Cultivating a Love for Reading

I’ve always loved books!! This isn’t too surprising, because I come from a long line of readers. I’m so grateful for the legacy my Grandma began which has been passed down to my Mom, me, and now my girls. It’s just wonderful.

Do you want to know the truth?

Even though I love books, I haven’t always been a good reader. For a long time, I read slowly, didn’t like reading out loud, and struggled with proper pronunciation of new words. For lack of practice, I read very slowly, because I really had to pay attention in order to comprehend what was taking place in the story. Seriously, if I got called on in Sunday school to the Bible passage, I would become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. I’m not good at pronouncing all those names in the Bible, so I would pray and ask God to help me not mess up too badly. For that reason, when it was my turn to teach, I would listen to the audio Bible on my phone and learn how to pronounce the names before I needed to teach.

The struggle was real!

Additionally, I’ve felt like I never found my niche or specific genre of books which I most loved. Thankfully, in college, my friend Michelle encouraged me to read the Harry Potter series. I took one look at how long those books were, felt intimidated, and said, “No, because I wasn’t a kid anymore, which meant I couldn’t read children’s fiction anymore.” Honestly, I don’t know why I felt this way. Michelle gently explained, just because I was an adult didn’t mean I only had to read adult books. Finding out, I could still read children’s books was a huge paradigm shift for me and suddenly opened up a world of books I never had the opportunity to read when I was a kid.

My friend, continued to present her case to me about the Harry Potter books and how I would learn about the wizarding world right along with Harry Potter himself. She explained, they were a great read and I should just try the first book and if I didn’t like them I could stop. Michelle was so adamant, she took me down to Powell’s Bookstore and bought me my very own copy of “Harry Potter and the Socerers Stone”.

Leaving me without any excuses, I finally caved.

Just as Michelle said, I began to fall in love with the book and its characters!! In no time, I finished the first book and moved on to the next. I was hooked and nothing could stop me now. I was so proud of myself when I finally finished the entire series. To this day, they’re some of my favorite books of all time. Thanks friend for igniting my love of reading, which has never wavered.

After Harry Potter, I continued to read through lots of children’s and young adult fiction, which I had never read before and you can check out the list of some of my favorites below. I can’t imagine missing out on all of these incredible books!!

Fast forward to 2020…now I’m a homeschooling Mom and my job is reading out loud to my girls. Truly, only God could help me face my fears and work on being a better reader. I’ve been far from perfect, but I’m thankful for my girls love and grace as I stumble through unfamiliar words. I’m still a work in progress, so a few years ago one of my goals for the year was to cultivating a love for reading. I tried my best to read 3 good books each month. I also compete in a yearly Goodreads Reading Challenge with my hubby. Last year, I read 135 books, which included all the kids book I read to the girls. I was so proud of myself for reaching my goal and I’m praying we can pass on a love of reading to my own girls.

Normally, I read through a fiction and non-fiction at the same time, because I still feel like I’m still trying to make up for lost time as I continue reading through all kinds of books I never had the chance to read when I was a kid.

How have you been cultivating a love for reading?
Do you enjoy reading? Or do you struggle like me?

For anyone who’s struggling to sit down with an actual book, I encourage you to try listening audio books. Honestly, it took me forever to get used to audiobooks. I starting listening to podcasts, which helped me grow into larger audiobooks. As a busy Mom, this has opened up a world of amazing books, which I wouldn’t have the chance to sit down and read right now. It’s been such a blessing and gives me something to listen to while I clean, make dinner, etc.

Finally, it’s always easier for me to be excited about a book when it’s been recommended by my family or friends. That being said, if you’re trying to get back into reading, I want to give a list of incredible book recommendations as a place to start reigniting your love for reading.

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10 MUST READ  BOOKS  
1. “The Penderwick Series” by, Jeanne Birdsall
2. “The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street” by, Karina Yan Glaser 
3. “The Hunger Games Trilogy” by, Suzanne Collins 
4. “Little Women” by, Louisa May Alcott
5. “The Wild Robot” by, Peter Brown
6. “The Divergent Series” by, Veronica Roth
7. “All of a Kind Family” by, Sydney Taylor
8. “The Giver” by, Lois Lowry
9. “The Harry Potter series” by, J.K. Rowling
10. “Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime” by, Janet & Geoff Benge 

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