The love of reading

Reading — it is one of my favourite hobbies, something I do often even when I should be doing something else.  But is wasn’t always like this.  As a child I didn’t like to read as I couldn’t read.  I would look at a word and I just couldn’t say it – it was all a muddle.  To make it worst we had to read aloud in groups at school and these groups were not always selected based on skill level resulting in me “reading” aloud with others who could read much better.  It was embarrassing and humiliating (which is why I hate reading aloud as an adult).  My lack of reading ability had nothing to do with the lack of books in our home – we had many many books.  We also didn’t have a TV so that wasn’t the distraction.   I just couldn’t grasp the concept no matter how I was taught.

As you could image – being unable to read also  affects writing and as a result I was poor at writing and spelling (which simply added to my embarrassment and lack of confidences).  Then one day when I was 12 I picked up a book called “Little Old Mrs Pepperpot“ by Alf Proysen and read it.  Why was this signification – it was the first book I had read from beginning to end without difficulty – something had clicked in my brain and I could do it. I was so excited – the fact that I can remember the details demonstrated how significant it was to me.  I quick found another book to read “The Little Witch” and suddenly the world opened up for me and I found that reading wasn’t this horrible activity to be afraid of but something that brings joy and pleasure and allows your imagine to wander off to anywhere in the world.   In saying this, I still stumbled over words, however this didn’t stop me from trying and anyway missing a few words doesn’t stop me comprehending the story.

It wasn’t long before I had consumed  the “Anne of Green Gables” books, the “Billabong” books (Australian literature), “The Little House on the Prairies” series, “Little Women", “What Katy Did”, ”The Nurse series" (Boyles) and so on.  I still have the full list of books I read between the age of 12 to 16 (a list I was very proud of) and it would appear that I read non-stop, making up for lost time.  However I did make quite the leap from teenage books to adult reading and by the age of 14 I was reading Alice in Wonderland, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, (and other Russian literature), Les Miserables (thanks to my brother who introduced me to Victor Hugo) and many others.  I haven’t stopped since and have no plans to.   However I did have a bump in the road when it came to the quality of books I read.  I always say to people – if Year 12 English exams had been based on romance novels (the trashier the better) I would have passed with an A++  as I consumed many of them, hiding them under the bed so my  mother never knew.  In fact I was known to stay up very late or get up early to finish a book:)

My eldest son also struggled with reading but I made sure he was always surrounded by literature (I loved buying children’s books) and given every opportunity to read no matter how poor it was.   It also finally clicked for him and now he loves reading as much as me and has quite a collection of books.

So the moral of the story is – poor readers as children don’t always turn out poor reading adults, don’t embarrass them by making them read aloud with other children who can read well, let them learn at their own pace and one day it will all fall into place. Just make sure you share the love of books with your children and in time they will love them as much as you.

The downside to all this reading is that I buy HEAPS – if I had to choice between clothing or books, sorry girls I would choice a book!!!!  Then clothing!!!!

PS For all those in Australia who find buying books expensive – I buy all of mine from the UK (no postage charged) as they are much cheaper and have a larger selection.  They also sell a good range of Christian literature.


  1. My love of books has been there as long as my memory goes back (and probably then some because I don't remember much before when I was 8 years old), but its possible I still haven't read as many books as you - although I have read a lot!
    Thank you for your comment on Dolly's blog, she is so excited about it all!! :)

  2. Thank you so much for the link to the UK bookstore. I do often want to buy books online but the postage cost stops me as it often adds as much as 50% to the price.

    I'm glad you started to love reading, and glad you shared your story. My 8 year old still struggles with reading, although she dearly wants to, and I am hoping that with her it will "all click" one day.

  3. I love reading, and always did. I excelled in English all through High School, but Maths & Science... that is another story ;)

    It is amazing but remember the other day I said my comment had disappeared from a previous post of yours? Well, in that post I made specific mention how I loved your writing style, how it flowed etc. How strange that that encouragement was somehow lost in space??! ;)

    My son sadly never pushed through his difficulties with reading. He can read, but has never gotten a love for books. Even now at 20, he proudly says to all and sundry, that he has never read a whole book before from front to back. He will read car magazines etc, but not books. I feel it is such a loss for him.

    I remember the Mrs Pepperpot book too from Primary School.

  4. Hi Jo,
    I have LOVED reading all of my life, but I expect that was because I spent much of my childhood in an oxygen tent, due to asthma.

    Our children have developed a love for reading, too, and we have taught them both to read. :)

    We have six bookshelves full of books, so there is no shortage of quality literature in our home.

    I am so glad that you managed to turn your reading skills around - what a blessing!

    Have a wonderful week,
    Love and blessings, Jillian ♥

  5. Dan and I checked out the Book Depository - we both love books - and we think it's a great site! The books aren't expensive either, amazing! We've already created an account and put some books on our wishlist so when we're ready, we can get some books!! :) Thanks for posting the link!

  6. Hooray for reading! We love books in this house, too. My husband always says that his voracious reading has given him the education that the school system did not. He left school at 16, but he is a brilliant, well-read man. Again, I was inspired by your post. As a retired (early) English teacher, I understand the picture you paint of life in the reading classroom. School can be hard on all who don't fit the exact mold the particular school system has adopted. Even though I taught for years and years, I have often thought that if I had had children, I would have homeschooled them. Anyway, wonderful, inspiring post! Thanks!

  7. I couldn't agree more with you Stacey - my dad had to drop out of school when he was approx 12 and work on the farm. As a result his education was very limited - but he has learnt so much through books due to his loves of reading.

    I doubt my teachers realised the damage they were causing when they were 'trying' to teach me to read. They were using the "accepted" methods of the time which was considered the best!!


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