How did I become a reader? – A Brief History

Hello! You have entered the “bookcentral of bookish blabber” (which is just a book blog, but that’s boring and I blab a lot and enjoy alliteration). My name is Zaneta ( dʒænɛta), you might know me from this Bookstagram account (or not), and I am an avid reader. I thought as my first post on here I’d go a bit into why I read and where my love for books came from.

I honestly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a reader. I have always enjoyed stories, especially the written ones, as they escalated my already crazy imagination and were oh, so fun, though, admittedly, sometimes gave me nightmares, too. My parents read to me before bed and I loved every second of it – that is until I smartened up and realised they were skipping pages, shortening all the stories I knew so well, to put me to sleep ASAP and I decided to take matters in my own (tiny) hands. I learned how to read at the age of 3 (don’t ask me how, it’s a mystery), my memories of it are pretty hazy, but it’s something my family doesn’t shut up about (I think I peaked at the age of 3, to be honest), so here you have it.

I know you can hardly tell if I’m reading or just dumbly looking at the pictures, or worse!, just posing for a photo and not paying any attention to the book, but if we are to establish any relationship between us here, it should be based on trust, and so you should trust me when I say I was reading.

I read a lot in primary school! I think I always had an aptitude for learning – I was curious, I wanted to know everything and do everything and books helped with the learning part, but since I also wanted to DO a lot, I read mostly at night. I’d stay up way past my bedtime and read with a flashlight under covers, so my mother wouldn’t know I was still awake. I’d go to my local library twice a week and come back home with stacks of books, itching to read them all. By the time I was eleven (that is a complete guesstimate, but bear with me) I have exhausted all the age “appropriate” reading material available at my library, and my parents had to write a note to the librarian, giving me permission to borrow teen books.

There were many books I have read as a child that stuck with me and fueled my love for reading even more (I’ll make a separate post talking about my childhood favourites), but it wasn’t until I was thirteen and read an excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in one of my textbooks and it flipped a switch in my brain. I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day, I rushed home and begged my dad to buy me my own copy of the book so I could read it all (sidenote, my dad owned a good few books, but generally, my family wasn’t at all well off, hence me frequenting the library and not having my own books). He agreed. It is, to this day, my favourite book of ALL time.

Here it is – my first (and now, one of many) copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Handsome, isn’t it?

Fast forward a couple of years, I moved countries and found myself in a strange place where I knew absolutely no one my age and did not speak English (well, not fluently anyway). I’ll give you a hint where this leads – it was around 2007 and that’s when I discovered YA. Ding, ding, ding! It was Twilight. And before you say, “but wasn’t that out a bit earlier? your timeline is off!”, rewind – I read the Polish edition as it came out, because I wasn’t anywhere near fluent in English. All roads lead to Rome, and in the book world, Rome is Twilight, and everyone’s story (everyone who is over 23 anyway, or around that age) revolves around that series a bit. Twilight was the first series I have bought with my own money (and I still own them). I was obsessed with it until City of Bones came out 2 years later (also in Polish) and it stole my heart.

I have been reading YA ever since and it’s the genre I gravitate towards the most (that being said, I read adult books also, and really enjoy them). Reading helps me relax and unwind. It keeps my mind sharp. Even though I mostly read fiction, I learn new things from books nearly every day. It’s been a part of my identity since I was a child and books are what people associate me with. Most of all, though, it’s my favourite form of entertainment.

I hope you enjoyed this post and got to know me a bit. What’s your story? How did you become a reader?

Until the next time!

2 thoughts on “How did I become a reader? – A Brief History

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