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First experiences of reading (1 Viewer)

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Edward Picot

Senior Member

In a recent autobiographical essay, “Sidestepping the Known”, published in the Cordite Poetry Review, the Australian experimental writer and new media artist Mez Breeze recollects a formative experience from her early years:

‘When I was in my late primary school years, I was shunted into an accelerated reading program… As part of this program it was decided that I should be given special privileges in order to join the primary public library… I grabbed the first three books located there [that I could reach], all by an author I hadn’t ever heard of: Brian Aldiss. The section I had stumbled into was Science Fiction. This simple act of selecting those books [written in a genre that would soon become an enduring favourite] shifted something. My life trajectory tilted…’

What are your first/most formative memories of reading and encountering books? Was it in a library, a bookshop, or exploring the bookshelves at home? You can send me entries by email ([email protected]) or post them as comments to a special page I've set up on my blog: http://edwardpicot.com/blog/first-experiences-of-reading/.

- Edward Picot
http://edwardpicot.com - personal website

Mr mitchell

WF Veterans
As a kid I wasn't so keen on reading, but I don't know what caused me to have that. To me, at the young age it felt like a chore, like being forced to do it when deep down, you wanted to do something else. But later in my school life before moving to college, I picked up "The Godfather", which is still a old book. So I suppose I grow up reading crime thrillers and that is what I write among other things. I mostly read in that genre, which is dark and bleak but always something human somewhere inside with the characters.


WF Veterans
Myself as a young child I did not like to read. I so enjoyed it when someone else read to me. I could get into the story without stumbling over the words. In my days of grade school or grammar school, we were taught to sound out words phonetically, I still have the problem with spelling because of that. So yes reading was a chore.

The teachers by my seventh year saw that I was some what board with school and when tested, I was above average on most everything, except reading. In my state history class I was given these readers digest readers, they had three to four stories and questions at the back of each I needed to answer. There I became a reader but not as proficient as I am now. That proficiency came in my tenth or eleventh grade, when I took a Science fiction/Fantasy class rather than English. There I discovered the Hobbit and many of the other fictional works, to stir my imagination. That still was not my pinnacle for my obsession of reading, therefore writing.

I was in my late twenties and had a great deal of time on my hands and a little money to go to collage. It was there I was lead into the books and RPGs, I almost did not have time for my studies. I managed to scrape out a 3.75 GP average anyway.


Senior Member
As a child I loved horses (still do) and the first book I remember reading over and over again was The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Nothing profound, but I simply loved that book. In my teens I started reading really quite a lot and I have memories of reading till two or three in the morning and having to get up the next morning to go to school. I mainly read fantasy and historical fiction then, I think.
Now, I still have that copy of The Black Stallion and read it every few years. I still like it!


WF Veterans
Yeah, I never truly read much of anything those elementary days. FOr projects I'd read two chapters and maybe skim the photos if they had any. Somehow I managed to make it into the high end reading group, like literally surpassing all the other students with my reading skill. Don't know how that happened seeing as I was supposedly dyslexic way back when.

I think the first book I remember reading was something called Road Trip then Saint Paws, which I always called Santa Paws. Well... I think that was the title. Middle school I really read in a frenxy


WF Veterans
I stole a book from a library when i was in third grade. It was my first week at a new school. We went to the library--it was my first experience being told to pick any book I wanted. I found one--an 8th-grade level math book about why bubbles are round and similar things. I was told I could not borrow it. Okay, when no one was looking, I added it to my belongings and took it home.

It taught me that it isn't always anyone's business what I'm reading.

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
One of the first books I remember reading was in the first grade (1959), Brighty of the Grand Canyon, man I loved that book. Library day was my favorite day of the school week. By age 9 I had read Dracula, and shortly after that, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a lot of Poe, and tried to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame (that one was too over-written for me). Once a week my folks played cards with some friends who had a set of the World Book Encyclopedia. When there wasn't anything on TV--and with just three channels, that was quite often--I used to lay on the floor with a randomly chosen WB and just go through it page by page reading the entries that caught my eye. That was a great primer for Trivial Pursuit. Later I graduated to lots of pulp fiction (the Doc Savage series was a particular favorite) and history books about WWI and WWII, but I still kept reading Poe, and Bradbury, and Wells.

Lyra Laurant

Senior Member
From 1st grade to 2nd grade, my classs had lots of books at the back wall. I used to finish my lessons really fast, and I was free to pick a book and read it while waiting for the rest of my classmates. A friend of mine used to read a lot too, and we would share book recomendations and also write and illustrate our own first stories during that free minutes after finishing the lesson. I wonder if she still writes now? ^_^
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