading grew and grew and grew. I smile when I think of how much I longed to be like the characters in Enid Blyton’s adventure stories. When I was through reading my friends’ books, I was fortunate that a young mother who lived on our street started a book exchange business. I gave her a book, paid her a dollar, and selected another book from her small collection. She got a lot of business from me!

All my life I’ve read- sometimes passionately where I’m shackled to the pages and at others with less zeal. My reading journey gives me glimpses of worlds that I might never experience. As an adult, I have easy access to bookstores, libraries, my own collection, the internet, and the world of blogging. Now, more than ever, I feel that my journey as a reader has only just begun…


32 thoughts on “My Reading Journey

  1. Pingback: You never know how strong you are… | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

  2. This is a fabulous post on the importance of reading to children. I was also obsessed with books from an early age. To this day nothing brings me more pleasure than finding a good bookstore and getting lost in the aisles – so many possibilities just waiting to be discovered.

  3. What a gift your mother gave you that day.
    Many can say that family used to read to them, but you have a special, specific day when your mother kept you home and instilled a love of reading.
    Beautiful post.

  4. Thank you so much for following my post ,much appreciate.Best regards.jalal

  5. I too remember stories my mother read to me (but no playing hooky), When I was older I devoured Enid Blyton’s stories… I loved every one of her books. Thanks for the memories.

  6. Nice to find another reader! Mum taught me to read by age 4 and I’ve read tonnes and tonnes of books ever since. I bought books whenever I could (usually second-hand), adopted anything someone was throwing out, occasionally found treasures that had been abandoned (the first was a coverless book on the care and feeding of prize-winning farm animals; I still have that one! It was in a small side attic in the last house where I lived with my family. I was 12 when I found it.)

    My favourite author is one whom I consider to be Canada’s all-time best writer; Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve read everything he’s written, all more than once and some many, many times. His stories and characters are complex and subtle. If you want to check him out, I would recommend “The Lions of Al-Rassan” first. His website is http://www.brightweavings.com

    Let me know what you think, if you do read any of his works. ~ Linne

    • You are a voracious reader! I’m impressed that you still have the book you found at 12 years old. I often wish I had my “Hello, Mr. Twiddle”. I will be sure to check out Kay’s website. Thank you for sharing your reading experience with us.

  7. What wonderful memories and I wish all children had such a connection to the joy of reading. This world would be a better place.

  8. I loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven series as a child. My parents didn’t really believe in pocket money (they thought all members of a family should help out for the good of the family, not because they were to be paid). However, when I was about 9, my dad grudgingly agreed to give me 10c a week. If I saved it for five weeks, I could buy a Famous Five or Secret Seven paperback!

  9. This is such a great post. If only we could install this love of books in all children. I love the image of you all sitting under the Tamarind tree on burlap sack mats!

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