Why do some people like to read and other’s don’t? Even within families, some of the members are readers and others would simply use a book as a coaster. It’s question that I’ve spent more than my share of time pondering.
I most recently pondered that question one morning last week upon awakening at 5:30 but not yet wanting to get out of bed. I had been reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and my pondering began with a question I asked myself: How did it come about that you first chose that book back when you were 12 or 13 years old? Who recommended A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to you?
While I had good elementary school teachers, I don’t recall any of them particularly inspiring me to read. It’s true, however, that despite the fact that I can remember the lyrics to nearly every song written between 1963 and 1975, I can’t remember the name of my 5th grade teacher. Teachers for grades 1 through 4 I remember. Grade 6 I remember because she died halfway through the school year. An 11-year-old doesn’t forget things like that. But 5th grade? I got nothin’. Maybe she inspired me to read.
Anyway, back to my pondering. I began recalling that from the time I can remember, we had a little bookcase in our dining room that was full of books. There were many Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames and the Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden books. We had Little Women, which I read innumerable times. (Jen still has that book, and the Jo on the cover doesn’t look like Winona Ryder). And I read them all, many more than once. And we had World Book Encyclopedias, some parts of which I would pore over, like the dog section of the D encyclopedia.
Where did those books come from, I wondered. Did Mom buy the whole sets of all of those books? Or, perhaps, did one of her sisters who had children older than the Gloors donate the books to her? It’s something I will never know. Kids, ask your parents questions now.
I further recalled that every Saturday morning, I would go to the city library to return books and make new selections. While I don’t vividly recall, it must have been my mother who drove us to the library and stayed with us while we chose our books.
So, my conclusion was that it was my mother who inspired me to read, and not my 5th grade teacher. That, however, doesn’t answer the question as to why my sisters and I all like to read, but my brother isn’t particularly a reader.
I had always been taught that if you read to your kids, they will, in turn, love reading as they grow into adults. From the time he was a baby until he was mid-elementary school, I read to Court every night. Now, though I think he reads on occasion, he certainly doesn’t LOVE to read. And of this three children, all of whom have been read to, only Kaiya loves to read. I think all of the rest of my grands are readers, and they have all been read to. So, is it DNA or is it environment?
I have no answers, only questions. This, my friends, is often true with life.
This post linked to the GRAND Social