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A Reader of Fictions: KC and the Sunshine Chats (5): The Evolution of Two Readers

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

KC and the Sunshine Chats (5): The Evolution of Two Readers


So...it's been a while. That's totally my bad. I've been busy and sort of dropped the ball. However, as Rafiki says, "IT IS TIME."

In this installment of KC and the Sunshine Chats, Kara of Great Imaginations and I are going to take you on a little journey to the past. We’ll delve into our history as readers and how we came to be the lovely, well-read bloggers you all know and love.

CF: Reading has been a crucial part of my development from day one. My parents are huge readers themselves, and they always shared that with me. They read to me every single day for at least a half hour when I was really young. In fact, when my mom took baby me to Ohio for a month or so for my grandfather’s funeral, Dad even recorded a cassette tape of him reading some of my favorite picture books, so that I wouldn’t forget him! How cute is that?!?! How about you, Kara? Did your parents raise you to love reading?

KM: First of all, me, well-read? Bahahaha. I appreciate that sentiment but it cracked me up because I do not feel that way at all. Yes, my mom did. She used to read to me in a rocking chair from a very young age, and I believe she taught me to read when I was four. I’ve always had a love of words and reading, and I had a pretty large Golden Book collection. I remember sitting in the living room while she quizzed me over and over for spelling bees, which I did rather well in. I still remember getting eliminated over one because I spelled ‘course’ wrong. I spelled it ‘coarse’ and they wanted the other one and I did not ask for it to be used in a sentence. To this day I have not gotten over it. Can’t you tell? Ha. And maybe spelling bees aren’t exactly reading per se, but it did help develop my love of words and the way they sound. Christina, you always amaze me because of your speed of reading. I used to be a very fast reader but as I’ve aged (and began editing), my speed has slowed down A LOT. Have you always read that fast?

CF: Hmmm, I don’t really know how to answer that, because I don’t feel like I do read quickly. I just read at the speed I read, you know? I suspect, yes? Reading always came to me a bit more easily than average, but I got a lot of practice. When I was of reading age, my parents would still read with me, but sometimes I would read aloud to them instead (a practice that continues to this day on road trips). We would also read plays or comic strips aloud with voices. Haha. NERDY FAMILY IS NERDY. All of this reading aloud always came in really handy in English classes. I am so prepped for my dream job of audiobook narrator! I read all of The Age of Miracles aloud to my parents on a car trip from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. Woo! How about you, Kara? Read aloud much?

KM: WOW. Ummmm, no. I’m sure my mom made me do that with her, but I don’t have a memory of it, really. I had a voice recorder and I used to sing nursery rhymes out loud but that’s the only evidence I have of me doing anything out loud. That being said, I do like to read out loud to myself sometimes. I’ll be reading a book and then a certain section of it sticks out to me and I think, “This is something that has to be read out loud.” And I do. I’ve read out loud to Dan a lot too. There’s a lot of books I want him to read but he thinks he will hate them (Harry Potter--GASP), so I read sections so he can complain some more and say he won’t like it. Haha.

One thing I really do remember though is reading a lot in the summertime. Visiting the local library and literally finding it hard to pick out books as I had read most of them already. Staying indoors when everyone else was outside because I would rather be lost in a book than socializing. That part of me still hasn’t changed. And I remember my mom trying to make me go outside and telling me to put the books down, I was reading too much. I guess she thought I was missing out on life or something, but I disagree. I wish I had read more, and for a long time in my teen years and early adulthood, I lost my love for reading. Not saying it was due to her choices but it did influence me a little. I’m just glad I found my way back to books. Do you have any interesting summer memories like these?

CF: Did you ever manage to convince Dan to read them? I totally had to nag my parents like crazy to read Harry Potter, and then they tried to quit saying all the letters were boring and I was like KEEP GOING and then they were like THIS IS SO AWESOME.

Well, for the most part, my parents totally didn’t try to stop me reading. I’m always sad when I’m at a library and the parents are like “No, you can’t have that book,” because you want them to want to read. Anyway, I DO remember an instance that my parents STILL like to tease me about. We were on vacation somewhere out west and driving through the mountains. I was in the backseat all comfy and reading a good book; they told me to look at the scenery, and I was like “CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT I AM READING?” which they did not think justified not looking at the mountains. Le sigh. Reading wasn’t really seasonal for me, though. Pretty much all times were open season on books.

KM: No, he refuses to read them. He read part of the first book and said he thought they were too childish. I tried to explain to him that they get darker and deeper but no dice. Someday I will try again but he is dead set against reading any children’s fiction. *GASP*

LOL that totally sounds like something my parents would say. When I was little, I had a tough time focusing on schoolwork, so as much as I wanted to read, it took a backseat to homework. I think I still read some, I just remember doing the most of my reading and library tripping in the summertime. I was also involved in the Girl Scouts a lot so there went some more time for reading. :D But I have a question for you. Do you remember the first book or books that really made you fall in love with reading? For me, there were a couple--Nancy Drew, most definitely, and also, The Secret Garden. There were so many though. Ramona, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Secrets of the Shopping Mall, The Witch of Blackbird Pond...what are yours?

CF: ...and this is the man who read Fifty Shades. He clearly needs to sort out his priorities.

Hmmm, not really, actually, which I think is a shame. There are some that stand out in my memory as things I read over and over, though: there was this one picture book, which I tracked down on the internet (it was NOT easy) called Enchanted Beasts that I LOVED. It had classic tales, like the lion and the unicorn, pegasus, etc. I was really into The Animorphs and long series like that for a while. Oh, and Johnny Tremain and The Witch of Blackbird Pond were HUGE favorites, even though I generally dislike that period of history. Then, in transitioning to adult books, it was all about Pride and Prejudice.

KM: You win. I am totally telling him this because I love it. Better yet, I’ll just let him read it. ROFL. And yay, we have The Witch of Blackbird Pond in common! Also, I have heard a TON about the Animorphs. So I think we are done? I loved this topic! It only took us forever to finish this post! I hope it gets some love! :D

Dear readers, where did your love of books come from? Do you have any great bookish memories with family or particular places? What books helped make you a reader?

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20 Comments:

Blogger Christina @ Christina Reads YA said...

I don't know how either of you remember how much your parents read to you. I've found a bunch of picture books at home, but I don't remember anyone reading them to me, though I assume they've got to be there for *some* reason.

lol at coarse v. course. "Christina, you always amaze me because of your speed of reading."
Trufax. And ooooh, Christina, will you record some vlogs sometime of you reading some excerpts? Not a lot, obviously, since that'd be against copyright, but I want to hear you narrate. My friends and I do that a lot with each - dramatic readings - but none of us could ever become an audiobook narrator :P.

WHUT IS THIS TRAVESTY. He does not think he would like Harry Potter? o.O

"Staying indoors when everyone else was outside because I would rather be lost in a book than socializing. That part of me still hasn’t changed." <-- Me too. My parents originally thought there was something wrong with me because of that loolol. Like that, I guess -> "I guess she thought I was missing out on life or something, but I disagree."

I totally tried convincing my parents to read HP, Christina, but you clearly had much, much more success. "No, he refuses to read them. He read part of the first book and said he thought they were too childish. I tried to explain to him that they get darker and deeper but no dice. Someday I will try again but he is dead set against reading any children’s fiction. *GASP*" <-- That's why. My mom is dead set against YA and fantasy/sci-fi/"ridiculous things," so it's pretty much an impossible task.

"Do you remember the first book or books that really made you fall in love with reading?" I remember this question. Wasn't that supposed to be for your post next week? I think I'd seen that when I commented.

Hmm, no bookish memories with family as we have such different tastes. I remember arguing with my brother who would get to read HP5 first after we bought it from Costco, and I remember reading HP6 in my parent's bedroom and refusing to come eat until I'd finished crying about Dumbledore... But that's it :O.

July 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Well, I don't remember all of it, but I know a lot of this from stories and stuff. Obviously I don't recall them reading to me when I was a baby, but they say they did and I believe them. Have you tried asking your parents about this stuff? I got specifics when I was doing an assignment in grad school: my reading autobiography or something like that.

Hmmm, I'm not opposed to doing that, but I'd have to figure out what to read. I was thinking about reading the blurbs for books in book hauls, but that can get lengthy. Maybe for snark books I'll do that or something.

Luckily, my parents totally understood preferring indoor activities and reading. :-p

Ha, I have both my parents reading all sorts of YA and sometimes middle grade now. VICTORY.

Oh, well, my answer to that will be to check this post. Haha. That question reminded me that I needed to finish this.

The beauty of being the only child is always getting to read HP first. Then Mom got it, because she reads faster than dad does.

July 30, 2013 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

It was. Which was what made me ask Christina that question. I will answer it again when Lyn and I write our post. Awwww at crying about Dumbledore! Wasn't that awful? I remember exactly where I was when I read that part. Devastating!

July 30, 2013 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Christina @ Christina Reads YA said...

Lol, usually when I ask my mom about the picture books, it involves references to grandchildren and requests that I not give them away. Er, no memories or discussion on that end. I didn't know you went to grad school!

YESSSS snark books or reading the blurbs! Snark books is better methinks but hey! I want to hear you narrate.

Ha--Christina, I won the HP battle. There's some benefit to being the youngest and only girl of four children. And yeah, Kara, HP will always create life-long bookish memories. *sigh* (Where were you when you read that part, Kara?)

The only other memory I can think of now is my brother telling me how he thought Mockingjay didn't handle the revolution as well as it could've and how THG was overrated. We were in the car after some church? event...

WHY ARE MY MEMORIES NEGATIVE. Y'all should help me make some new ones :P.

July 30, 2013 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Masters in library science is all. It hardly counts, but technically, yes, graduate school.

Well, if you ever publish a book, you can have me narrate it. :-p

I do not remember where I was. Actually, I was at the midnight release party for six, so my bedroom at my parents' house the next day, I think.

Hmmm, well, Mockingjay definitely wasn't perfect, and I can see thinking THG is overrated, but the hype wasn't insane yet when I first started it. *shrugs*

July 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

I was on this crappy old plaid couch in the tiniest apartment I have ever lived in in Anderson, South Carolina. Was a really tough time in my life too when I was severely depressed. That book didn't help, obvs. ;)

July 30, 2013 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Lili said...

I started reading when I was 3 years old. Made my way through THE CAT IN THE HAT in one try. And then my parents bought me the entire DR. Seuss collection and the entire Disney picture book with words collection and I read my way through all of those before I entered Kindergarten.

And from there, of course, my love of NANCY DREW emerged when they bought me her entire collection and I insisted upon buying all of the Junie B. Jones. And then there were all the great little books in between from authors like Roald Dahl, Andrew Clements, and Jerry Spinelli. MAINIAC MAGEE, loved that book to pieces.

But once I hit middle school I actually stopped reading. I was too focused spending time outside and moping around due to my parents divorce and moving that I pretty much rebelled my refusing to read the books they spent money on for me. Weird, I know, but that was my coping mechanism. My thought process was something like...you cut each other out of my life so I'm going to WILLINGLY cut your shared passion of books out of mine. The thoughts of a fifth grader, right? Anyway, I substituted reading with basketball and spending time outside and found a huge love in that. But when 8th grade rolled around, my knees were too bad to continue. Both my parents have terrible knees, so it sucks. I had to quit.

And it's pretty much that year when I found myself grounded for some stupid reason that I picked up one of the books my parents bought for me, A WRINKLE IN TIME, and I fell in love with reading again. I went on this huge binge and made them spend so much on books because, at the time, my library still sucked with their young adult section and that's what I was transfering to. I missed the entire "proper middle grade" phase.

And then 2 years later I took another break because of school. My sophomore year was so hard that I would get sick from stress. I got no sleep and it was terrible. My desire to read disappeared completely. And then I met a stress that I never knew before during junior year and I realized I had to keep reading for my sanity. Books to me are like water to a dying man in the desert. End of junior year was the beginning of my blog when I found this lovely place, and my love of reading has intensified ten fold now that I have people to share it with.

A long, odd tale, I know. Haha Thanks for this post, I actually enjoyed it a lot!

July 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I love this post. You girls always have really great chat posts. I loved hearing about each of you growing up reading and how your experiences were.

I read to my daughter constantly. I started reading when I was 4 and my daughter is almost 5 now and she doesn't even seem close. She has a very short attention span and gets easily frustrated so it's hard to get her to sit long enough to try to learn it with my help. She does love me reading to her though, which I am more than happy to do.

July 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

This was so much fun! I know that even though my mom didn't enjoy reading herself (she loves it now), she read to me when I was young. I always loved to read (though I stopped after I had my kids for a bit) and think that her reading to me had a lot to do with it. Now that my 6 year old is reading on his own, I am enjoying him reading to me. And my 4 year old loves to be read to. I remember reading Fear Street, The Boxcar Children and anything by Judy Blume when I was younger.

July 31, 2013 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Kat Balcombe said...

Ah I love this topic - it's always interesting to see how people 'came' to reading, if it's natural or practised etc.

Neither of my parents were readers - my mum would occassionally read a novel or two, particularly historical fiction, but it was my grandmother that really encouraged me to read. I remember her having Readers Digest collections (four condensed books in one) on a shelf in her living room, and I eventually 'borrowed' almost all of them - I'm sure she wanted them back but didn't have the heart to tell me LOL. I spent a lot of time at her house after school, and all I would do in the hours between school ending and my mother coming to pick me up was read - legal thrillers, historical fiction and family sagas were pretty much all she had, but I loved them all. The first book I really remember being given was The Secret Garden - I had a beautiful leather-bound version (which must still be in a box in my dad's garage) and I read it dozens of times.

When I was a teenager I stopped at the local library nearly every day on my way home from school - I always had the maximum amount of books checked out (10 I think it was).

Like you, Kara, I have a non-reading other-half, and although sometimes I wish he would read too, at least I'm not competing for shelf space - I just shove him off into a corner to play his music while I read - works perfectly ;).

July 31, 2013 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

Oh gosh! Thank you for sharing that with us, Lili. I agree with you. Reading can be a very cathartic experience; especially when it's such a good book that you can just lock the outside world away and escape into another one. I'm glad you found us all and we are sure glad you are a part of this community!

July 31, 2013 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

I am so glad she enjoys being read to. I think over time she will learn to love it and what you are doing now is a great start!

July 31, 2013 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

I read a lot of Fear Street too but I didn't count those in my list because they came later. I remember shopping for them at the bookstore and perusing the YA shelves picking out the ones I wanted.

July 31, 2013 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

Yes! The Secret Garden was one of mine too! I checked it out from the library and I still remember riding home with it in the car as I was so excited to read it. It's my favorite children's classic.

That is so awesome you checked out the max amount of books every time!

Dan reads, just not what I want him to, and right now he doesn't have a lot of time, unfortunately. Compared to me he is a non-reader I guess. :) He has one shelf of books amongst my 5 bookcases. LOL

July 31, 2013 at 6:48 PM  
OpenID ablightedone said...

I love this post so much! I LOVE hearing about why people read and family influences! Or a teacher/librarian. I love this post about Lee's parents influencing her, too. Christina, the story about your dad recording a cassette is the most adorable thing! Kara, I read certain sections out loud to myself, too!

My family is really bookish and I have a post in my drafts about it and the influence they and especially my older sister had on me as a reader. I never understood kids at school that didn't enjoy reading. My mom always read romance, my brother loved science fiction. I always wanted to read and I was in awe of my sister's books. When I was young my siblings read to me, then I got to read their books and fell more in love.

I was thinking about starting a feature/guest post where a blogger could share who influenced them to read, but I wasn't sure if many people would be interested in it. But I love this post so much!

July 31, 2013 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

No wonder you and Gillian are so close; you're both built on Disney! :-p

Roald Dahl! How could I leave him off my list. I loved his stuff so much!

Oh, honey, that's so sad. At least you had basketball in that time, though the bad knees inherited from both sides really suck. I got terrible eyesight and allergies from both my parents (thanks for that, guys).

Awww, A Wrinkle in Time. I wish I hadn't tried to reread that series. It didn't have the magic for me anymore, but it was so special when I was in fifth grade.

I mostly gave up reading for fun during the first couple years of college. Balancing coursework with reading is tough. "Books to me are like water to a dying man in the desert." I love that. Also, it's SO true that reading is more important to me now than ever, now that I have people to share it with. My parents are big readers, but I surpass even them, and found my kindred spirits here on the internet.

August 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

At least she likes being read to. Audiobooks may be her friends as she grows up. Of course, there's still time for her to learn to love reading the traditional way too!

August 2, 2013 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, that's nice that she read to you even though she didn't like reading herself. That's awesome that you have your 6 year old reading to you now!

August 2, 2013 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh man, Reader's Digest. There are always so many of those at Goodwill. I wonder who condenses them. Must be an interesting and tedious job all at once.

The Secret Garden is amazing. I really must research more Burnett.

10 is a piddly number. You can check out 75 at my local library. Haha.

I have no husband. ALL THE SPACE IS MIIIIINE.

August 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That is a fantastic idea for a feature! You really should do it!

Awww, your siblings read to you. How sweet!

August 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM  

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