I’ve been thinking a lot about my journey with reading lately. At my job I have been hearing a lot about how kids learn to read and the various test results that correspond with state requirements. I really have no memory of learning to read. I think I was reading when I started preschool, but I don’t remember specifically. I have a distinct memory of reading the Little House on the Prairie series because in first grade a friend of mine and I were having a competition on who could read through them the fastest.
I also have strong memories of getting bad grades in reading in second grade. This wasn’t because I had “fallen behind” but because I was so far ahead. I believe we were required to read something like five books per week for class. Well, at that point I was reading through the Nancy Drew series. My classmates weren’t quite reading chapter books yet, but my teacher wouldn’t allow me to count the books I was reading as more than one, but I wasn’t yet fast enough to read five in one week. Stubborn kid that I was, I refused to just read through the smaller books for the grade. Oh well! It was also around this time that I saw a commercial on speed reading. The infomercial went into some detail on it and said that the essence of speed reading was beginning to see groups of words and whole sentences instead of reading word by word. It was years and years before I started doing it, but I did start practicing then with books I had already read.
Now I read maybe three or four books a week. Sometimes seven. When I didn’t have cable at all I was reading closer to seven on average. I am recently obsessed with non-fiction books, but fiction is still my favorite.