GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Monday, July 14

Reading through the years......

My friend Jeremy posted an interesting look at his reading history.
Were you a voracious reader? Were you ever made fun of as a child for this characteristic? At what age? How did you handle it - did you hide it, or ignore the boozh-wah-zee? (bourgeoisie, I can spell)

Did you grow up amongst readers? Did you feel support for your readerly traits? Was it just out in the rest of the world that you were the odd duck? Or did you never feel out of place no matter where you went?

Have you ever felt discriminated against because you're a reader? Did it fade away along with childhood? Or do you find vestiges left in your adult life from time to time?

I ask because I was recently reading a thread where people were remembering times that adults had tried to make them stop reading "for their own good" - with one person saying that her teacher went so far as to staple her book closed so she'd go out to recess. It got me to thinking how I would have handled something like that as a child versus as an adult. Which in turn led me to wondering what the reader-developmental-lives of my reader friends were like.

As with Jeremy, this really made me think. I am a reader, and I wear that badge with pride. My memory is not my strong point but I remember getting The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia for my 8th birthday. This suggests that I was a reader long before I remember being one. Lol!

What I do remember is hours spend hiding in the basement of the Provo house with a book on my knees. I learned there that I could ignore the outside world...all of I immersed myself in the worlds of Anne of Green Gable, The Baby-sitters Club, 1940's Germany and many other places.
Then we moved to Orem.....and again I found my spot.......there is a walk in closet on the second houses the furnace. On many an occasion, I could be found sitting on my pillow behind the hanging clothes. I could escape the yelling and the tension for hours at a time.

I know there are others in my family that read. I have discussed books with many of my siblings both older and younger. I specifically remember sitting with Cricket, Wog, and Goose when they were little. We each had a book to read and that was enough. We didn't really talk we just curled up in my room and read books. I still send them each books for birthdays and Christmas. As a teenager there were times I got in trouble because I wasn't reading my scriptures as much as I was reading other fiction or I wasn't taking care of my other responsibilities because I was reading. But I don't think I was ever discouraged from reading (other then my healthy obsession with what is affectionately known as my "slut/whore romance novels"). I even made a deal with my AP History teacher as a junior. When I didn't want to go to class anymore he let me sit in the back with headphones and a book. I just had to take all of the tests and turn in all of the homework. My grade was decent. Come to think of it my Honors English sophomore year let me read through her class too. Though, with Phylis Bestor as a teacher, it was rare that I could concentrate on my book. She was a really great teacher.

I have gotten better as an adult but it is rare to find me without a book to read. I have had friends ask if I really think I will need one when I am out with them. It is only then that I feel a bit guilty. I have been told repeatedly that my sisters felt that they were excluding me some how because I didn't join in the chaos that was our house. But what can I is who I am, and probably who I will always be. I am just more comfortable between the pages of a book then in many social situations. To quote Jeremy again:
I still always have a book to read at work, during lunch, which I realized I use as a shield and a flag - as a shield, being immersed in a book keeps me from having to socialize with my co-workers who might walk by. As a flag I hope it says to any other readers, "I will put down my book to get to know you if you'll ask what I'm reading!"

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