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Reading Role Models

Who Taught You to Appreciate Reading?
by ResQgeek
February 14, 2007
How did you become a booklover? Did you have a role model who helped you learn to appreciate the value of reading? My reading role model was my mother. As far back as I can remember, she has visited the local library regularly, bringing home stacks of books to read. Even today, she always has a book with her and will open it up to read anytime she can.

When we were children, my mother read to me and my brothers regularly. She started with short children’s books (many of which I had forgotten but am remembering now as I read them to my daughters), and as we began to learn to read, she moved on to longer stories. I particularly remember her reading Felix Salten's Bambi to us, a chapter at a time, in the evenings before bed. I would sit next to her as she read and picture the story in my mind while I listened to her voice.

As my reading skills improved, she began taking me on her regular trips to the library. She encouraged me to explore the shelves and to pick out my own books. I quickly worked my way through the beginning reader shelves and on to the young reader books. Often I would have a number of books signed out from both the local library and the school library.

By the time I was in Middle School (around age 11 or so), I started to explore the adult fiction section of the local library. I’m proud to say that my mother actively encouraged this exploration. On one occasion the librarian refused to allow me to borrow a Robert Heinlein book because she didn’t think I was old enough. My mother intervened, and I was never again denied access to any book in that library.

Through my teenage years, I steadily worked my way through the local library’s collection. I noticed that every book I signed out already had my mother’s name listed on the sign-out card. I don’t recall ever finding a book in that library that she hadn’t read. She still visits that library regularly, and is usually among the first readers for all the newly acquired books.

My love of books and of reading is clearly the result of my mother’s example. I have her to thank for the many wonderful literary adventures I’ve had over the years. I now make a point of trying to read to my daughters every night, even if it is only for a few minutes. I can already see the first signs that they are developing a similar love for books, and I hope that they will continue to explore the world through the written word.

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