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"School of Reading. We all started reading somewhere, and more often than not, we were influenced by someone. Who got you into reading? Your parents? A friend? A librarian? One teacher who always lends out his/her books? How helpful was your school in helping your reading habit / fueling your book addiction?"
My Reading History.
My reading habit started out of sheer boredom. Living abroad in a town where you don’t really get to go out (there’s really nowhere to go unless you knew how to drive or take a cab, which at the age of six, I can’t do either), you’ll eventually run out of things to do when you’re stuck at home after school. There are not enough cartoons to fill in the moment dullness strikes and quite frankly I don’t enjoy TV that much, my eyes easily feel dry and stingy after a few hours of watching.
It all began with a random trip to a bookstore. My mom was busy doing the grocery and to help pass the time while waiting for her, my dad thought my brother and I might want to look around. So my brother goes off to look at comic books, which being clueless about what to look for I followed him to that section. I spotted a small comic book with three unusual characters; one was a boy with orange hair, and two girls, a blond and a brunette. Well, hello, Archie!
So the person who got me into reading was my dad, unconsciously I guess. But ever since then, he made it a point to let me check out any reading material I wanted.
I started with Archie, then moved to Fairy Tales, and after some time I started reading books without pictures in them. The first non-picture book I read was Full House (which was also a TV show back in the 90s) Michelle and Full House Stephanie. After some time I began to read some classics like the Secret Garden and the Three Musketeers.
School of Reading.
In grade school, our principal had one of the supposed classrooms turned into a mini-library. Of course since I’ve already started the reading habit early, I was a constant visitor. But there was only one book in particular that I borrowed and read there. I can’t remember the title but it was about a collection of dolls (I was very girly when I was a kid :D).
As for high school, I rarely visited the school library, unless my class was required to, simply because I didn’t know what to browse there. I also remember that they establish a reading club area but for some reason it wasn’t open unless classes where conducted there so I don’t think it was useful.
When I stepped into college, well… the library was pretty much my hang out from freshmen to senior year. I spend most of my free time in the library reading books if not studying for an exam. I loved my college’s library!
Come to think of it, I don’t think anybody from school influenced me to read. Teachers encourage students to read, but they never really gave any recommendations other than what was in the curriculum. Although, I did have friends back in grade school who had given me books as gifts, like my childhood best friend who gave me Frankenstein for my birthday. The only particular person I remembered from school who gave my classmates and me book recommendations was my Literature professor in college, who introduced us to Filipino authors. She always encourages us to find something in the reading assignment to “appreciate” instead of “forcibly grasping” just for schoolwork reasons because that’s where we would find the type of stories we would come to enjoy, hence reading wouldn’t be something we might find boring and uninteresting. And I’ve always put that advice at heart.