I can clearly remember the first reading book I was given at school – it said ‘Look’ on every page and I was outraged that I had been given something so easy to read. I don’t know if it was because I had an older brother, or because my mum loved to read (and still does) but she taught me to read before I started school. I can’t really remember how much I could read when I started school in January 1983 at the age of four and a half, but it was definitely more than ‘look’!
Last year at nursery Toby was introduced to a different letter sound every week and we were all introduced to the wonderful world of phonics. In a way it makes sense, but then so much about the English language doesn’t make sense that I’m already finding phonics limiting. Alphablocks is proving helpful though in explaining how some of the letters combine to make different sounds.
So anyway, Toby already new all the individual letter sounds before he stared school in September, and was starting to put them together into short words himself. But we have had a month of reading books with no words, in which he just had to describe what was happening in the pictures. Again I can understand the logic in this but we were all getting a bit bored and eager to get on with some actual reading. And so there was great excitement on Wednesday when Toby brought home his first book with words – ‘Who is it?’ from the Biff, Chip and Kipper books.
We’re already onto our second book with words and he’s doing really well with it. I just hope we’re doing our bit right when we try and explain some of the more complicated sounds to him. So far though, Toby seems to be enjoying reading for himself, and he still very much enjoys his bedtime stories that we read together every night.
Gabe loves books too, and I really hope that they both continue to enjoy reading as they get older. I was a complete bookworm as a child (and as an adult until I had kids really) – I was always reading something. Enid Blyton was a favourite when I was at primary school and some of my all time favourite books were the Malory Towers series. I don’t know how many times I read these – you can see how dog-eared they are!
But although I had my favourites I would read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. Through all my school years we were lucky enough to have family holidays in France and Spain for a month every summer. We would take the caravan and go wherever the mood took us….and that was usually to campsites where there were no other British families. So my brother and I spent an awful lot of time with only each other to play with, and we did an awful lot of reading! Of course this was pre-Kindle days though and my dad would despair at the amount of books we wanted to take with us. Even with a big box full we would inevitably run out of our own reading material so my brother would read Malory Towers, or probably Judy Blume and Point Horror in later years. I mostly avoided his fantasy novels but would read my mum’s Mills & Boon or my dad’s Agatha Christie.
I love nothing more than immersing myself in a good book (or a bad book for that matter), as I got older I moved onto chick lit and modern female fiction – I love Freya North, Jojo Moyes, Kate Morton, Jill Mansell. I’ve also read all but the most recent of Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels, lots of Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult… in fact when I lived in France I would read whatever I could find. A lot of customers would leave books behind so I would read all sorts – at one point I even resorted to Reader’s Digest condensed novels!
I read fast as well, and although I can be engrossed in a book as I read it, I often don’t remember what it is about. There has been more than one occasion that I’ve been half way through a book before I realise I’ve read it before. Although there are other books like Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild that I have read so many times I could probably recite it word for word!
I really hope my boys love to read too – in this modern world there are so many other distractions, I’ve written before about how they both love TV and playing on the tablet, and I am guilty too of doing everything except reading. But there is nothing quite like the feeling of just wanting to keep turning the pages because you can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Do you have any favourite books that you’ve read over and over?