Reading is something that I’ve loved for, well, as long as I can remember. I know that I was reading well ahead of my years before I even started school because I distinctly remember being in Kindergarten wanting to read in class, but my teacher said I couldn’t because the other kids weren’t up on the same level as I was. Honestly, that seems a little rude, especially to say that to a five-year old… but whatever. (My parents should’ve let me skip Kindergarten.)
In any case, the point stands… I’ve been reading for pretty much my entire life. I know it was my mom that instilled the love of reading into me, not because she forced me to, but because she was always reading herself. She was the perfect example of a bookworm for me at a young age. She was always going to the library to get more books and would finish them in days, then go back and get another pile. I still have some flashbacks of being in the library when I was little, before all the renovations happened just before I started working there a few years ago.
Like most of my generation, I know that Harry Potter was one of the books that kept me reading throughout my childhood/adolescent years. Though I can remember reading The Hardy Boys books way before Harry Potter came into my life. If I had to say which books really brought me to love reading, it would be those. I enjoyed the mysteries of the brothers and there were so many of them – I know that I never got around to reading them all.
Growing up I wasn’t necessarily considered a “nerd” in school. I was one of those quiet and good students, sure, but I also ran with the class clowns (though I wasn’t one myself) and had an odd group of friends throughout the years. I looked forward to silent reading time in elementary school and read on the bus when we went on field trips. I actually remember in my senior year of high school I would read during study hall while listening to music and one of my best friends at the time asked me how I could read and listen to music at the same time. The answer to that… I have no idea because I can’t do it now, unless it’s just instrumental music.
It’s not surprising that I grew up a bookworm when I look back on it. Not just because of the influence my mom had on me, but also because I have a very active imagination and I’m an only child. Diving into books was, and still is, an adventure each time I pick up one. It’s as Sam once described it on iCarly… “It’s like TV in your head!”
There’s a lot of truth to that statement, which is why sometimes I get disappointed at TV/film adaptations of books because the characters aren’t the way or look like how I imagined them (looking at you Twilight).
So growing up it wasn’t a surprise that going to the library and the bookstore were two of my favorite activities. I remember dropping $200 on bookstore trips in middle and high school (because we didn’t go too often) and not feeling the least bit guilty about it (those were the days!). When I was fifteen I began volunteering for the local library, just shelving books, but it put my foot in the door that would one day open up to a job. During my high school years I got involved in programs and became friends with the Program Coordinator at the library, who was pretty much like a mentor to me as she wasn’t too much older (a college student), and about a year after she became the Director, a job opened up and she immediately thought of me to fill the position. That had to be one of the best days of my life!
When I announced that I would be working at the library to my family and friends, none of them were shocked. They all said it was the perfect job for me, even after I’d had a few different ideas for careers during college. It always came back to the library.. which had honestly been my dream job since high school.
I think my only regret in my history as a book lover is that I never kept track of every single book I’ve ever read. I can’t even imagine how many books I’ve actually read during my life and I wish I could find a way to find out. I can’t though, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.
And that, my friends, is my history of being a bookworm.
What are some of your earliest bookish memories? How did you get the love for reading?