Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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Learning to Want to Read

My theory is that during childhood, we have two crucial sets of books in our lives. The first set is the set to which we are exposed when we are small--in my life that would be the Seuss books, and in particular Green Eggs and Ham. These books are entertainments, rather than true incitements to literacy.

But it's the second set of books about which I frame this post. My notion is that when one is just pre-literate, then one is exposed to a book or books that make one want to learn to read. In particular, one wants to learn to read so that one can read the books in question, rather than being merely a passive listener.

In my life, those books are the Hardy Boys mysteries. My mother used to read them to my brother and I when we were in the 5 to 6 year old age bracket. We could hardly wait to learn to read so that we could read them for ourselves. In fact, we did just that--learn to read and then began knocking off Hardy Boys (as well as Tom Swift, the Bobbsey Twins, the Happy Hollisters, and, in my case, slightly later, even the old Frank Merriweather series).

I'm curious, though, what was the "second set" of books in each of your lives? What books made you want to learn to read? What books made you begin to think of books as less an entertainment to be read to you by an adult, than as a reason to learn to read in your own right?
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