Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–Raising A Reader


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my Musing Mondays ramble for this week:

"Quiet Time In Favorite Chair" by Gina Brown

“Quiet Time In Favorite Chair” by Gina Brown

Neither of my parents were readers when they were kids. They both came from families where there wasn’t a lot of money, and books were an afterthought. I don’t think either of them had their own library cards until they were adults. My dad didn’t start reading for pleasure until he was in the military and he was loaned some books during down time. My mom started reading as an adult when a friend gave her a novel that sparked her interest.

When I came along, they still didn’t have much money, but they knew that they wanted to raise a reader. I had my own library card, and we went to the library every weekend. A trip to the bookstore was rare, but when it happened it was a very big deal. I received at least one book on every birthday. They somehow found the money to sign me up for the monthly Dr. Seuss book club (I STILL HAVE THOSE BOOKS!). I had my own bookshelf in my bedroom. They asked me about what I was reading and we discussed books at the dinner table. One of them read to me every night— no matter how much I may have misbehaved that day, that bedtime story was never taken away as a punishment.

So I was always the kid who had her nose in a book, and that was OK with them. They let me read whatever–and pretty much whenever–I wanted. I can’t remember ever having a book taken away because I was “too young for it.” I remember reading my mom’s copies of novels like “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” when I was in 5th grade. When I had questions about what I was reading—and I often did—those questions were answered with responses that were appropriate for my age at the time.

Because my parents somehow figured out that books should never be off limits, they raised me to be a reader. I can’t even begin to guess at how many hours in my lifetime have been spent with books. I know I’m a more curious, well-rounded person because of it. I’m grateful for that gift every day.

How about you? Did your parents influence you to become a book lover? Or did you become a reader due to other factors? What have you done to help the kids in your life become lifelong readers? Please share—I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

24 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–Raising A Reader

  1. You have a great story about your parents. My mother read to me when I was young. Then my Father died when I was six, she had to go to work and the reading stopped. She still made sure I had books and both my sister and I are readers. Here is my post:


  2. What a great post!!! Sweet story!!

  3. My mother was a voracious reader. So am I. My son, not so much. But I keep giving him books for presents! He reads most of them.

  4. I like your story…my father wasn’t a reader, but my mother was. She took me to get my first library card when I was eight, and I was allowed to go every time she went to town. (We lived in the country). Books were my entry to a secret world and my connection to all things wonderful. I am very grateful that my mother did that for me.


  5. Great story! My parents weren’t big readers – in my case it was an older cousin who introduced me to books and offered me lots of books when I was growing up.

    Here’s my Musing about the book Perfume, the story of a murderer

  6. I was read to as a child and taught to read by my mother (although she wasn’t a huge reader herself) she took me to the library every week until and once I could read I was allowed to have the light on to do so in bed. This is a habit I still have today, I don’t sleep as well if I don’t read a bit before ‘lights out!’ When it came to my children I read to them too and although my son wasn’t a great reader he told me just the other evening how important he thought it was that children were read to. He bought up a memory of me reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to him while his elder sister had a swimming lesson – he was only about 4 so he must have heard me read it to his sister and want it himself. My eldest is just like me and always has at least one book to hand!

    • How great that your son has such fond memories of you reading to him.
      I feel the same as you about reading before bed–it’s hard for me to sleep if I don’t at least read a page or two before turning out the light!

  7. I lived at the library until I got my ereader. Browsing the shelves gives me so much excitement!

    • I wish I liked my local library more–it has a very sterile, cold feel. I tend to hunt for my library books online, and then reserve them–and then a quick in-and-out to pick up the new and return the old. But I do miss the browsing that I used to do at the library I belonged to when I was younger.

  8. I’m blessed that both of my parents were readers. My dad who is 89 still reads the entire newspaper everyday. There was never a time in our home that we didn’t have books, magazines, newspapers, etc. I loved having a library card as a child. The library was a magical place to visit. I also made sure my children and now my grandchildren have lots of books to read. My daughter reads 3 books at bedtime to her children. She chooses one fiction and non fiction book and the kids choose a book of their choice.

  9. I think my parents read a lot when they were younger. My mom read to me when I was little and when I got older I read through all of dad’s old sci fi and thrillers 🙂

  10. As a teenager I remember going to the library regularly to borrow both books and paintings/prints ( I don’t think they lend paintings anymore). I don’t remember my parents reading to me. I’ve always loved books. My youngest daughter has been a slow to learn reader but I’ve read to her a lot usually before lights out at night. I wouldn’t say she loves reading but I hope she keeps persisting as she gets older. My hubby does not read at all. My older daughter enjoys reading but her brother doesn’t. Like you I rarely browse the library now we usually browse online then a quick trip in to drop off / pick up.

    Great muse!

    Here’s mine:

    • Isn’t it interesting when kids raised in the same family turn out to have such different interests–in books and in other areas!
      (I do remember when libraries used to loan out artwork!)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. What a lovely story! My mother loved books and she instilled that love in my brother and me (which is quite an achievement as my brother is dyslexic – it takes him weeks to read a book but he loves it).

    Have a good week!

  12. This is a really lovely story of how your parents had a goal for you and lovingly made it happen! I’m inspired to follow their example with my own kids. Sorry I’m so late to pop over! Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday last week! Looking forward to seeing what you have to share with us this week!

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