>A meme from Kate’s Book Blog:
1. How old were you when you learned to read and who taught you?
I think I started to read in kindergarten. Although I don’t remember, I guess I learned from many people, having had stories read to me by my mother, my older sisters, my teachers. My first grade classroom was 1/2 First graders and 1/2 Third graders. Each of the younger kids was paired with a ‘big’ kid. I always wanted to be in the ‘big kid’ group and would try to move my desk to the 3rd grade reading circle. I was too bored with the simplistic primers we had. Finally, one day the teacher allowed me to move into the 3rd grade reading circle. I cherished the stories that we read in those chapter books — so much better than any primer.
2. Did you own any books as a child? If so, what was the first one that you remember owning? If not, do you recall any of the first titles that you borrowed from the library?
One of my fondest early memories is of the day that the postman delivered the World Book Encyclopedias and the Childcraft Books series. This is remembered in my family mostly as the day that Grandma’s dog bit the mailman and then ran away, but I think I barely looked up from the wonderful boxes of books long enough to notice that this was a big deal. The book I enjoyed the most was about Scientists and Inventors. I’m sure this volume is what started my like of scientific writing.
3. What is the first book that you bought with your own money?
I don’t think I bought books much as a child. Going to the library was a regular weekly routine. I must have started buying books when I was in high school and worked at a mall with a book store.
4. Were you a re-reader as a child? If so, which book did you re-read most often?
I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond many times in 4th grade. One day the librarian refused to let me renew it another time. A boy in my class had the same problem with renewing Flying Tigers. We decided to checkout each other’s books and then secretly trade. The plan was brilliant: we both were able to keep reading our favorite books.
In 5th grade, I liked a fantasy story about a boy who discovers an underwater race of lizard-like people following a tsunami. Sadly, I forget the name of the book, but I read it so often that it fell apart. That book kicked The Witch of Blackburn Pond off of my reading list for good and I learned that I could love more than one book. I hardly ever re-read books now.
5. What’s the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it?
I read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in 8th grade precisely because my teacher tried to dissuade me from reading it for a book report. I read Huck Finn a few years later as a class assignment, but my text was a copy belonging to my recently deceased grandfather. It fascinated me that he had read the same book years before. He was an avid reader and a book-lover example for me.
6. Are there children’s books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? Which ones?
I read a lot during elementary school and high school, but I can’t think of any YA books that I think I should read now. I did develop the habit, though, of trying to read the books that my son was reading in school. It isn’t as easy now that he is in his last months of school. But, over the years, I have developed a better understanding of the breadth of children literature.