A Reader’s Journey

Today was the first time Klara was called weird for her love of reading. They had a year-long reading competition at school, which Klara obviously won, taking home every possible prize, including a bunch of gift cards. Of course, another kid expressed displeasure and told her she was weird. Thus begins a long journey towards acceptance on the part of a voracious reader.

Of course, what really matters is self-acceptance. I struggled for years with accepting myself as a reader because my mother hated my reading and taught me to be ashamed of it. Klara won’t have that burden.


11 thoughts on “A Reader’s Journey

  1. Not only did my father constantly shame me for reading, he also forbade me from buying books (even with my own pocket money): in my childhood, my books were either library borrowings or presents – all who knew me, whether family or friends, knew that I loved books and wanted no other presents.
    As a result, today I can no longer set foot into a public library: I need to have my own copy of a book I’m reading or I won’t read it, and have built up a personal library of over 25,000 volumes. Parents should be very careful when they traumatise children: the scars are long-lasting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My story is identical! We only ever bought books whose spine matched the color scheme of the wallpaper. And the number was very limited because “books take up too much space and collect dust.” As a result, I buy books maniacally.

      We truly have a lot in common.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Holy moly, that’s awful!

      My parents had many shortcomings. But they valued reading and intelligence (to a perhaps pathological degree) above most other things. We had an extensive home library. Of course, we couldn’t invite anybody over because they also never cleaned, and had this weird passive-aggressive relationship where neither of them could clean up after themselves unless the other one did– permanent stalemate. Our kitchen floor was sticky and there were often maggots in the sink.

      But hey, we had books! (yes, a bit of sarcasm in that)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “My parents had many shortcomings. But they valued reading and intelligence”

        Very similar to mine…. they weren’t quite as dysfunctional at cleaning… they both tried at times but neither was very good at it (hilarious understatement) and we sometimes had cleaning ladies (when finances allowed…. not often) or a live in relative (which brought its own problems ). A big problem was that none of us (parents or children) would dream keeping the dogs outside and they were running in and out all day and add two little boys who were very good at making terrible messes that sometimes left permanent traces… and we didn’t have people over very often either (unless they knew already what they would be getting into….).
        But books…. plenty and plenty of books of all kinds and formats and no real restrictions about what the kids might encounter…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah, a bit familiar that. We had a whole series of cats, and one energetic dog, who all went in and out at will. Fortunately wire-haired dogs don’t shed a whole lot. Add in four kids, a house that didn’t quite manage 1k square feet, bookshelves on every available wall and every horizontal surface piled with books, papers, and other clutter. Always shoving things around on the table to find a place to eat. Finding the scissors could easily turn into an hours-long quest.


  2. I was very lucky in this regard. My mother was a reader, though she only read things like mysteries and romance novels and she never read anything twice no matter how much she liked it. (BTW, nothing against mysteries and romance novels, but there is value in reading widely.) I doubt my father has ever read a novel. I know he wasn’t a particularly good student in school and as an adult he only ever read the newspaper and books and magazines related to his hobbies.

    But my parents established a rule when I was young that I could only get new toys for my birthday and at Christmas, but they would buy me books any time of the year. So I was always looking for books when I was a kid and became an enthusiastic reader. I was also lucky to have a doting grandfather who took me to the public library almost every week for years. He wasn’t a reader himself, but he was very invested in making his grandchildren happy.


  3. I was very lucky in that my mom was a big reader and so had no problem with me being such. Clarissa, why did your mother hate your reading?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, yes will try to be around more. Your mother’s view reminds me of the “Sex and the City” episode where Miranda’s housekeeper, a Russian woman named Magda, finds her pleasure toy, so replaces it with a statue of the virgin Mary. When confronted by Miranda, Magda says it is bad because, “No man will want you, it means you don’t need him.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.