At Looks and Books, Jill has a great post about what it means to grow up in a reading family:
“…if your family (siblings, parents, grandparents) belongs to the “avid readers” category, does that automatically mean that you will be more interested in reading and writing; and, conversely, if your family doesn’t spend a great deal of time reading, does that mean you won’t develop a love of books?”
It’s a case of literary nature vs. nurture. I’m sure there are lots of studies I could quote about how reading with your children helps develop their reading comprehension, confidence, and enjoyment. And of course having books in your house or going to the library helps kids see that books are something to regularly enjoy.
Like Jill, my family is big on reading. We went to the library regularly when I was young; my mom signed us up for the Book-of-the-Month Club; books are given as gifts on Christmas or birthdays. In four grade, when we were looking at a new school, the headmaster asked my parents what I liked to do in my free time and they said, “She reads a lot.” So I’d say my family certainly encouraged my love of reading. Still, I think I’m inclined to books anyway. Neither of my parents do creative writing and that’s always been something I was interested in. So part of it is also my own interests.
I also have friends who are very smart and love reading now, but weren’t big readers when they were young. The first time a friend told me this, I was so surprised. Apparently when she was a kid, she didn’t like to sit still with a book and would rather have been outside swinging from trees and playing games with the neighborhood kids. It took her a little time to find books, and I’m sure that’s the case with a lot of readers.
Did you grow up in a family of readers? Do you think that impacted your life as a reader?
(image: Andrew Griffith)