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Do you remember the moment that you fell in love with reading?

 

nlephart@shol.com
I "fell in love" with reading at a very young age, probably eight when Santa Claus brought me the Bobbsey Twins books. I think my parents probably read one or two to me, but I remember reading them all by myself. I could sit for hours and be spellbound by the antics of Nan and Bert and Freddie and Flossie. I graduated into the Nancy Drew mysteries in the fifth grade and remember reading in my room with a flashlight under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep. There has probably not been a day since I was eight years old that there hasn't been a book in my hands. There are also very few days that I don't read for pleasure, even though I work a full-time job occupying up to 50 hours most weeks.

MWHIT521@aol.com
Reading has always been such an integral part of my family activities and I started at such a young age that I can't point to an exact moment or book. But as I think back at different ages and the books that go along with them I loved Where the Wild Things Are, Encyclopedia Brown, Hardy Boys, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, American Caesar, and It (for the phenomenal character development that Stephen King is capable of). 

KTVO@telus.net
I was ten, and the librarian was giving my grade five class the lowdown on how the school library worked. She talked about a book called the Wonderful Adventures of Niles and said it was the biggest book in the library, over 1,000 pages! Well the thought of reading this book captured my imagination and I couldn't resist. That was 35 years ago and I have been in love with reading ever since.

CShank1246@aol.com
I learned the magic with the Secret Garden in third grade but really fell in love when I started Nancy Drew. I used to open the next book to the first page before I finished the book I was reading so I could just continue in the unbroken prose. 

Pjajwa@aol.com
The moment I fell in love with reading was some 35 years ago, at age 11 or 12. I brought home Meg's Mysterious Island from the library and remember the beautiful cover and the brand new pages and the girl I loved in the story. The author (name forgotten, and I have searched for it) went on to write other "Meg" books and I read them all. Since then, I've always had a book in hand. 

JMath2244@aol.com
I don't remember not loving to read. I asked my mother and she said that books were always important to me. I starting reading in the first grade and have been doing it since. That has been almost 50 years. I can't pass a bookstore or book sale without going in and buying a book. I love to roam around the library and Barnes and Noble. Just the feel and smell of a book makes me happy. 

EISCO10@aol.com
I always read as a young child, but my earliest topical recollections were going to my aunt and uncle's house and reading in the encyclopedia about astronomy. Then somewhere along the way I read a lot of books on dog and horse stories. I also loved historical novels about the Conestoga wagons and the movement west. Your question evoked some nice memories.

Conwarn@aol.com
The first time my mother read me Winnie the Pooh. That would have been roughly 60 years ago.

C17itzme@aol.com
I do remember the moment I fell in love with the library as a child. The exact book is hard to recall though. I can remember the bookmobile and The Cat in the Hat. What hooked me though were the many biographies written for children. What a world to explore and people had such interesting lives! One other book was The Boxcar Children that my mother told me about. She had enjoyed it so much as a child and when I stumbled upon it one day in the library, I was so excited. I remember running home to show her and then I read it. It was such an escape to read about children living on their own. I guess that must have been the book. Of course, as I grew older I know it was To Kill a Mockingbird. It was then that I realized there was a much better world of reading with adult content and wonderfully written words that just flowed. I was only in the sixth grade. 

VANDYI@aol.com
I will never forget the EXACT moment I fell in love with reading. I was 11 years old and we had moved right next door to the public library. The second time I went it hit me that I could learn ANYTHING about ANYTHING in that huge room. (This was many, many years before the Internet!) I read everything I could get my hands on, literally. (This was back when, if you could reach it, you could check it out!) I volunteered to shelve books for years and they finally put me on the payroll. I still have a voracious appetite for reading and information. So much so, that I became a Librarian! I have had one job in 23 years that wasn't in a library and I was miserable. I can't imagine what I would have "grown up to be" had it not been for the public library. 

RBrow73538@aol.com
I was taught to read at the age of five. I read those little story books that my relatives gave me on special occasions. When I started to school and was introduced to the library, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I tried at first taking too many books out. The librarian was very sweet about it and explained the rules to me. After that, I was always reading books from the library. By the way, this was back in 1952 and the library wasn't what they are today, but; that did not matter to me. My first real read was Moby Dick at 7 years old. I was always ahead of my class in reading as I was taught so young and fell in love with reading. Today, I'm reading constantly. 

Cairo1953@aol.com

If I could rephrase your question slightly to state: When did reading become an important part of your life, then I would say...by reading The Diary of Anne Frank. It was such an emotional experience --- I cried throughout the book and realized how very important reading is. This book did not make me fall in love with reading, it "compelled" me to continue to read. There are so many subjects that we simply must know about. Reading is so very important --- it enriches the soul, helps us to better understand different topics, it enlightens us, helps us to feel compassion for others, it delights us with enchanting fairy-tales, it sweeps us away to far away lands, it relives history............The joys of reading are simply endless.

EllyH@aol.com
Summer reading at the library offered "certificates" if you read 8 books during school vacation! So that was my goal but the finest prize of all was the lifelong love of reading! Books are like oxygen --- can't imagine not having at least one book presently being "inhaled". But the first of my favorites as a child was THE BLACK STALLION --- the story of the black stallion and the young boy shipwrecked on a desert island, and the loving connection formed between them. That book did it for me! Thanks for asking!

Momclg@aol.com
When I read gone with the wind.

CatLady2161@aol.com
It was 1981 and I was pregnant with my second son. I worked nights in a factory job. I was assigned to a machine that was very boring. I just had to sit in front of it and insert little pieces into it all night long. Once while I was on a break I found an old paperback horror novel in the break room and decided to check it out while I was working on the machine. I was lost from that moment on. Since then I have read thousands of books differing in variety from classic literature to historical romance to anatomy and physiology. I am never without a book close at hand, most times several. I have improved my intellect and my vocabulary over the years and eventually went from being a high school drop out to becoming a college graduate working in a professional capacity. Reading has changed my life for the better in immeasurable ways.

Annie161@aol.com
I remember when I fell in love with reading very vividly. My first grade in grammar school. It was like magic to me. I took the reader home every night and dived into the pages. I loved reading from the start and the feeling has never left me. 

Punnkinpie@aol.com
I fell in love with reading for fun when I picked up The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I read the preview and had a feeling it would be good. It's now my favorite book and got me hooked on reading for leisure. I am now a devoted fan of many authors. 

RbtRoman@aol.com
I can't tell you exactly when, but I know I was a teen. I was living in Germany, on an American installation (base), and Mum introduced me to Phyllis Whitney's books. I LOVED them. It really got me started. I have now moved onto others of course, like Rosamund Pilcher, who is my favorite, and Maeve Binchy. But I do love an American writer, too, that I have to give credit to. She brings out the curiousity and knowledge that I have collected over the years, and my love for science, and that is Patricia Cornwell. I am so engrossed in her books and my thirst for knowledge just grows when I read her. Thanks for letting me voice my opinion and share. I love writing myself. I am not a talker, I love to voice my opinions and weave stories on paper. 

Deecal@aol.com
I remember the moment I fell in love with reading... I was in the first grade when I learned to read the books with Dick, Jane, Sally, Puff and Spot. That was a big time for me. I couldn't wait to get to the next book and learn a new word. I remember when I found out that you could add a "Y" to the word AND and it became "ANDY" that was a special moment for me. I have been excited about reading since that time 45 years ago.

TerraComs@aol.com
I must have been eight or nine years old. Crazy about horses and dogs - scribbled, sketched, doodled - horses and dogs, dogs and horses. Somehow Terhune's books fell into my hands and the adventures of Lassie and Lad, then Black Beauty and Misty of Chincoteague Island and numerous other horsey/doggie books were wisely made available to me by my mother. From there it was on to Nancy Drew and by ninth grade I was devouring adult books like popcorn. Caine Mutiny, Green Light, The Chalice, The Robe, Out on a Limb (not the Shirley MacLaine one - it was a biography about an amputee) Gone With the Wind are memorable large novels I recall from my early adolescence. Now it's just like breathing -- gotta have a stack of un-read books to browse through. 

ElsieIcon@aol.com
Yes, when I was 10 years old and started reading the series book of THE MEADOWBROOK GIRLS . I have been hooked on books ever since. I am now in my 50's and had a wonderful 40 year run of reading and will continue to peruse book stores for another 40 years. 

TiaAnnespain@aol.com
Well, that's a tough one. I don't remember books I read that were not chapter books. I do remember reading when I was around 10. I read the Nancy Drew books and also Laura lngalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books.

TiaAnnespain@aol.com
I usually am reading two or three books at one time. The way I got there is the way I was brought up. I actually hated reading until I was at my grandma's house and read Palimeo --- at least that's how I remember it. It may have been sooner since I always looked forward to going to her house because she had a little bookstore not far from her, and she always gave me money for a book or two to read. Well, at the time, I did not think that was going to impact my life but it did. I really think that's how I started reading the way I do now. And that little bookstore where my nana used to live years ago is still standing. ( I go there often --- my aunt and uncle live in my nana's town now.) 

Barsha@aol.com
The book that began my love affair with reading was "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. My parents would read the poems to me, and then I would memorize them. I taught myself to read at age three with this book, and have never stopped reading since.

Sheila5199@aol.com
Although I can't remember the exact moment in time, I know it was related to reading the first Nancy Drew book I was given as a little girl. I developed the traits of an avid reader (loving a character, devouring books, anticipating the next one, etc.) through reading that series as a child. As a lover of reading I still feel the same way about the books that I love today. 

Scottypj@aol.com

Do I remember? Yes, it is a vivid memory (one I revisit often). I was in first grade and we were just given our first "reader". Our teacher passed them out right before lunch time and told us that when we came back to school after lunch time (remember those days when kids went home at lunch time and Mom was there waiting with lunch all prepared?) we would begin to learn to read. I felt as though a treasure had been put into my hands and I asked the teacher if I could take the book home to show my mother - somewhat reluctant to let the book leave the building, she agreed. I lived a long block from the school and I walked home, never looking at the sidewalk, just looking at the book - and reading it. When I got back to school I told the teacher that the book was nice, that I had read it as I walked home. I read through it for her. I was in the reading class the first day. After that she put me in a corner and gave me a box of letters (anagrams?) and told me to see how many words I could make. I had an older brother who used to read the newspaper to me and I guess I learned to read from hearing him and looking at the words. 

AwHeck7@aol.com
I can remember the book that made me a constant reader --- it was a biography on Eddie Rickenbacker, a WWI ace and one of the first race car drivers.That was when I was in the fifth grade.I am now 49 years old and I can't remember a time since when I was not reading a book. 

M2451@aol.com
I remember exactly when I fell in love with reading -- it was when I realized I could be transported anywhere or experience many things without ever leaving my home. This all happened during a particularly boring summer of the 1950s, I would visit the mobile library and check out the maximum number of books. For some reason I felt compelled to read all the animal books first, moving through to other subjects one at a time. I never visited a regular library until much later and remember fondly my first excursion in the small Public Library in Concord, California. Now, wherever I travel, the first thing I do is go to the public library and just look around. 

CCook939@aol.com
I didn't fall in love with reading until I got out of college. I received my B.A. in teaching in May when I was 30 years old and had a job teaching that didn't start until August. I was working part time only so I had lots of spare time. I think I spent the whole summer in my hammock between two trees reading everything I could get my hands on for pleasure. I had read so many text books that you had to read for knowledge and test information for the 3 previous years, by the time I graduated, I was starving to read books just for fun. Robert Ludlum was my favorite, but now I love mysteries, Margaret Truman, Patricia Cornwell, also Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Clive Cussler, Harry Potter and Kathleen Woodweiss. The list is ever growing and changing. I have been teaching 21 years now and still look forward to devouring books on my summer break and at Christmas. I try to get my love of reading across to my Kindergarten students by reading to them all year. A life long reader. 

AuntGigiR@aol.com
I remember exactly the day. We were on our way to Florida for vacation and I was five years old. My grandma was sitting in the back seat next to me. She taught me to read "HiHo" off of the HiHo cracker box. I knew my ABC's, but it was the first time I realized that letters put together had meaning. After that there was no stopping me. I tried to read everything, everywhere, and I am still a voracious reader today. Thank you Grandma!!! 

YMuso@aol.com

I was a very, very shy child and, from the very beginning of my childhood, my love affair with books started. They were my friends and they still are there for me waiting, always. Today, I have a few friends, and as well, books will never move away, or be mean.

CSmith4C@aol.com
I have been in love with reading ever since I could read, starting with Dick and Jane. However, I believe I actually fell in love with reading long before I could read. In the early 50's, Disney classics like Peter Pan and Snow White, gave young readers vivid illustrations to get their imaginations fired up. It didn't matter if you were able to see the movies or not, nor did it matter if you could pronounce all the words. Once you were able to establish a link between the images and certain words on the page, you realized the magic of the written word. After that, I made up my own words, whether I could spell them or not, and I flew over the tree tops with Tinker Bell and I kept house for the lost boys. I ate the poison apple and fell asleep. I lay in the glass coffin under the shady branches of a tree until the handsome prince came by on his white steed to kiss me awake. I was 5 years old then; now, I'm 51 and still in love. 

shoff@adelphia.net 
I fell in love with reading on Christmas Day when I was eight years old. I received a set of children's classics books. I did not know that such great books existed and that I could ever hope to own them. I remember the moment so clearly, many years later, that it seems burned onto my brain's hard drive! Thanks for the question, it let me relive a delicious moment.

VALAITISH@aol.com
I was nine years old. A friend, who was 11, had checked out a book from the classroom library. She loved it and said I should read it. I did and thought it was the most boring book I'd every read! But we got into a competition to see who could finish a book first. When my mom saw I was reading for pleasure, she bought me my first Nancy Drew book. I was hooked for good! 

Afnak@aol.com
Well, I think it was the summer day my mother came out to our screened-in back porch and said, "You know, I think you're old enough now to really like this book." I was about eight years old, as I recall, and the book was Anne of Green Gables. She told me that she had read it when she was a young girl and she hoped I would love it as much as she had. (I did, and went on to read the other books in the series.)

PSimo90832@aol.com
I was reading a Civil War novel when I was about 10 years old. I realized the words could pull me in, in to another time, another place, another set of experiences. I wanted to have this escape from the life I was living in the here and now. I was addicted, much like a person taking their first hit of pot. I just wanted more, my weekly trips to the public library were mandatory and needed part of my life. That was about 40 years ago. I hope I have "addicted" a few of my students along the way.

LawJackson@aol.com
I fell in love with reading when I was quite young. My mother thought it would be a good idea since I was already very good at reading in school (in grade one) to keep me interested by sending me to the library during the summers. In any event, the library had a contest --- for every five books you read you would get a blue star and so on. I won the library contest that first summer and haven't stopped reading since. It brings a whole new world to my fingertips and expands my horizons and mind. That is my answer to your question (how I fell in love with reading). I guess I have Mom to thank (She is now at the ripe young age of 85 and also still an avid reader herself). 

SalbyC@aol.com
I fell in love with reading when my mother read the book Heidi out loud to me at night. We lived in a small town where the library was only open once a week on Saturday. When my parents realized that I had finished by Saturday night all the books I had picked out during the day on Saturday, it was time for me to move on to longer, chapter books! 

Fredspots@aol.com
I fell in love with reading as a small child when my dad would read to me nightly. I must have been about two or three years old. My favorite book was Skags the Milk Horse. I went on to be a teacher and, for 30 years, a Reading Specialist. I have just retired after 38 years in education and look forward to many more years of "reading for enjoyment". 

DKATHYG@aol.com
My first remembrance of reading was after my grandmother bought me the first three Bobbsey Twins books for a Christmas present and that started the love affair with reading. From there on in, I was hooked and still am to this day.

PNormart@aol.com
I don't remember ever not being in love with reading. I guess my first experiences were reading the Sunday comics with Dad. As a child I checked out stacks of books from the town library (especially during the summer), stacks so big I almost couldn't carry them. I'd go home and dive right in, eager to go back and check out a bunch more. When I was about seven, I tried desperately to read The Wind in the Willows, but my enthusiasm couldn't make up for my lack of vocabulary and comprehension. About age nine I read my first book length ghost story, which marked the beginning of my love for horror novels. I read my first classic, Jane Eyre, at 14, a perfect age for that novel, IMHO. Books have been my life-long joy, escape, entertainment and comfort. The day I can't read is the day I die. 

theaerie@skybest.com
I don't remember the exact moment, but close. My mother (who was not a great reader) began taking me to the library when I was about three or four. I can remember those trips before I could see over the desk. Most of all I can remember the smells and touch of the books. Hearing them read (and later reading them myself) carried me to worlds I never knew existed. Now retirement affords me the time to enjoy reading as I did as a child. I so appreciate that wonderful gift my mother gave me so many years ago.

CGoslee@aol.com
I think it was after I graduated from college (I was a math major so I wouldn't have to read any books) and I read The Thorn Birds. Then, I got married and had two sons, and read only children's books till Lonesome Dove. I really got serious about reading, I read every book Larry McMurtry had ever written. I have done the same with Marcia Muller, who paved the way for Sue Grafton, Dorothy Gilman --- love Mrs. Pollifax, Evanovich, Barnes, Robb, Braun --- those cats, Mary Higgins Clark, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffery Deaver, Kathy Reichs, John Grisham, Steve Martini, James Patterson, Richard Patterson, Jean Auel (heard it's coming this fall), C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, Wilder, Jacques, Lahaye and Jenkins, Karon, and Michener. I am now a children's librarian at a public library, and I get paid to read all the new children's books. What a Great Job!!!

MChiles@aol.com
I fell in love with reading when I was about 10 yrs old, the same time I fell in love with the character Huckleberry Finn. The character Tom Sawyer was wonderful but Huck was a real rebel rouser and I loved him for it. Thank you Mr. Twain. Due to your contributions to American Literature, I have a passion for reading that has lasted 40 yrs and has never faltered.

Tretoof@aol.com
It might have been while I was still in the crib but I do know it was concurrent with learning how to spell and pronounce words --- at least, "cat", "dog", and "Mama". I always have read on a daily basis and would be "lost" without being able to pick up something to read, yet, it is not an obsession with me just a great deal of pure joy. Thank Goodness!! The small local library is part of a county-wide chain so most stuff, even very current, is easily available. This same library is also very responsive to all our needs --- e-mail access to the catalogue and my "requests" and "outs" --- really, very neat (as in "excellent" not as in "not messy") Please do keep your good news coming.

sondej@massnet1.net
I fell in love with reading at a very young age. It was my escape and still is. The first book I read was Uncle Wiggily's Travels by Howard Garis and it still sits on my library shelf as my very old friend.

MLWReader@aol.com
I had to laugh about Corey and the ever important back up book. My younger son Josh was like that as a child. He would go so far as to hide books in the bathroom, so he'd be sure to have some reading material while brushing his teeth, etc. (At some point in their childhood, my kids began referring to the bathroom as the library, and going in there as doing research. I still call it that!) My favorite of his hiding spots was under the bathroom carpet, nothing obvious there! My ex and I used to laugh because we'd stand outside the bathroom door, hands on hips, accusing him of READING!!!!! Are you reading in there? Like it was some horrible bad boy characteristic. The thing was, he loved to read so much that it would interfere with other stuff, like getting to school on time, doing chores, even going out to play. For myself, I remember one time I was sick and home from school, and my mom went to the library and brought home five or six books, and they were wonderful!!!! I was absolutely hooked. The only problem was that she could always find the best books in the library, but I could never find them when I went by myself. Anyway, my mom is the one who turned me on to reading, and I passed it on to my kids. They both still love it, grown men that they are. We can still talk for hours about books. I just love that. Thank you for this wonderful newsletter. I look forward to it every week. 

KamSav@aol.com
Don't remember the grade, sometime during the summer of elementary school I read The Boxcar Children and was able to read the word 'refrigerator' and felt so proud! After that accomplishment I received a big privledge --- being allowed to ride my bike to the library three blocks away! I remember the smell of the library, the feeling of being in the section where the 'harder books for adults' were, the pride of personally knowing the librarian and giving her my card when I was done with my selection! 

MSJJHC@aol.com
I don't remember the exact moment, but I remember the book. I was reading James Michener's Hawaii. I must have been 18 or 19. I had always enjoyed reading, but that is probably when I fell in love with reading.

BSch195680@aol.com
Sometime in the fourth grade inbetween Charlotte's Web and Black Beauty and the whole series of the Black Stallion.

Rainespat@aol.com
I fell in love with reading when I was about six.....and read Little Brown Koko, Clara Barton, The Boxcar Children, etc.

Tikasplace@aol.com
I fell in love with reading when I turned eight years old. For my birthday my grandmother gave me my first Nancy Drew story. And that was it for me, I never looked back after that.

Shell725@aol.com
I've always loved books, whether academic or for pleasure. I always loved stories about animals and used to grab those off the bookmobile when it came to visit our grade school. Then I really caught book fever again, but after I was through with college. I always made sure I had a book in my purse at work to give me something to relax with on break or during lunch. Some of my favorite authors are Mary Higgins Clark, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, and Stuart Woods.

DCCJ1@aol.com
No doubts about this one; I became an avid reader in high school upon completion of The Catcher in the Rye. That was in 1962 and I've been going strong ever since.

FRoybiskie@aol.com
When I was in jr. high school, I use to read the teen harlequins and Judy Blume books, but it was never the obsession that engulfs my life now. I remember first really falling in love with books when I read John Grisham's The Pelican's Brief. It was the first really "grown-up" book I had ever read. Now, I'm hooked, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Storrrmy1@aol.com
I don't remember if it was second or third grade, but I do remember the book that made me fall in love with reading - "The Witch Family." I remember going back to the library every Saturday after that - I just couldn't believe there were so many books there to read! And over 35 years later, I still love visiting that same library - for the same reasons! 

JCZINN@aol.com
I remember when I was in fourth or fifth grade reading a book called The Pink Motel. That is when I fell in love with reading. I would LOVE to find a copy of that book! I am now 50 years old and still remember that feeling of having a book come to life! 

Mcnell2@aol.com
I first fell in love with reading when I was eight or nine years old and a relative brought us the Nancy Drew Mystery story books to read. I could hardly wait for the next book to come out, I would get so wrapped up in them.

Ginnylazar@aol.com
I don't remember it at all. I always remember reading, though the earliest books I remember specifically are the Bobbsey Twins series. My father was an ardent reader and it was just a natural progression to adopt the love of books. 

Fafajane@aol.com

I recall reading the Bobbsey Twins early on and loving to read from then on. 

naglecm@oak.lemoyne.edu

The first chapter book I read was The Bobbsey Twins and I couldn't wait to read the whole series that my older siblings had accumulated. I was hooked from then on. What a nostalgic moment when I began to read them to my kids!

mi3son@bellsouth.net
I was in the fifth grade when I fell in love with reading. My mother was a school teacher at the time and you know if you are the child of a school teacher the other kids tease you a lot. So I decided to go to the library and that is where my love of reading began. The librarian was a friend of my mother and she help me get my first library card. The Little House series was my favorite. I have recently started back reading and have read 362 books so far in a 2 1/2 yr. period.

Sblokzyl@aol.com
I was probably around nine years old and my mother bought me two Carolyn Keene books, one title was The Secret of Larkspur Lane, I can't remember the other title. It was earlier in my life that I did read but I believe that was my first chapter book. So many books through the years; Mrs. Wiggins in the Cabbage Patch, and Three Wheeling Through Africa. Those books I have never forgotten. What wonderful things, Books! 

pnichols@woodruffelectric.com
After I learned to read Dick and Jane and Alice and Jerry, there have been few times when I've been without a book at hand and several in a stack or on a list waiting for me to get to them. Other childhood favorites were Black Beauty and Tom Sawyer, the Bobbsey Twins books, Five Little Peppers, Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, Beverly Cleary's books, and Ferdinand the Bull!

GeriDos@aol.com
It's hard to remember the exact moment. But I still remember the immense joy I had when I went to a rummage sale as a child and bought my very first book with my allowance. It was Rin Tin Tin-Rinty. I put a book cover on that book and really treasured it. Then I found the Little House on the Prairie books, and was sold forever on reading. I still remember the books and characters of my youth, like Winnie the Pooh, and Babar, and believe that my parents gave me the greatest gift ever - the love of reading! 

JaguarBabe@aol.com

Nancy Drew mysteries! My mother used to get so mad at me because she would buy me a new Nancy Drew and I would read it in one day. I graduated into Agatha Christie but, fortunately, my two neighbors also read her so we traded. That went on for years. I'm still in love with a great mystery. 

SGCVTA@aol.com
For my seventhth birthday I received the book, Sam and The Firefly from my buddy Herbie B. I was hooked for life. I think I fell in love with reading as much as I fell in love with owning my own book. Up to that time it had been mostly library books. But this book was mine, and this book had humor. I still have that book, 42 years later. 

DThomas201@aol.com
Christmas morning when I was four and I got The Emperor's Hats as one of my gifts. From that point on I always had a book. 

CurlyBil2@aol.com
I was probably about nine years old, and attending a one room country school. We had only a four shelf library, but on it I found a book titled "The Silver Skates" and was instantly changed forever. Within a short while I had read all the books on all four shelves, and have kept reading all of my 74 years.

Cmw1936@aol.com
When I was around 10 years old. 

rlecomte@renogazette-journal.com
In second grade, our teacher had what she called a 200-book club. If you read 200 books during the school year, you got to join the club. School back then started after Labor Day; I read every book aloud for my mom at the kitchen table. I made the club by Thanksgiving --- the first in my class. It was the first big achievement of my academic life. That's when I fell in love with reading.

nornor5@msn.com
My father was badly burned in a accident when I was nine years old. I wasn't allowed in the burn unit so I had to wait in the lobby of Cook County Hospital. It was a pretty scary place. I had a summer reading list I had to complete by the end of August so I decided to start reading. I was not looking forward to it and had no idea how serious a condition my dad was in, but as a young careful girl, I sat back and read. I remembering having to read "Dear Mr. Henshaw". I was immediately taken away to a different place and left behind that dark and empty waiting room. That was all I did that summer and I haven't stopped since. At an early age I realized how powerful the written language can be. I am 26 and still reading every night.

tcrngt0@ucl.ac.uk
I believe it was on a cold, grey, wet day in England, when I was a child. I had my own room and from somewhere I had gotten hold of a copy of the Wizard of Earthsea. I curled up and read most of the trilogy in a day. My mother came looking for me, scared because I had been quiet for so long. She thought I'd run away/been abducted/killed etc.etc.etc But no. Many thanks Ms. LeGuin, a lifetime of pleasures ever since, and a growing collection of far more books than one person has a right to.

Jhtdfran@aol.com
When I was eight years old, my girl friend brought me to get a library card. Oh, all those books! I took out "Water Babies," don't remember the author. I loved it and was addicted immediately to reading and the library. I loved my newfound freedom of walking to the library without a parent and the power of reading any book I chose. The library was like home to me for many years. I still find peace when I go to a library.

MoosejawIV@aol.com
In the first grade the powers that be put me in a "special" class for slow readers. Not only was I the only girl there but, to top it off, they paraded us out of the classroom everyday, in front of all of our friends, who knew where we were going. That year, especially that summer, I stubbornly began to devour books. I was not going through that humiliation ever again. By third grade my reading level was at a college age comprehension and they were promoting me from third to fifth! I went from slow reading to devouring whole encyclopedias! I not only found that reading well brought you success but great knowledge into worlds I might never know except for the written word. My house now has more books than furniture and they are a great comfort and reminder to me that I can do anything! 

Lernr730@aol.com
I loved to read before I could even read! I remember being about four or five, sitting on the front porch pretending I could read. I was holding a book from the West Wind series of children's books. When I finally got to first grade I was so excited to be able to learn to read. I remember that the other first grade class was a little bit ahead of our class, and I was so jealous and mad when my best friend in the other class learned the word "walk" before I did! By the time I was in second grade I was reading Nancy Drew. My sister also loves to read and has introduced me to some wonderful authors and series over the years, like J.R.R. Tolkien, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, and J.K. Rowling. 

Mysabine@aol.com
Many many years ago when I read the Little House on the Prarie series. I was probably eight or nine years old and could not go to the library often enough to check out books.

zaraya@optonline.net
I have been enraptured by the written word since age four. As my mother tells it, we would be riding the bus or subway in New York in the 1950s, and I would be deciphering the ads strung along the tops of the subway cars. I clearly remember spending a quiet afternoon as a child of five or six, contemplating the difference between the word 'then' and the word 'than'. As soon as I was old enough to walk the three or four blocks to the Brooklyn Public Library in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, I would make my weekly visit, haunting the shelves, inhaling the intoxicating scent of paper and old books. I would feel the rush of anticipation as I lugged home a load of books. I would seat myself on the window sill, and read, read, read, till my mother would send me out to play ( I went unwillingly, preferring to stay with my friends the books!). I am still the same today at 52 as I was at 5! Ever the booklover. No e-books for me! No audiobooks for me! I need to touch the page, see the words, and smell the ink.

JEarh13191@aol.com
I cannot remember ever not loving it. 

Mocky1@aol.com
I honestly don't remember ever not reading. But my first memory is when I was four years old, and my seven-year-old sister and I were laying on the floor at home, and she taught me to read. The book was called I Want to Learn to Read, and I still have it on my bookshelf. My kindergarten teacher didn't believe that I already knew how to read, so she sat me in front of the class and made me prove it. Needless to say, she apologized later. But the reading really took off thanks to a first grade teacher, Mrs. Everett, who, sensing I was bored to tears with Jane and Spot running, sent me home with a chapter book. I returned it to her the next day and she asked if I had a hard time with it. I told her no, I finished the book, and could I please borrow another?

Oloocy@aol.com
Wow! Good question! I would say in about the third grade! I have read as long as I can remember and joined the summer reading club at my library every summer. I know I was an avid Mary Poppins reader, Nancy Drew, any sort of mystery especially, bible stories, poetry --- you name it. I still read voraciously --- especially series! John Straley is a terrific author from Alaska; there are just so many I couldn't list them. Being an only child, a book was a great companion and to this day I read every night (well, days too!) for at least a while before I go to sleep. Books can take you places you never thought you'd go. My late dad was an avid reader also, as was Mom before she acquired macular degeneration. I've supplied her with books on tape but as she says, it's still not the same! Fortunately, like my dad, I could always block background noise out, so it's great in the mornings in South Station train station in Boston where one can sit and have a coffee and read before venturing to the office --- starts the day out right! I love to meet someone younger who is really interested in reading, crafts etc and not just TV. They don't know WHAT they miss by not reading. I thank God every day I can read as I have been having cancer treatments and prayed they would not affect my eyesight and comprehension. So far, so good!!!! 

Julsmeemee@aol.com
I was three years old and suddenly realized that I recognized the words and didn't just remember what my mother read to me. That was 60 years ago and I have never gone a day without reading since then. I average four books a week and will read just about anything. I even have a book in my car for holdups of more than a few minutes and, of course, a book in my purse. 

hattrick8810@home.com
I remember reading "Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice?" by Paula Danzinger when I was in fourth grade (I'm now in my thirties.) That book, plus all of the Judy Blume books for kids really made me fall in love with reading. 

SoniaSM@aol.com
I started school in Pennsylvania in 1937 and, although my kindergarten teacher had been an old hand, my first grade teacher was a first-year teacher in a state that had fallen hook, line and sinker for what I believe was called the Kilpatrick See-Say Reading Method. I was the only child of well educated parents, first grandchild of a doting self-made intellectual grandfather, and got bluebirds and gold stars on all my papers, but I still couldn't really read at the end of first grade. My mother had started teaching under the older methods, but declined to intervene because, I guess, she wanted to see if the new system would work. I was saved by a move to Massachusetts, where I was put right back into first grade under the aegis of a grey-bunned, portly lady who led us in singing "Urmarriker the Beautiful" and gave us each a box of cardboard anagrams to spread out on our desks and be taught phonics. One day it all fell into place, and I read "Halloween"on the box the teacher had on her desk so we could help her decorate the classroom. When I went home that day, I could read the newspaper. And I haven't stopped since! When we moved back to Pennsylvania in a very few months, they never did know what to do with me, and I thought my frequently being sent off into isolation was some sort of punishment for being able to read better than my classmates. But that's another story, isn't it? 

GOFFERME@aol.com
It took me until high school to fall in love with reading. The book was Valley of the Dolls. And after that it was every best seller I could get my hands on. Now I have Oprah's books to follow and your reviews and just about anything that strikes my fancy. 

brehm1989@home.com
I fell in love with reading the summer between my third and fourth grade. My mom had me enrolled in a book club and I had just received Charlotte's Web. I read that book in one day. That was 30 years ago, and to this day, if a book grabs me it is hard to let it go.

NDPal@aol.com
When I was eight years old and read Jack Londons "Call of the Wild". Still one of my favorites but enjoy Mystery and Horror mostly. Huge Stephen King fan. (Earlier books were my favorites.) When I was young, the Chip Hilton series also. Reading takes you to another world and I am so glad my son of 10 loves to read. Harry Potter is his fave. 

DBM6126@aol.com
I think it was Mary Poppins and my mom read it to me. Then I finally graduated to reading it myself! 

Weigold97@aol.com
It started in my adult life,and continues on and on. I too always have a backup book. My friends and I recomend books to one another. I work with first graders, and it's so wonderful when they discover the joy of reading. Toward the end of their first grade year they get into chapter books. Every year at that time we read "Box Car Children." That's how we end up the year. It always holds their interest. 

EOJB@aol.com
In the winter of 1945 I got the measles and had a few days off from grammar school. My mom, a teacher, decided to give me one of my birthday presents a few days early. It was a Hardy Boys book, The Mystery of Cabin Island. I've been hooked ever since. 

EDMARYMOM@aol.com
I was reading THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS!

EKH965@aol.com
I started reading in my teens and have always loved to read. I used to do crossword puzzles and word games, anything to keep my mind occupied. I would also read True Story magazines back in the 1950's. Probably about 30 years ago, (don't remember when it came out), my sister gave me the book, The Wolf And The Dove. When I finished that I truly fell in love with reading. Always had a book in my hand constantly. That was my favorite book for a long time and now I have another favorite. That is Rage Of Angels. Now I mostly read mysteries and Danielle Steel books and only something different if it is highly recommended. I also go to 1st chapters online and check them out. 

Sgwb50@aol.com
The earliest I remember falling in love with reading was the minute I learned to read in the first grade, age six. What a marvelous world I discovered, what things I did learn and the magnificent people. Books certainly broadened my horizons, even at that age. Since then I've tried to read everything I could get my hands on and have a great place to trade paperbacks which I frequent as often as possible. No I haven't read every book in the library, but not because I haven't tried. My favorites are Stephen King, Dean Koontz and any other mystery/thriller that has numerous and twisted plots that I can't solve before the end of the book.

Virginialee425@aol.com
Yes - Yes -- The first time I ever visited a library with my kindergarten class in San Jose, California -- I was a gonner from that time on -- until I could go by myself. I made my mother take me to the library every Saturday. I still get that same feeling anytime I walk into any place with a wall covered with bookshelves and books. 

janis@radioessays.com
I'm a Public Radio essayist (locally for WVTF in Roanoke, VA, and nationally for Public Radio International's "Marketplace.") and pasted below is an essay that I wrote about learning to read. Specifically, it's about the first moment when I "fell into" a book. Hope you like it. It's an excerpt from my book, a collection of 66 of my radio essays, BIRDSEED COOKIES: A FRACTURED MEMOIR