Let’s get to know each other! Initially I struggled to come up with an introductory, first post. Oh the blank page! Luckily, through my 7 a.m. usual breakfasting and blog scrolling, I came across posts by What a Nerd Girl Says and The Perpetual Page Turner. The lovely ladies discuss their reading history and the books that turned them into the bookworms they are today. I’m very sentimental, so naturally I love this stuff and thought it was a nice way to introduce myself.
The Early Ages (3-6 years old)
Although as a child, I was a certified pathological liar, I wasn’t necessarily a reader. I hardly owned any physical books, instead I was told stories. Well, I begged for them. During the summer holidays I’d cuddle up to my sleepy granddad, right after dinner, and waited for him to transport me to mystical lands. The stories were predominately universal tales, like Fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and One Thousand and One Nights. My fondest memories, involve him incorporating the stuffy weather or an object in his living room to make the experience immersive, till I could taste the sea water or feel the sun beating down on me.
This changed slightly once I entered nursery. I had to find another way to quench my thirst for stories! This is where picture books come into play. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, both had an immersive element that I was drawn to; whether it was colourful illustrations or a song that I repeated till I was blue. I enjoyed feeling like I was on crazy adventures and for that to happen, I need to be completely absorbed into the story.
Primary School (7-10 years old)
The first complete novel I read was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. My year 3 teacher lent me the book and I was SUPER DUPER excited.
- It was a big girl book.
- There were actual chapters.
- It had little to no illustrations.
I found a tight spot between our two sofas and nestled up to the radiator and it was bliss! From then on, I didn’t stop reading. I was drawn mainly to the absurd and the hilarious: The Twits, The Witches, Unbelievable and Horrid Henry. If a book had underpants in the title, I’d read it and laugh wholeheartedly at the toilet humour.
Pre-teen (10-12 years old)
I call this the Jacqueline Wilson era: Tracy Beaker, Lola Rose, Dustin Baby and Clean Break, were some of my favourites. Let’s just say, I was dedicated. To the point, where my reading and rereading consisted of only Jacqueline Wilson novels. I had found my comfort zone and the characters felt like old friends.
*I even incorporated “bog off” into my vocabulary.
**My parents didn’t approve.
Teenage Years (12-16 years old)
THIS WAS MY PRIME. All I needed was:
- A first person narrative.
- A female perspective.
- A high school setting.
I read hungrily and devoured an average of two books a day. I clearly was not receiving enough homework and had a lot of free time. I think I read every YA romantic series in my school library, and loved The Princess Diaries and Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. I must admit, this wasn’t the most diverse period of my life. Although, I did briefly dabble in dystopia with Rachel Ward’s Numbers, but overall I stuck to the very conventional diary format. Thankfully, the school curriculum varied my reading. I ended up enjoying: Holes and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
A Levels (16-18 years old)
I did take English Literature for A levels and yes, it was painful at times, but it was definitely transformative. I was introduced to a wide range of texts: The Bloody Chamber, King Lear, The World’s Wife and A Streetcar Named Desire. I was introduced to feminist texts, and was taught to read critically and politically. Literature became more than a hobby, but an outlet for expression and protest. I was forced to take a look at my reading and question why it was so limited. I was growing up! (Don’t get me wrong, I still reread Confessions of Georgia Nicolson!)
Currently (19+ years old)
I can proudly say, my reading is a lot more varied. I mean, I still love a female perspective in a novel, but I’ve evolved a broader interest in storytelling. It could be poetry, plays, short story collection, children’s fiction or memoirs.
Some of my favourites include:
- A Thousand Splendid Suns
- The Rental Heart & Other Stories
- A Monster Calls
- Just Kids
I hope you enjoyed this! What’s your reading history? Did you have any cringe-worthy obsessions? Do tell!!!