Often times, I get asked various questions about me and my reading journey! Questions like,
When did you start reading?
Have you always been a reader from childhood or you recently developed the love for reading??
How many books do you read in a year??
And so forth…. I made a blog post on my IG the other day asking my followers on there these same questions and it was fun reading some of their replies…. so I decided to write a blog post on here about my journey as an avid reader and what my love for reading has taught me!
It will be a short one but I taught I should share my story 😁❤️
I could write a book about my journey as a reader. But I’ll write a short blog post instead.
I can’t state exactly when my love for reading started as I used to love books when I was a kid! But I can say it started from the moment I learned to read. I used to read a lot as a kid but I was mostly influenced to read more as I grew up by my DAD! He was an avid reader himself and couple of my siblings too. ❤️ I used to be the child who would rather stay at home with a book in hand than go out to play with friends 😀 and it didn’t help my social life more that I am an introverted Capricorn! We Capricorn ♑️ like our own space and super comfortable in it😁 I used to have all these fun graphics books but they weren’t really satisfying even at a tender age. I remember always sitting with my dad when he was reading his daily newspaper 🗞 and he would pass me the pages he was done with and then I will pass off to my brother after I’m done. It was a repeated circle me and one of my brother, (the last born of the family) always looked forward to every evening.
Then I started asking to read his books but my dad felt some of his books were a little too advanced for me and continued getting me children books which I no longer enjoyed as much so I started sneaking into his bookshelf to take books and read when he was not around.
My Dad was a teacher 👨🏫 He taught History! So majority of his books where historicals! I guess that is where my love for HISTORICALS started and developed.
What I did not realized while I was sneaking my dad’s books to read was he knew all along what I was doing (he told me this several years later) 😁 he let me think I was getting away with it to see and understand what type of reader I was and to learn my taste of books through the books I took! He said he initially taught it was a phase and would pass but then he realized I was committed in reading books I had no business reading yet😄 and was passing them across to my younger brother (same lastborn) after reading or read aloud to him so we could return the book on time.
We learnt so much about different places and different events we had no business learning but it was fun. I knew so much about my country’s history and read a lot about slavery and slave trades at a very tender age and I enjoyed sitting down with my dad in the evening to ask more and more about these things. I learned about all the Africans pioneers and how most countries got their independence from various colonizers and why most Africans countries speaks French and other languages…
I was a star pupil in my primary school! I was always been promoted to the next class and was always the youngest in every class😁 but somehow I was always the class prefect! I finished primary school the same year my brother who is 3yrs older than me did because I skipped several classes!
I remember the first grown book (like I used to call them) that my dad gave me to read ” GULLIVER’S TRAVEL” By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships. Authored by Jonathan Swift! I was so excited that day and read late into the night till my mum caught me and then threatened to take it away if I don’t go to sleep! Lol
I used to get a free card out of chores when my dad was around because I was reading and he would said to leave me alone! But my mum never wanted to hear none of that😁 she will always threaten to take my books away or my reading lanterns( We didn’t have access to regular electricity in my village so we made use of reading lamps)
So it continued… my dad gave me some of the best books ever! I remember when he gave me my first Greek mythology book and how obsessed I became so he kept giving me more and I learned all about the Greek mythology gods….
Those were fun times and my best childhood memories. I was such a dad’s girl 👧🏻
ADOLESCENT AND TEEN YEARS
I was all about books in my early years and pre-teen years!
But then I grew up and I became a cool girl😁 You’d never suspect I was a bookworm! I was among the popular cool squad in high school and lived up to my social status in school but could never wait to get home and drop that persona off and pick up my geeky stuff up🤦♀️
My dad was surprised when when I got to Senior Highschool, I opted for Science 🧪 instead of Art or Social classes (In my high school (Secondary school) then, students did combined classes consisting of all subjects till you get to SS2(Senior School 2). When you get promoted to SS2, you have to pick one of the three classes available.
1. Science class (where you do all of science subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, geography, and other science subjects including the general subjects like mathematics, English language)
2. Art class ( where you do all the art classes like history, literature in English, fine art etc including the general compulsory subjects too. English and mathematics)
3. Social class. ( where you do all the social classes like Accounting, Commerce, Economics etc… and the general compulsory classes too)
I don’t know if it’s like that every where but that was how it was then in my country and my high school 🏫
For the last 2years os high school, you pick an area of specialty which will determine the subject you take in your WASSCE exams and will determine what you study in the university.
Because of my love for history, and literature generally, everyone in my house assumed I will take that up and opt for Art class instead but no, I loved science too and wasn’t just getting good grades in science just because I needed to! Physics was actually my best subject in high school! My dad had initially taught I would go the Art way but when he realized I opted for science instead, he never tried to influence me otherwise.
He asked if I was sure, and I said yes he said okay then, do it!
But I did not totally let go of history in my senior high school, I was the only Science student in my senior high school then, who still took history classes and actually included History in my WASSCE exams when I was enrolling for them. People give me that puzzled 😕 look when they see my WAEC Certificate till date and they see history included in my science subjects 😁
My dad was amazed how I pulled that off!
My friends then were so different from me and at a point he was worried they would rubbed off on me and I would stopped reading entirely but that never really happened and I have my dad to thank for that too… he made sure to keep getting me more and more fun books I never could turn down😁 instead of going hardcore on me and forcing me to change friends and be critical, he let me do what I wanted and keep the friends I wanted but gently tried to keep my passion for reading and books alive! He knew I loved spending time with him in the evenings talking about politics, books and my family history! So no matter how tired he was, (that man used to work his a** off just to put food on our table) he always made time for me and ask me what book I was reading next and tell me about what I should try and read next if I loved that! I lived for those father daughter times!
Looking back now, I loved how he handled that phase! Most parents would have set rules and tried to force my hands but he didn’t! If he had tried to, I’m pretty sure he knew I would I would have become rebellious and might have totally dump my love for books just to spite him!(I’ve seen how teenagers reacts to being censored😁) My dad handled my rebellious years like a pro but then again he had 5kids before me and he lost his mum (my grandmother) when he (my dad) was 10yrs old and he was forced to raise his siblings from a very tender age. Safe to say he had lots of practice on handling teenagers before I came along😁😁
I still don’t know how my dad could spare money for all those extra books for me though, money was very tight but I never lacked books!
One day, I will write short stories of my childhood! Lots of fun memories to share. Both the good and the bad.
But then I entered the university and was friends with people who really would never pick a book up unless it’s school related! I think they rubbed off on me a little and I wasn’t reading as much as I used to.
But then again, I lost my dad in my first year in the university (another story for another day) but I think that played a factor too on why I wasn’t reading as much. Reading reminded me so much of my dad and the times we had! And I was dealing with different stages of grief! Anger was the one that stuck most! I was so angry at my dad and life itself I became rebellious. (I will write about those years someday, just not today)
But then it never really left me though, my love for reading and I started gradually finding my way back,
Even when my friends thought reading leisurely was a waste of time and silently and sometimes not too silently judged me, I was always with one book at any given time even if it means I have to sneak read or wait till they go to sleep and read all through the night😁 I was somehow always keeping friends that was so different from me😁 people literally judged me wrongly for years because of the friends I kept 😄🤦♀️ but I could care less🤷♀️
I only recently started hanging with friends who genuinely loves reading and I can totally be myself around them without feeling different! Most people who really don’t know me would never guess i am a geek and a bookworm and I sometimes enjoy the look on people’s faces when they realize I’m not just a pretty face or as shallow as they thought 🤦♀️ I never let world decide how I should look because I love books! I dress how I want and do what I like.
WHAT READING TAUGHT ME
Reading has taught me patience.
It has taught me to enjoy the journey and the story itself as much as I would enjoy the ending.
It takes time to finish a book, and I enjoy the process just as much!
Reading taught me to be more open minded
To be more accommodating
To be more diverse
To realize and love the beauty of diversity. To understand more of the world we live in and so much more…
Reading has taught me about living in the moment, to not rush everything, to devour the magic in every page 🙂
Oh my, how I love reading. I don’t know how my life would be without it ♥
What about you? When did you started reading??
What has reading taught you?
As always, thanks for visiting and reading my blog….❤️
Also, don’t forget to let me know your thoughts 💭 below in the comments section and let me know if you’d like to see more post like this.