How did you learn to enjoy reading?

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by wynn, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    If you enjoy to read:

    How did you learn to enjoy reading?

    What are the elements/factors that are necessary to enjoy reading?
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  3. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Interesting question.

    I taught myself to read at four years, and my initial motivation was to make sense of this storybook (which my parents had never actually read to me) about an Indian village plagued by frequent attacks by a tiger. It was mostly drawings with a line of text at the bottom of each page. But, being as it wasn't terribly graphic (you know, it being a children's book and all), I couldn't quite figure out how the matter was resolved.

    You can probably guess how it was resolved--a young boy kills the tiger and "saves" the village--and when I discovered this I was enraged. So I changed the ending--in crayon: I had the tiger kill all the villagers. And I got beaten for defacing my book. Of course, this episode--and it's consequences--undoubtedly shaped my future (and present) persona in a significant way: I've NO patience or tolerance for authority, and I've got a misanthropic streak which I constantly try to keep in check.

    Still, I was captivated by reading from that point onwards--and I don't recall ever having not enjoyed it. Sure, I've read plenty of crap that I didn't enjoy, but that didn't affect my fondness for reading in general.

    I know that's much of answer to your first query, but I honestly don't really know how to answer that.

    As to your second query, I can't really appreciate writing that's overwhelmingly full of statistics, factoids, and the like; other than that...
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    my mother thought it important.
    i had no choice in the matter, i believe her motto went something like this :
    "like it or die"
    hi mom!

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    good books.
    believe it or not some authors can paint some vivid pictures in your mind.
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  7. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    I learned to read for 2 major reasons:

    1) To escape from a painful childhood.

    2) To gain power through knowledge.

    The answer to your second question is "motivation". If you have sufficient motivation, you will read. If you read enough you will either get tired of it and quit or enjoy it and continue.

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  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Both my parents were voracious readers and we used to have hundreds of books at home. My grandmother, with whom I spent weekends read aloud to me. I don't remember when I received my first book or when I started reading, but when I was 5 my father gave me a set of 11 Noddy books - I think I read them all in a week or less and asked for more. My mother was a member of a library and she started getting me books. She used to hide the books because I would throw everything else aside to read. So everytime she came back from the market, I used to go hunting for books.

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    I got really good at it and would read and replace the books quietly then read them again when she gave them to me. One day it occured to me to ransack my dad's library, so he started subscribing to Reader's Digest in the hope of transitioning my interest in adult books. But he let me read Erle Stanley Gardner and Agatha Christie. By the time I was 10, I was a library member. Don't remember a time when I have not read since

    Imagination, curiosity, a sense of adventure. I always feel a thrill when I get a new book, I like the sense and feel of it, the smell of new pages. Anyone who knows me well will gift me books. I also like to spend hours in used book stores. I actually read less now that so many libraries and used book stores have closed down even though I possess far more books in digital format.
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Can you answer the OP question?
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy reading.

    Still, I do remember the day I first went to the big Public Library.....

    I was in awe.

    I had to ride a long way on my bike to get to it because I couldn't afford the bus, and I'd take out as many books as they would let me (6).

    After a few years they broke their own rule and let me take out ten, because the books I was checking out weren't the popular ones (they were mainly science and history oriented), and then I didn't have to ride back and forth so often.

  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I can relate to this one very well. But not that being threatened to like something actually produces genuine liking.

    I've read a lot, and very different things, but I wouldn't say I enjoy reading.

    To me, to "enjoy reading" is a matter of trying to live up to someone else's standard of what is good and likable.
  12. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    My first books were children's books, with a lot of images and pictures. I enjoyed the pictures, and the words gave added details about the images and so I learned to enjoy the words.

    For myself, to enjoy reading, I must be able to picture in my mind that which the words are describing. It is easier if the words relate to an experience with which I am somewhat familiar, or have experienced first hand.

    As I have become more familiar with words themselves, I can now construct an image in my mind, even if I have never experienced the situation before, by transposing and extrapolating what understanding I have gained in life.

    Subjects that I am curious about encourage me to extend my efforts into less familiar territory. Personal interest, curiosity and a need to solve problems are factors that make reading enjoyable for me.

    Reading was also an escape from some painful childhood memories. I preferred fiction and fairy tales when I was younger, science fiction soon after, and how to/do-it-yourself once I was out on my own and had to learn coping skills.
  13. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    At 17, I had never read a book for pleasure, only for school. A friend of mine, who was an avid reader gave me a copy of one of "The Destroyer" books (which they later made into a movie)

    It was cheezy pulp fiction, but it let me discover reading could be fun, and not just for homework.
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    The Hobbit.
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Can you analyze how that "so" came to be?

    How did it follow that from enjoying the pictures, you enjoyed the words?

    Is this a given tht you simply discovered, or is it something that you cultivated?
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    /I know, I know. Asking someone with Asperger's to analyze his personal thoughts and feelings .../
  17. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    wow dude you are like 2 of my kids .

    I still have trouble enjoying reading at times . Dyslexia is a curse I wish on no one . Asguard and me we are kindred spirits this way . To know the struggle of overcoming that inadequacy can be very traumatic . You live in fear people will call you illiterate . You hide it because of the shame of having the appearance of illiteracy . Me and him have excepted it and no longer let the demon haunt us . Not all people with dyslexia overcome this . It takes more work than any one of you could ever possibly know unless you been there. Asguard knows . High five brother .
  18. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I remember my parents reading to me when I was very young then one day , as my mom was reading aloud, I asked to read it myself and then is when I started to learn from her. I did have problems as well and couldn't comprehend the words very well but after a few years in public school I started to "get it".

    I really started to enjoy reading when I got started reading the comic books and other magazines when I went to the grocery store when mom went shoping. i sit right on the magazines and read them as she did her shopping.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  19. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    My mom read to me as a young child. She thought I had memorized the books...then she handed me a new storybook and I read it to her, I was 4.
    After that books became...well, safe escape from the parents, then later the installed demons.
    Now that I think about it...reading sword and sorcery stuff-from brilliant to cheese...taught me the sort of person I wanted to be.
    Not my parents. My mom's ok, now that she's gotten on happy pills, but one of my life's core operating principles is don't be dad.

    @ wife would really love your altered ending, she likes cats way more than she likes people.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    The OP is asking about how did you learn to ENJOY reading,
    not how did you learn to read.
  21. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    I can't remember not enjoying reading.
  22. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    For my little brother it was Harry Potter, which I bought for him.
  23. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    You are asking me to go a long ways up the back-trail, Signal, and I cannot be certain of the accuracy of the data, because the hindsight is now filtered through considerably more life experience.

    To understand the details of the pictures, actions portrayed or suggested by them, I would ask my mother to explain. She did this by reading the books to her three children (I remember one about three little kittens who lost their mittens and so could have no pie.

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    ) All of the details about the kittens, their mittens and how they were recovered, culminated in the kittens being rewarded by receiving their pie (sticks in my mind that it was blueberry). Perhaps this suggestion of a 'reward' for desirable actions may have also been an encouraging factor in my finding reading enjoyable. Positive reinforcement, one of the means of early conditioning.

    In consideration of the volume and types of reading that I have done, I would analyze that much of my reading was directed by need, be it a need to know some information (work skills, building a house, finding recipes, health and nutrition) or a need to escape (usually from stress or painful situations in my personal life over which I have no control over the actions of others.)

    The reading that I most enjoy, is reading that I initiate out of curiosity or interest. Once I 'discovered' which reading was most enjoyable, I do not doubt that I have 'cultivated' the enjoyable aspects of reading by selecting for topics that most often gave me the 'reward' of personal pleasure.

    It is time to feed the horses and begin to prepare for my next graveyard shift. I shall contemplate further upon your questions and if I feel that I have more to add later, I shall do so. Thank you for the questions, Signal. They are most insightful, as often I find your contributions to be.

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