I've been thinking a lot about the books I used to read when I was younger. I read a lot when I was a little kid. I owe a very large part of that to my mom. She read a lot too – she still does – and she used to always take me to the library with her. It was always something that me and her did together and had in common. My younger brother would tag along sometimes, but he was never as interested in it. My older brother reads occassionally, but, again, not as much as me and my mom do. It's cool to look back on the books that began it all…the ones that have taught me so much. Not only did I learn valuable writing and comprehension skills, but my vocabulary and spelling were also expanded. If I hadn't started reading so much at a young age, I wonder what I'd be like? What other hobbies I would have developed instead?
The first book I ever read was a Dr. Seuss. I remember staying up late (late for a 5-year-old that is) with my older brother upstairs in our room. We sat at a table with just one lamp to illuminate the book. He was always really patient with me. He went over that book with me again and again until I could go through and read every single word on every single page. Part of me believes I was just memorizing the story at that point instead of actually reading, but I still count it. I remember being so proud of myself and rushing downstairs to show my mom what I could do.
In 3rd grade I received this book from my teacher, who happened to be one of my favorite teachers. I still have it to this day in a special place on my bookshelf.
Around the time I was in 2nd-4th grade I started to really get into several younger readers and middle grade series. The Scholastic Book Fair days at school were always my favorite. When I got my own library card (instead of just using my mom's) I felt so official and mature, even though my signature was barely legible. I remember checking the library each time I went for books in the series I hadn't read yet and getting really excited when I came across one. I used to read for hours and hours. I'd check out so many books from the library…the stack was always so tall that I could barely carry them up to the front desk. I have so many old favorites, but here are just a few:
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Bailey School Kids series
Nancy Drew series
Two of a Kind series by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
The Boxcar Children series
anything Judy Blume
The Babysitters Club series
Junie B. Jones series
Looking at these pictures brings back a lot of fond memories for me. I'm sitting in my dorm room, but it's like I can smell the distcint scent of library and used books.
I think it's so important that kids start reading at an early age. Like they always say, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Hobbies and interests get developed early on, and it's crucial that reading becomes one of them. When/if I have children of my own, I will definitely be pushing these titles on them.
What books were your childhood favorites?