What turned you into a reader?

For me it was a coloring book with pictures of the Roman gods and goddesses that I picked up at my local grocery store. I fell in love with their exotic names and the beautiful faces. Once I finished coloring every picture, my grandmother said, “You know, you can read books about all those characters.” That was it. I went to the library and within a year I had read every myth at the Arden Hills branch of the Ramsey County Library.

Kerri Miller asked the same question on Twitter. Here’s what she heard.

  • my mother read to us all every night until we were old enough to read ourselves. It was always so special.— Stephen Somebody (@blytheMAN) November 4, 2014

  • Bookworm

    At age 3 I crawled up on grandma’s lap with our favorite book to read together. I pointed to the book and said “teach me”. A few days later, I read the book to her on my own.

    At age 12, I had read every book in our small town library’s children’s section. I wanted to check out adult books, but the librarian wouldn’t let me. My dad asked her to give me an adult library card – she refused. My dad then checked out the books I had selected and handed them to me one by one in front of the librarian. Best lesson in civil disobedience ever.

    The 3 books: Firestarter by Steven King, 1984 by George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451. It was a great summer.

    • >>My dad then checked out the books I had selected and handed them to me one by one in front of the librarian. Best lesson in civil disobedience ever.<<

      That is a "FULL-ON-WIN" for your dad. Good on him!

  • Don in Denver

    my parents …my mom read books constantly, my dad read the Minneapolis Star every evening after work

  • Peter in Fort Collins

    Believe it or not… Hammer of the Gods – The Led Zeppelin Saga, by Stephen Davis. I never knew reading could involve fun things like stories of rock and roll excess.

    • That is a great read! After that I read Pamela Des Barres’s “I’m with the Band,” which is a a classic, too.

  • Ann

    My mother and father both read aloud to me. As a toddler, I would correct them if they started falling asleep and misread the story. I love reading now, and my father still fuels my love of books by bringing me books he loves.

  • cassie

    Similar library story, before we could take ‘chapter books’ out of the school library, we had to read a page in front of the ancient librarian. Nancy Drew, the Betsey books, Cheri Ames nurse mystery novels as well. And I echo the babysitter’s club books. I burned through so many of those in elementary school!

  • Jude

    My great aunt Donna Casey let me read her collection of Ellery Queen, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie books when I was in 2nd grade. Mysteries are still my favorite genre. The library was my refuge.

  • Tarin

    For me, it was culture shock. I attended three different schools in the 3rd grade. I couldn’t figure out the people; but books were a great comfort in that confusing time. My grandmother who lived with us always ordered Reader’s Digest Condensed Books for me. That gave me access to ‘grownup’ books!

  • In defense of librarians: The team at the Arden Hills Public Library let me check out Ruby Fruit Jungle when I was 12. I was inspired to check it out after watching Educating Rita.

  • Noreen

    I grew up with domestic violence in the home. Very isolated. The bookmobile made weekly stops at my elementary school. I could pick up books because I had my library card. I learned I could transport myself out of the real world to a different place. I love reading to this day.

  • Keith Prusak

    I was read to as a child, and encouraged to read on my own from as early as I can remember. That helped move me out of kindergarten early into 1st grade in Detroit. I loved EB White and the Little House books, then The Hobbit. I reread Trumpet of the Swan just a few months ago – loved it again!

  • My dad would bring me home historical books from the State Historical Society in Madison, Wis., even though he knew I was too young to read them, but I wanted to read them, maybe because it was one of the few things my dad and I bonded over and I wanted to please him. That whet my appetite for checking out books from the school library. The Box Car Children and the Little House books were some favorites from early on; later it was Huck Finn which I wound up reading four times between age 10-20.

  • davehoug

    NO TV while in 3rd and 4th grade. Best thing to happen to me. Loved the books and I learned grammar not by the rules, but because the right way ‘felt’ better, having read it so often. Also, later in life, having to read 2 chapters in school was a breeze.

    My folks also bought a set of children’s encylopedias (spell?) Even today the serendipity of finding something on the way while looking for something else is delightful.