What Got Me Into Reading - Life is so full of tae!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What Got Me Into Reading

This was Fully Booked's post the other day to which I promptly replied:

And by that, I had a trip down memory lane. How and when did I start my love for books and reading? (Yep, those are two different things). Now, let me take you back more than two decades ago.

It was summer of 1989 when my dad took me on a vacation and left me with my grandma at Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. When I got back to Davao a week after, my parents surprised me with a big book, Children's First Dictionary. It's beautiful. I loved it and even more that it has colorful pictures. I was 4 then, and yes, I already know how to read. And even though I didn't understand most words, I read it heartily, word per word, from A-Z.

At 6, my mom bought me a set of "My Bible Friends" books. And when I finished reading all ten books, I read it again. And again. And again. And again. Until I have already memorized almost every word of every story of every book.

At 7, I was grinning from ear to ear the moment I claimed my very own library card. I skipped as I went from shelf to shelf, carefully choosing two books that I can take home. I trotted away from the library clutching Aesop's Fable and Grimm's Fairy Tales dearly on my chest. I read incessantly that I asked for a new library card not long after because my first one was full; mind you, the school year has not ended yet.

I was 8 when I finished Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It's the first book I've read with over a hundred pages and with only one non-colored picture per chapter. It took me a week to finish it and I'm glad to return it on time because I can't afford 25 cents a day for an overdue book. Reading it was enjoyable albeit challenging.

It took me weeks or perhaps months before I took a trip at the library again. It was such a breather as I stepped down the halls of books, shelf after shelf after shelf. But I was drawn to a dilemma, should I borrow those illustrated fairy tales or have another challenging read?

I went over where the bigger students are, perhaps one or two grade levels ahead of me. I skimmed the shelves nearby for a book that I can take home again until I stumbled upon books I never thought would be the start of a long love affair. I carefully picked Franklin W. Dixon's Hardy Boys. And the rest, as they say, is history.

You see, my parents were far from wealthy but I'm glad that even with their meager salary, they still managed to buy me books like Grolier's encyclopedia, and all those sets and sets of Science and other informative books that I still have until now.

I remember way back in high school I stumbled upon my mom's piles of romance novel (Mills&Boons, Barbara Cartland, etc) and my dad's books by Ian Fleming's. It's no surprise where I got my reading habits.

My parents encouraged me to read and fostered my love of books. The books have changed my life and how I see the world. Books take me to places, introduce me to new people and broaden my already wild and playful imagination. I never would have been the kind of reader I am now if it had not been for them. And I am so grateful for that. :)

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