I’ve been seeing this topic floating around Booktube [here, here, here] and I thought that I’d share with you all how I got into reading. It’s always fun to reflect back and think about the beginning, so come and take a stroll down memory lane with me!
I’ve always been a reader and my parents can definitely attest to that. I was always picking up books, and even if I didn’t read it like I would nowadays, I’d still skim over it, look at the pictures, or read certain paragraphs or whatever. I mean, it was kind of sporadic, but when I did find something that I liked, I’d get really into it.
I remember reading those books that were written like diary entries and they’d follow different girls throughout time – from landing in Plymouth to slave girls to girls from Ireland and more – and I loved those books! I found them fascinating and lovely and just fun to read. I know it was a kind of series, but I can’t even remember what they were called, but I do remember them having ribbon bookmarks, which was the coolest thing even back then.
I was also into these sciencey books where the narrator was a mouse and would teach you about what a rainbow is and how clouds make rain and stuff. I loved that set! I actually might still have it at my parents’ house… I also read a lot of fairy tales, like about Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin, among others, and was so fascinated not only by the stories, but by the illustrations.
As a young reader, I wanted to relate to what I was reading, or learn something more, but I think as I grew older that I became more fascinated with the story type of books, such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that we had to read in 5th grade. I don’t remember how I felt upon initially reading it, but I do remember enjoying the film adaptation. And I have the vague sense that I enjoyed the kind of movie that played in my mind as I read.
I was introduced to manga in the 6th grade, and I’m so glad I was because that really helped me to become an avid reader. Even if I was just reading manga all the time, I was still enjoying what I was reading because of the story, content, and art. And it was because of manga that I really became such an avid reader in my tween and teen years.
I read all sorts of manga and got into anime, which I think just helped me develop more of my identity as a young person. I loved series like Fushigi Yuugi (still my favorite), Tokyo Mew Mew, Chobits, DNAngel, Pita Ten, Hot Gimmick, Fruits Basket, and more. There were so many different kinds of stories and genres and art styles that I was never without something new and fun to read.
And then school reading became more series and things started to fluctuate a little with my reading.
As I had to read certain books in school, I only remember liking a few because, well, reading for school is oftentimes boring and doesn’t really do anything for me. I remember reading Holes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth – Some of these works I liked, while others like April Morning, The Great Gatsby, A Catcher in the Rye... yeah, I didn’t like them so much. Some gripped me while others just bored me.
But it was in high school that I really started to branch out into reading different kinds of books, and from there my reading took off – at least momentarily. I read books that I loved in my free time, like Memoirs of a Geisha, House of the Scorpion, and, you guessed it, Twilight. Yes, I was a fan before the craziness that was the fandom began. I loved the story of Bella and Edward, and I will continue to be a fan even today.
Once I was out of high school, though, my reading took a turn into a lull, a kind of limbo, really. I mean, I was reading on occasion in my spare time, but not as much as I used to, and certainly not as much as I do now. I blame college and work stress.
What really got me into reading was Booktube, actually. I didn’t start to really read with so much passion and vigor until I started my own channel and subsequently this blog. That’s when I read and read and read and discovered that I love this and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life; if not professionally, then definitely in my spare time. I wasn’t until this past year that I challenged myself to read 50 books in one year – which I accomplished.
Reading has always been a passion and a hobby for me, but I think that as I grow older I really appreciate it more and more and I’m so glad that I’ve always had reading in my life. From my earliest memories of borrowing books from teachers and not returning them (oops), to reading for fun after school, to now where I’m a book blogger and booktuber? Yeah, I’d say that that’s a pretty sweet life.
So, there you have it! That’s my how I got into reading story. I guess it wasn’t so much a story as a, “I’ve always been a reader!” kind of situation.
What about you? When did you first discover your love and passion for reading? What book or series got you into reading? Were you a young reader like me? Let me know!