My journey into reading & why I think all children should read!

There’s one thing that you probably already know about me and that’s that I love books. If you learn absolutely nothing else about me during your time on my blog that’s absolutely fine and dandy but do know that books and reading will always be my one true love. Today I’m partnering up with Rossall School for this post and sharing my story on how I got into reading and some reasons why I think it’s super important for children to read. Books are complete magic and the words within the pages are so powerful. Books are the reason I started this blog, which got me out of a really dark, dank place in my life. They’re not only my true love, they’re my savior too. 

So my Mum is the reason I love books as much as I do now because she’s always loved reading too. I can’t remember a time seeing her without a book on the go. From a young age, she would read to me, mostly during the nights when I would sleep in her bed because my Dad was working nights. I was fairly young when Harry Potter came out so I remember her reading the first few to me, along with a few Narnia books among others!

I always read when I was at school too and during the Summer holidays, I was a frequent library-goer! I don’t know if anyone in the UK remembers this (or whether they still do them) but they had library reading challenges throughout the Summer holidays where everyone’s names were on a chart on the wall of the library and you moved up a “section” the more books you read. You got stickers and prizes and things, the more you read.

Obviously I took part every single year and always made it straight to the top. I’m Hermione Granger and… you are?

This was the kind of time where I was obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson books but I mean what young 90’s girl wasn’t? Sleepovers was one of my favourites and I’d honestly love to read loads of her books again now to bring back the memories! I was also weirdly obsessed with a series called Sheltie the Shetland Pony. There were hundreds of those damn books and I made it my mission to have every single one. Yet I had zero interest in ponies or horses. Weird.

My love for reading grew with me, which brings me to “the age of Twilight” which completely consumed me and my friends in year 8 or 9 (I can’t quite remember) and I vividly remember reading the whole of Breaking Dawn whilst on holiday in Tenerife. I’ve been through a lot of book “phases”; Twilight, 50 Shades, John Green, Chic-lit and now Thriller (and all the sub-genres) are my favourite books which I always reach for bar the odd few.

The thing is with books is that they’re everlasting and they’ll never get boring or go out of style. I’ve read so many genres and there are so many exciting plot-lines to enjoy. When you feel like you’ve had a enough of a particular genre then there’s plenty more to chose from and plenty new authors to discover. Books will always be there to comfort you in the good and the bad. And when I have kids, I’ll do everything I can to try and help them discover the magic of books like I did!

Reasons why I think children should read:

Bonding activity

There’s no doubt that reading as a child is a fantastic bonding activity. I have so many memories of my Mum reading to me when I was little which I’m sure I’ll always cherish. Reading is such an accessible activity which enables children to bond with parents, siblings, friends and teachers.

Opens your imagination

Obviously this doesn’t only apply to children and children’s book but books in general open your imagination from a young age and continue prying it open all the way until adulthood! I think once that seed is sown as a child, you’ll always have that imagination that books bring.

Safe and rewarding hobby

Reading is the safest hobby you can have (apart from paper cuts, ouch!) and I’m by no means saying that kids need to spend their years wrapped up in bubble wrap but I think that reading can be seen as that safe “go to”, maybe when other things aren’t going so well. That’s definitely the case in adulthood. It’s also super rewarding when you finish reading a book as a child, I remember feelings on top of the world whenever I turned the last page!

Helps with literacy

Reading as an outside hobby can help massively with literacy and only enhances a child’s literacy skills. Again, even well into adulthood, I find reading more and more books helps with my vocabulary! That doesn’t stop when you grow up.

Helps you figure out what you like

Books and reading is a great foundation for figuring out what sort of things you like. Adventure? Sci-fi? Family dramas? Which can transcend into so many different areas of your life!

I’d love to hear about your experiences with reading as a child. What were your favourite books to read as a kid? If you have kids yourself, what books do they enjoy? Have you always encouraged them to read? Who got YOU into reading?

* Thank you to Rossall School for sponsoring this post. I think children’s education is so incredibly important, not just books and reading but all subjects and interests. I don’t have children myself but I know if/when I do I will take a keen interest in their education and learning. 
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81 thoughts on “My journey into reading & why I think all children should read!

  1. Lovely post! I have always loved reading too and it definitely opens your imagination. You can learn a lot from books. I think my favourite books to read when I was younger were animals books, like animal ark or Dick King-Smith’s book but then I went to fantasy. My mum is the one who encouraged me to read from a young age too. x

  2. When I was a young child I really struggled accademically and I hated reading because my brain could never process what I was reading so it was as if I was just reading words that had no meaning. When I went to secondary school something suddenly clicked and I stopped struggling and started understanding things a lot more. I started reading loads when I was about 15 and I’ve never looked back. I really need to set aside more time for reading as I have a lot of catching up to do from my lack of reading as a child!

  3. This is such a nice post! People really undervalue what reading can do for a person. When I’m feeling really down or anxious I pick up a book and it helps to relax or forget everything for a bit. Nothing else in life can do that for me. If my parents didn’t read to me from an early age and buy me a new book every week, I wouldn’t have that in my life now.

  4. Great post. Nobody got me into reading, I just gravitated towards books! I loved Diana Wynne Jones, Judith Kerr and E. Nesbit. I certainly have a few treasured books that I’ve kept to pass on one day.

  5. I’ve always loved reading since as early as I can remember. Strangely neither my mother or father actually read, I don’t ever recall seeing them with a book. I could always be found in my bedroom, with my nose in a book though. I read every night before bed up until about a few years ago. My daughter, who is 15, is just like me and is an avid reader and she spends a lot of time reading. My lads too have all enjoyed reading but not as much as my daughter does. My all-time favourite books are by David Eddings and the Belgariad series, honestly, if you have never read anything by him, you should. I laughed and cried and have re-read them till my books are falling apart! All of my kids have read them too and absolutely love them! x

  6. I used to love reading as a child. My mum really encouraged us without being too pushy to read as a child. We loved Harry Potter books and doing reading challenges at school!
    Rosie

  7. I have always loved reading – I read every book in the school library! It really upsets me when people don’t read to their children – I think that even for babies it’s a nice bonding experience and it teaches them about concentration and relaxation. If you get children to love reading from an early age they’ll have that for the rest of their lives, it’s such a gift 😊

      1. 😊 For my friend’s baby shower we were all asked to buy our favourite children’s book and write a message inside about what it meant to us. Because there were quite a lot of us we organised ourselves so that the books we gave spanned the first few years of his life (and so there were no duplicates). It was a lovely present (basically a personalised library) and so much better than the generic stuff we would have otherwise given 😊

  8. Love this post ❤ I did a post like this a while ago 😊 it’s called my bookish journey and how it all began! I love reading about where people found their love of books!

  9. My Mum taught me to read before I started school, I actually remember having little reading circles and reading to the other children at pre school. She passed her love of reading on to me. I started with Enid Blyton (I was the sixth member of the Famous Five!), and was obsessed with the Sweet Valley High books as I got nearer my teens. I now have a four year old and a one year old, both are read to daily and we visit the library once a month. We’ve also got an amazing scheme in our area, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, where all children in the area are sent a book a month free from birth to five. It’s amazing and we have so many books!!!

  10. I absolutely love this post and I really couldn’t agree more, reading is so so important and I definitely think children should be introduced to it whenever they’re ready!

  11. I absolutely love this post! I totally agree about children reading and how important it is especially now social media is so popular. I used to always have my head stuck in a book and I hope if I have kids they’ll do the same. I’m also with you on the Jacqueline Wilson books, god I read so many of them! And the twilight books, I was obsessed with those! X

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  12. Brilliant post, Jenny, I agree with everything you say. My most popular post was about a similar subject, the ten books that turned Flora into a reader. We always read to her, right from when she was 6 months old, and she’s grown up surrounded by books. She loves reading and was the first in her class to graduate as a free reader at the end of Year 2 (which is quite early, I believe). She does the library challenge too, she’s just finished her first two books and got her stickers already. Her teachers have always commented on her fertile imagination rich vocabulary and I’m in no doubt that this is down to her love of books. I hope it’s something she’ll never lose. Lovely post, I really enjoyed this! xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  13. Great post. The Chronicles of Narnia got me into reading at a young age. I also read that reading helps children become more emotionally intelligent. Since books include a wide range of character perspectives it can help them sympathize and understand people’s motives better.

  14. Our mums could be twins!! 🙊 all my childhood my mum had a book in her hands, as did my Nanna before she died, and it’s definitely helped shape me into the huge bookworm I am today 🙌🏼 I love reading, it’s my ultimate escape and I regularly end up finishing a book in less than 24 hours when I become obsessed with it 🙊

    I completely agree that all children should be encouraged to read; it teaches you different points of view and critical thinking- two very important things (especially these days!) xx

    Jade | jademarie.co.uk

      1. I can read at about 500 words a minute if I’ve nothing distracting me and I’m interested in the subject 😅 it’s useful but it does mean I get to the end of books quicker, which isn’t good when it’s something I’m enjoying and don’t want to end 😂 x

  15. I agree that it’s so important that children are encouraged to read. It’s the key to success in so many areas of life. My dad encouraged my love of reading, he would read to me at night when I was little, and it’s because of him reading to me, and encouraging me to read that I could read a little before I even went to school. They didn’t know what to do with me in infant school – I’d read all the graded books they had. 😀 I still read now, and even love to write them these days. 🙂

  16. My mom always took me to the library and taught me how to read. I think the BFG was one of the first books I ever read by myself. But I more distinctly remember reading Wilson’s The Suitcase Kid so many times from the library. Something that had nothing to do with myself,or my family, divorce but some kids around me did have to deal with that. I think that might have gravitated me towards that.

    Reading is super important from day 1 of birth. It is a bonding thing from the very start because they get to hear your voice, that you are there, and language. Later on it learns them emotions, specific words, counting, colors and so on. Books teach young children things as they grow and are a great asset for parents for that reason. It also can show a kids interest greatly even when they can’t voice it just yet.

    Mine is almost 2 and though he is a very active toddler (running and climbing are his favorite things) books give him that rest moment in the day. He has a great many books to flip through on his own and he does that quite a lot throughout the day. But he also asks me to read him specific books or the books i want to keep tidy. He’ll just point and say ‘that’. We also have a selection seperate to read to him for nap time and bed time.

    But finding the right book for kids is also important. An old co-workers son had been struggling with reading. But when he started some books i recced her (Riordan) he flew through them as did his reading level at school. ❤

  17. This is such a lovely post Jenny and I wholeheartedly agree that every child should have the opportunity to read books. I used to love the Secret Seven and Famous Five books, as well as Goosebumps and Roald Dahl stories. It’s such a great way to learn, expand your vocabulary and enhance imagination. Loved reading this, great post! 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  18. When my time comes to have children I will definitely encourage them to read because it allows them to be more open-minded and, like you said, it’ll improve their literacy! I don’t know what I’d do without books and reading this post has made me realise that it’s been a couple of months since I read my last book… That needs to change!

    Harry Potter was the first book I owned so it’s always been a childhood favourite as well as the Children of the Red King series.

  19. Reading is so important, I grew up loving books and it has certainly carried on to adulthood! I always try to promote reading when I am out with my cousins… sometimes I do it without them even realising, and before they know it I’ve got them to tell me about their favourite books, haha!

    I loved the Narnia books when I was a kid, so I am now trying to persuade them to read those!

    Kirstie xo

    Kirstiekinsblogs

  20. I have such clear memories of taking part in a reading challenge at my local library when I was a kid. They had a Halloween one where they printed off a haunted house with loads of blank squares in and you had to have the librarian fill in when you’d read a book haha. I have always loved reading, and I find it the most therapeutic of my hobbies. If I go a long time without reading my brain always feels a bit noisier. If I have kids they’ll be getting books for presents from day one!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  21. my children love to read, i agree all children should learn to love books but i was never an avid reader as a child no matter how much it was forced onto me so their love for reading is all completely their own as i just didnt want them to be forced to read and not enjoy it

  22. Reblogged on https://ageofescapades.wordpress.com/

    I started reading as a child because my mum read what I thought was a small mountain of books, she was easily reading a book in 3 days. And when my sister started reading too I decided I had to join the club. I can’t remember exactly what it was I was reading, probably too much Jacqueline Wilson, plus a lot of children’s classics which I read with my mum.

    I’m so glad that I started reading (and haven’t stopped) 🙂

  23. Hello Jenny 😃
    I really enjoyed reading it.
    I had also completed my harry potter series this year in April only and the euphoria was unfathomable 😆
    You and I share many common habits 😉
    The frequent library visited like Hermione
    Good to meet you
    Bye😊

  24. Lovely post. For me it was my grandfather that got me into reading, and some of those reading memories go back to Dr Seuss stories. Once I could read chapter books I use to climb the tree in the front yard (sometimes with a fellow reader) and read for house perched on a branch.

    Now that I am a mom we read to the boys every night. They are 8 and 5 so we haven’t got into Harry Potter yet, soon though I think. I can’t wait till they will listen to me read The Hobbit!

    Thanks for sharing.

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