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Old 01-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #31
kennyc
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... I wanted to be anywhere but where I was (horrible childhood, lousy family, etc.) Reading probably saved my life - reading about different people, lives, situations gave me hope of finding a better personal situation than the one I was in. ...
Amazing isn't it, and amazing that this theme is shared amongst several of us.
Reading is a very very special thing.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #32
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You ever see the Frazetta interior art for the Book club edition of Princess of Mars? There's *two* reasons I tracked down all the Burroughs books.


I think he may have been the reason for any number of young males acquiring the reading habit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:44 PM   #33
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I didn't like cartoons, so that took away some of the competition.

The early book-length reading material I recall consists of kiddie biographies, and SF, from the Wynnefield Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library. Since we moved to New Jersey when I was seven, that provides a date. I did not much follow adult suggestion as to what to read, except for school assignments.

Back as far as I can remember, I've been a big newspaper reader. My Dad brought the late lamented Philadelphia Bulletin home each evening, and I read that, starting with the front page stories.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #34
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Gosh - I can't ever remember not reading. I taught myself to read before kindergarten, and was the classic "read under the sheets with a flashlight" kid. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was (horrible childhood, lousy family, etc.) Reading probably saved my life - reading about different people, lives, situations gave me hope of finding a better personal situation than the one I was in.

Our small town had a bookmobile - and a very kind librarian - who allowed me into the adult section long before I could reach the shelves. And there was a second grade teacher (Miss Kettner) who personally encouraged me to read. My budget always provided for books before food. The only expenditure I placed above books occurred when cats moved in with me: pet needs > books > food. I carry books everywhere.

And now I can't ever imagine not reading. E-readers allow me NEVER to run out of reading material.
I hear you poohbear_nc, my mom started me with my 1st library card at age 3 and all during my childhood she'd have to say "put down the book, turn out the light and go to sleep." They helped out a lot in my later teens when my peers were giving me a lot of grief too. Books don't make fun of you or treat you badly unlike other kids. I could escape into far away worlds where they couldn't get at me through books. That and Classical music.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #35
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I didn't like cartoons, so that took away some of the competition.

The early book-length reading material I recall consists of kiddie biographies, and SF, from the Wynnefield Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library. Since we moved to New Jersey when I was seven, that provides a date. I did not much follow adult suggestion as to what to read, except for school assignments.

Back as far as I can remember, I've been a big newspaper reader. My Dad brought the late lamented Philadelphia Bulletin home each evening, and I read that, starting with the front page stories.
Philadelphia is also the home of the 1st free public library (started by Ben Franklin) if memory serves. Lucky you right in the birthplace of the free public library system.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:04 PM   #36
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Good topic.

My parents tell me that I learned to read from Spider-man comics lol. My dad always had a lot of books so I'm sure there was also a curiosity as to what was in all those rectangular things .

As to why I read? No real reason other than the fact that the fiction is almost infinitely better than that found in other entertainment mediums.

Last edited by xg4bx; 01-09-2013 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:35 PM   #37
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We never had any books around, and no one else in my immediate family (sister, two brothers, mother, father) read. But when I was 10, we moved 1 block from a library. I was in heaven.

Like poohbear, I didn't have a nice childhood, but they say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger? I escaped into books, and that allowed me to remake my life. I cannot understand people (including my daughter) who don't read. I can't imagine never having the experience of HAVING to read the last 5 pages of the mystery I was reading on the train that morning. Or staying up 15 minutes to finish a chapter. I simply do not understand how reading is an activity done by a minorty of people.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #38
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I was a born reader. My folks were big readers and we always had shelves of books and magazines were always coming in the mail. I learned to read early and it was every bit as good as I expected it to be.
Same for me. My parents didn't have a TV room, they had a library that had an old cabinet black-and-white TV in it. The television was tuned by bunny ears to PBS. Entertainment was expected to come from books. My parents were and are both big readers, and before I learned to read, I used to listen as they read aloud chapter books (Pern and Tolkien spring to mind). No "Goodnight Moon" for me.

My grandparents on both sides were also huge readers. I have only one left and she'll be 90 later this month but she still walks to the library at her care center every two days to exchange novels.

I was reading chapter books by first grade and loving every imagination expanding minute of it.

Some how it took my kid brother until he got a smart phone at 25 to develop a love of reading and doing so for pleasure. He only reads eBooks and only on his phone and Android tablet.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:17 PM   #39
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I was 4 years old when we moved to Philly. The corner grocery had a box of cover-free used comic books. I had a choice of spending my candy money on comics or bubble gum. The comics lasted longer. Some of the stories are still with me. It helped that a lot of them were LEGION of SUPER-Heroes from the Edmund Hamilton and Otto Binder era.
Ah, your first foray into copyright violation. Coverless comics are supposed to be destroyed. The newsstand owner would return the covers to the distributor to be credited for unsold merchandise. If you read the indicia at the bottom of the front page, it will sometimes say something about comics without covers were books the publisher was not paid for. I used to get them at the used book store. Those dirty rats wouldn't take anything without a cover in trade, though.

http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/11/co...tribution.html
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:29 PM   #40
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I had a happy childhood from which I did not seek escape. I was, however, a fat, uncoordinated only child. I did play with the kids in the neighbourhood, but I wasn't good at sports. My parents, neither of whom had gone past grade 8, bought me books and read to me most nights before bed. Both my mother and father could often be found reading books and newspapers. I realize now it was not highbrow literature, but it didn't matter; I got the idea that reading is just something you do for fun. By the time I started kindergarten I knew the alphabet, could write my name, and could read a tiny bit. During those early school years, my father worked for the board of education, travelling to various schools. Whenever the schools were throwing away old reading texts, he'd bring me home copies. I often had copies of the readers that I'd be using in subsequent grades (though earlier editions). Consequently, I did very well in all the reading related stuff.

Now math...
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:36 PM   #41
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My mom taught me how to read. I was about 3 years old. For as long as I can remember I've read to escape the reality around me. Still do to this day and I don't think that will ever change for me.
Me too! In my case, it was my dad. He never made it obvious that he was teaching me to read though. My mom said he read to me every night starting when I was a baby.

Still love to read- so much so that I would say it's a core part of my personality.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:46 PM   #42
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I read because I'm timid. Or I'm timid because I'm timid. Or my genes are of that kind that makes people timid and book-friendly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:31 PM   #43
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My mother was a voracious reader, but I don't remember her ever reading to me. My father, on the other hand, would read to me every single night (I particularly remember The Story of a Candy Rabbit). The odd thing is, I never saw him read anything for himself, except maybe the front page of the newspaper.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:25 AM   #44
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My parents always read to me before I went to sleep and my mother was always reading. First I mostly read comic books but aged 9 or 10 I switched to books. My grandmother was always trying to stimulate all her grandchildren to read by giving them books, always responsible children's literary fiction. I still have those books, unread, because they didn't interest me. I liked mysteries and scary stories. Secondary school did much to discourage the pupils to read, officially the reading lists for each language were not to be deviated from. But I was lucky enough to have a teacher that if he had read the book you wanted to read for your English exam he'd allow you to read it. He was also always telling us about the books he'd read in his free time.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:06 AM   #45
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I guess I'm just born into a readers family.
My grandfather was a miner, and only went to school till 12 years of age, but in his house there were bookshelves everywhere and I always remember him reading. Moreover, I also remember his brothers and sisters as avid readers (all born as children of a farmer's hand at the beginning of the 20th century).
At home as a child, reading was as common an activity as eating and sleeping.
From 6 years on, I went to the local library on Sunday morning. I alwasy took care to be there as early as possible (it was open from 10.00 till 12.00), so that I could return the same day if I happened to read my book within the opening hours.

Imagine my astonishmend when I first came at my parents in law, and I couldn't find a book anywhere...
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