My Bookish Family, Reader Influences, and A New Feature!

I love hearing why people read, who got them started reading, and what reading means to people. I love this post by Lee at Rally the Readers about her parents and this post on the evolution of two readers by Christina at Reader of Fictions and Kara at Great Imaginations. I’ve had a version of this post in my drafts for four months (WordPress has this revision tool that let me see when I started it) and I want to share who influenced my reading and hear from you, too!

a bookish family

My family is extremely bookish. I don’t remember a time in my life when books weren’t important to me. I posted yesterday about some of the books I read growing up. My dad read books about religion and my mom loved romance. I don’t remember what my brother used to read but I know he has read almost every Star Wars series and he likes Stephen King. He also bought me a copy of The Hobbit for Christmas one year.

an awesome sister

However, the person that most influenced my reading habits is my sister, Chandra. (She also taught me how to tie my shoes) She is six years older than me and when I was younger, the books she read were the books I wanted to read. She helped me read higher than my grade level. Some of the books I read because of her are still my favorites: I borrowed her copy of Anne of Green Gables. Anne of Green Gables was a life changer for me. I was probably older than its target audience when I first read it, but I fell in love.

I mentioned Sweet Valley, Babysitters Club and Caroling B Cooney in yesterday’s post. They are all books I came to through my sister. Cooney’s Flash Fire, Emergency Room, and Flight #116 is Down were books I borrowed from my sister and read many times. I fell in love with Caroline B Cooney and read so many of her books. I loved The Ancient One by T. A. Barron which she had. I also read my sister’s Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews series and The Tower and the Hive series by Anne McCaffrey. I borrowed her Jane Austen books before I got my own copies. I don’t even remember all the books I’ve borrowed from my sister and loved. A lot of what she read shaped what I enjoy reading today.

booktalkers for life

My sister still influences my reading today. We pass books back and forth. When I read Harry Potter for the first time in 2012, I borrowed the books from her. I read her KGI series by Maya Banks. I loaned her my A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin series. She also has my copies of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. We talk about books and reading every time we’re together. We’ve booktalked through Twilight, The Mortal Instruments, and The Hunger Games. She (along with her bookish husband) is raising her daughters (the most adorable girls I know and of course I’m partial but they’re seriously cute) to be readers and I love watching their love of books grow.

a grateful reader

Books have always been important in my life and I am so thankful to my family for that. I learned to read quickly and I never understood why some kids at school didn’t enjoy it. Book orders and book fairs were extremely exciting for me, and my love for the library was immense. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and sure, movies and television had their part in that but there are so many worlds that books open up to you. I’m so grateful for the places I’ve found and the people I’ve met while reading. Plus, I’ve bonded with so many people over books like Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice. I made friends I’ve never met but love because of Twilight. In high school, one of my best friends, Amanda, and I would read the same books for AR points and talk about Jane Austen and Nicholas Sparks. Amanda and I still bond over books today, too!

imaginative & curious

I think imagination and nosiness curiosity are my main loves of reading. I was always ready for new things that I didn’t know about and I also wanted to know all about everyone’s lives. I wanted to see inside houses and know if they liked their siblings, what their favorite foods were and if they had cats. I am still like this. I am a nosy person, but I like to think that I’m just really interested. Please, come in and tell me all about your life. I love reading because you get inside someone’s head and heart and see things you normally wouldn’t get to see.

a new feature

Now you know a little bit more about me, books I’ve read, who influenced my reading and some aspects of reading I really enjoy. I’m also curious about the stories of other readers! I want to start a feature where bloggers (or maybe just readers in general) can do a guest post and write about who influenced them to read, if their family is bookish, or maybe there was a teacher or librarian who helped them connect with books. If you have story to tell about who led you to reading, even if you found your own way and you’re the only reader in your family and group of friends, I want to know!

Hopefully some people will be interested in sharing their story and reading the stories of others, or this obviously won’t work. The tentative plan is to put a guest post up every other week. If there’s more or less interest in it, I might modify the schedule. There aren’t really any set guidelines, I’d like it to be fun and interesting for the writers and readers. Variety is a good thing!

So if you’re interested in sharing your story in a guest post, you can let me know in the comments or email me at ablightedone@gmail.com. You’re welcome to ask any questions, too! If there’s much interest, maybe I’ll set up a form and make another post. I’m still coming up with a name for the feature, I’ve got one in mind but I’m not fixed on it yet.

If you’re not interested in doing a guest post and want to talk about someone that influenced you anyway, tell me about them in the comments!

thank you

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17 thoughts on “My Bookish Family, Reader Influences, and A New Feature!

  1. Awwww, this will be such a lovely feature! I love hearing how people came to reading and what their influences were. I’m an only child, so I never had a sister to share with, but my parents were huge influences, and now I recommend YA books to them. In fact, when they visit, they’re like “do you have any new books for us?” It’s super cute.

    • That’s is so cute! My mom has read some YA but not a lot. She read Twilight and The Hunger Games. I’ve thought about lending her Anna and the French Kiss and a few others, because she likes romance. She’s slowly reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series because she likes the show (minus the violence and sex).

  2. These are fun posts! I think it’s great that your entire family was bookish, and that your sister has always been there to talk through books with you. I love it! I also love your new feature idea. I look forward to seeing what others have to say!

    I personally don’t have like a bookish history that is special or anything. My mom has always read while growing up, so I guess that influenced me to read, but we’ve always had different tastes. She likes murder mysteries or celebrity memoirs, I like YA fantasies, dystopias, and sci fi. Not quite the same. But, I was pretty excited earlier this year when she picked up her first YA book (DoSaB) and liked it. Success! 😛

    • Thank you! I hope it will work out!

      Just being around readers is special in its own way! Like I said in the post, my mom mainly likes romance and I read a lot of romance, too. Now I have my favorites but I’m also open to reading new genres and different things. My mom has read Twilight and The Hunger Games, but not much else! She does listen to my rants about books all the time, which I really appreciate! I’m glad your mom liked DoSaB!

  3. Awe, I loved reading more about your history with books 🙂 This will be a great feature and I can’t wait to hear what everyone has got to say. I fear my history might be very much like yours, so hopefully another blogger (or two) can guest post before I do.

    • Thank you!! I hope it works out! I might recruit a real life friend to write a post for me, haha. And try to advertise/ask around? I don’t know! But I’m excited about your post anyway!

  4. I loved reading this post. 🙂 I especially loved reading about your book talks with your sister and how you borrow books from each other. I’ve done some buddy reads with my teenage cousins, including for the Twilight series, and those will always be some of my favorite memories. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Reading is such a lovely thing to share! It’s nice to have people that understand that sometimes all you really want to do is talk about a good book! I’ve never really read a book with/at the same time as someone but I think that would be fun! Thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I think this is a great idea! Hearing about how and why people started and love reading is always so heartwarming and makes me smile. I don’t think my story is very exciting, but i would be more than willing to share it 🙂

    • I agree, stories about why people read/how they started are heartwarming and lovely. I think any story about reading is exciting and I would love for you to share your story! If you’d like to email me (ablightedone@gmail.com), we could chat about dates. I was thinking about having the posts on Thursdays and every other week. If you’d like to be the first poster, it could go up on August 29th. You could write it over the week and email it to me on the weekend or by the 27th? But if you don’t want to be first or need more time or have any questions at all, it’s no problem whatsoever! I appreciate you wanting to be a part of this!

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  7. Awhhh, I loved reading this. It’s so great that you grew up with a reading sister. I’ve always wanted to share that experiences with my little sister, but she has never been a reader. This really made me smile 🙂 Thanks for sharing and I might tell my little story too!

    • Sad that your little sister (or anyone) doesn’t like to read! Thanks for reading, I’m glad it made you smile! I’ll be excited to read your story if you tell share it!

  8. I love this idea for a feature! So much fun. My sister is not much of a reader (she’s younger than me) so it’s nice to hear about a sibling that inspired you to read. (I tried with my sister but it just doesn’t work… though she has been more open to it lately.) I love that this is a hobby you both can share. It makes it that much more fun. 🙂

    • Thanks! I love talking about books with my sister! It’s kind of a books with her, TV/movies with my brother situation, though I talk a lot of TV with my sister, too! I hope your sister steadily increases in openness to reading!! Sharing books is definitely sharing love (that was cheesy but I don’t even care, ha!).

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