Thu
Dec 1 2016 8:08am

What Sort of Books Did You Grow Up Around?

The books we grow up reading—and what we see our family members reading—end up being the foundation for our reading as an adult. Was your family a reading family? Did they encourage your reading? What sort of books did they read? How do you think they influenced your adult reading?

Tell me about it in the comments!

 

 

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16 comments
Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
I come from a reading family. My dad read non-fiction mostly, though he did read some literary novels (Garcia Marquez et al.) My mother loved novels, the longer and more complex the plot, the better. We kids grew up on a complete collection of Faery Tales from around the World that my mom and her siblings had read in their childhood.

I started my independent reading career with a complete translation of the Arabian Nights. This led me to a life-long love of fantasy. I was converted to romance when I started reading English Barbara Cartland novels to improve my language skills.
brontëgirl
2. brontëgirl
My folks got me a library card when I was two, the My Book House series when I was three, and read to me a lot. They mostly read newspapers and magazines, though my mom would occasionally read a Victoria Holt novel. I read the usual assortment of kids' books (some ordered from the Scholastic catalog we'd get at school) plus comics, comics collections, bios (some by Dell Publishing) and baseball history/bios. I still like to read the YA stuff I discovered in childhood and later. And still have the My Book House series :).
Kareni
3. Kareni
My parents were readers. I remember my mother reading Wodehouse amongst others. My father often read WW2 non-fiction (Churchill) as well as the Upton Sinclair Lanny Budd books. He recommended The Scarlet Pimpernel to me. I remember all three of us plus my sister reading the same Sidney Sheldon book back in the seventies. None of them read romances.
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
Both of my parents were readers and genre readers too. Though not romance. I grew up around mystery and adventure books and found my way to romance when my mom introduced me to classics like Jane Eyre and fairy tales.
willaful
5. willaful
My mom mostly read science fiction and mystery, so I come by my love of genre fiction naturally!
lauralee1912
6. lauralee1912
My mother read a lot, from romance to literary fiction to current
events. A large gift book about the latest tragedy or famous person was a well-received gift for her birthday or Christmas. She had hundreds of
these books when she passed away. My father read the newspaper and
fishing magazines. I don't remember him reading fiction and one of my brothers takes after him. In the last few years, Dad has actually read a few novels, thanks to his ladyfriend.

Almost every book I read these days is romance, mostly historical, and I think it is because I do so much technical reading for my work. From time-to-time, I'll read a women's literature or mystery. I had a hard time finishing "book club" books, so I joined a gardening group that is like a book club instead.
Jennifer Proffitt
7. JenniferProffitt
@lauralee1912,
I had a hard time finishing "book club" books, so I joined a gardening group that is like a book club instead.
Ha! I have a hard time with that too! Maybe I'll try another hobby ;)
Trish Copley
9. Vol Fan
My mother never read that I recall, though she reads more than I do now LOL. My Dad never read. My brother read a bit. I was the bookworm. I would read anything. I particularly remember reading books like Elswyth Thane's Williamsburg series, Desiree, Forever Amber, Victoria Holt's books, Daphne DuMurier, Gwen Bristow, and of course, Gone With The Wind. I loved historicals which were my all time favorites and loved gothics. I read a few classic horror such as "The Haunting of Hill House" and some others I can't remember. I do actually remember a series I read as I was really younger, which on thinking back, may have been Little House on the Praire. I can't remember the name, but the setting was something I really remember. I can picture them in my head, but the name has long gone.
Trish Copley
10. Vol Fan
Have to add and admit something. While I was a vorocious reader and would read most anything, I absolutely hated the books they made us read in school. The classics - Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, etc. In fact, I will admit, that I never read any of them throughout. I was skilled enough at reading to be able to skim and scan and get by the testing. I don't know if I actually hated the books, or just hated being told what to read. Someday, I may try to read them, just to see. LOL
Jerrie Adkins
11. filkferengi
My whole family were big readers. My uncle read science fiction, my mom read gothics & mysteries, and my grandmother read romances. To this day, I still read all those genres, along with lots of young adult & kid books.
brontëgirl
12. lizzie18
I was the only reader in my family, so don't know where I got it from.
My parents did not read, apart from newspapers. Don't think my brother has read a book in his life; my sister maybe when she hit middle age.

I'm in my early 60's now and I started reading pretty young. I'm French Canadian and I taught myself to read English when I was 8 when an aunt gave me one of her old fairy tales book and I soooo wanted to read one of the stories, The Little Mermaid. I could understand and speak English from an early age, around 3 yrs old, but could not read it before I got that book. I tried reading the story but could not, that is until I tried out loud (sounding it out) and I found that I could understand what came out of my mouth. So that is how I learned to read English.

I read various things suitable to my age and then received a big box of old Harlequins (pretty tame) from a cousin when I was around 12-13 yrs old. Started reading romances there and then, and never stopped, though I now prefer romantic suspense and some paranormal. And I'm still the only avid reader in the family except for one young niece.

So, where do I get that from ? No idea.
Trish Copley
13. Vol Fan
Lizzie, you made me remember more. As a young child, I remember reading the fairy tales, the Three Little Pigs, the Disney stories (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty etc) and I remember my absolute favorite was Peter Pan.
Agatha
14. thetinlady
I had a complete book of the Grimm Fairytales (Still have it... slightly battered) and various encyclopedias (pre-Google :)) Stacks of Mills & Boons and some Harlequin novels. Also Reader's Digest compilations. My mom was not much of a reader but belonged to some Afrikaans book clubs where we got romance novels monthly (Barbara Cartland style). I have been a voracious reader since I was pre-school. Went through the King and Koontz teenage phase with a good dose of Sci-Fi and now happily read paranormal romance i.e. Ward, Kenyon etc. Still love thrillers too, Robin Cook, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Conrwall, Kathy Reichs, etc being favourites...
Let's just say my personal book library at home has everything from A-Z :)
LOVE reading!
brontëgirl
15. susan59srw
Mom read mysteries, dad westerns. I had the Golden books, was getting the Scholastic books ordered in elementary school, I was reading Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden. My first romance came from the Candlelight series, onto Barbara Cartland, Grace Livingston Hill, Emily Loring, then Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss. Subscribed to Harlequin Presents, read classics, more with my literature degree. Nowadays, there is such a variety of genres. I do like paranormal, romance, suspense, fantasy, and the combinations of the different genres.
brontëgirl
16. SpiritedMuse
Honestly I can't recall that many of the books I grew up around. Aside from my dad's various religious books and the bible. My mom did read some African American contemporary stories. And over time books over slavery and always medical books. Sure I read children's books growing up. But I think it was more or less the tv shows that we would watch, that was filled with fantasy, sci-fi, etc. that had these fantastical worlds, that led me to reading such paranormal/supernatural books.

My older cousin eventually giving me some of my first romance books led me into romance. But yea, I think it was all the tv shows shaped my reading more so than what was actually being read around me. Cause honestly the stuff my parents read bored me to tears.
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