I come from a family of readers! We didn’t just read occasionally – we read All. The. Time.
I grew up with parents who were avid readers. Even though my father only had an eighth-grade education, which was not uncommon for children growing up in rural areas in the 1930s, he spent most of his evenings reading.
Mom and Dad Were Readers
Dad learned to love reading when he was in the army during World War II. There was little to do to break the monotony, so the soldiers read whatever they could find. My Dad favored westerns for the most part, but Mom said one day he picked up one of her romances to read. (Wonder what he thought of it.)
- Dad read the newspaper every day and used his reading skills to take a correspondence course in electronics and TV repair in the 1960s. (This was a class taken by snail mail way, way, way before personal computers and the internet.)
- He read manuals and instructions for assembling projects.
- He had a fascination with bicycling in the 1970s and read magazines and books on biking.
- As a farmer and auto mechanic, he read books on gardening and tried to keep up with the automotive knowledge that was beginning to change so rapidly.
My mother also read widely. She read cookbooks, gardening books, fiction… anything and everything. She favored romances but engaged numerous interests while I was growing up. She researched everything from astrology to Zen Buddhism.
During her later years, she spent time reading about ways to manage her diabetes. Eventually, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy had made it impossible for her to read.
My Brothers and I Are Readers
My brothers and I all caught the reading habit. They enjoy westerns and science fiction among other things. They all read manuals and magazines and other material to keep up with the technology for their jobs in software engineering and radio technology. Their wives read. The family trades books to read.
Of course, I read every day. A. Lot.
- I read the newspaper every day to keep up with what is going on in the world, especially about things that affect us and our children.
- I read cookbooks to fix healthy and tasty meals for the family.
- I read books about writing to improve my craft.
- When I was a medical technologist I had to read and write laboratory procedures.
I read children’s, young adult, and adult fare from Harry Potter to Artemis Fowle to books by Mercedes Lackey. I like romances and mysteries and science fiction and fantasy. If the writing moves along well, I will read almost anything, including medicine, art, theater, and music.
My curiosity bump causes me to read articles about a wide variety of subjects in magazines and papers just because they sound interesting or catch my attention. Many are scientific in nature. I read textbooks to refresh myself on subjects I haven’t thought about in awhile to answer questions for the kids. As a freelance writer, I read on different subjects for research purposes and to learn more about my craft.
I Married a Reader
My husband also likes to read.
- He reads the paper every day and keeps up with the new using online resources.
- He likes to read books about military subjects, having been in the Air Force for many years.
- He is very interested in submarines and in the Titanic.
- He also likes science fiction and Harry Potter but reads much more non-fiction for pleasure than I do.
He reads manuals and all manner of technical material in order to keep current for software testing. He read textbooks for a course in Project Management.
“I Get It! But why? Why do we read?”
Because we can’t NOT read…
- For information and pleasure
- Out of curiosity
- To learn new things
- To keep up with a world that changes quickly and constantly.
Reading is absolutely necessary to go online, read prescription instructions, or learn the best way to plant peas. When we read a book that really speaks to us, it can change our life!
Re-reading a favorite book is like visiting old friends. Finishing a book that we just can’t put down can be exciting but a bit depressing.
The story was great — Yay! but now it is over (Boo hoo) — On to the next!
Reading can make us want to try new things, take us to other places, and keep us in touch with family and friends. Reading can comfort us when we are tired or sad. Reading can inspire us in ways that television, movies, videos, and games never can because we are free to interpret what we read for ourselves.
Remember the program “Reading is FUNdamental”?
Even now, in the Age of the Internet, reading is still at the foundation of all we do.
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