According to the CIA, 86.1% of the world’s population are literate. 89.9% of that statistic are male, while 82.2% are women. Just in Australia, 96% of the country’s population are among the literate community with 96% of the statistic sitting in both men and women. Just goes to show that there a lot of people who can read books out there.
But what makes us readers? Where did this want/need/love for reading come from?
To find the truth at the bottom of this question, I have asked a couple of fellow bloggers to help me.
How often do you read?
Readers read a lot. They can read between one book and multiple per week and can experience so many different worlds in each of them.
Did your parents read to you when you were younger?
Brett: Yes! Both my parents started reading to me when I was toddler, and my mother read me novels – Harry Potter, mostly – for quite a long time.
Meleika: I had books when I was younger, I don’t really remember but I kinda had to self teach myself. English was my 2nd language and I needed speech therapy in primary. So I kinda read to myself when I was young really
Jeann: Not my parents but my sister did, starting from picture books when I was a toddler.
Kelly: Yes, my mother especially. We would take a trip down to the library every week from only a few months old. She said that by the age of two, that I could recite the words back to her even before I could read.
Why do you read?
Brett: I read because I’m a writer – keeping up-to-date with the other novels in my genre is important, so I can see how the genre and novels are changing in the context of the modern readership. I also read for enjoyment – because I enjoy getting swept up in the joy of discovering a new world, of riding the highs and lows with characters, and participating in the amazing online communities that surround books.
Meleika: It’s a hobbie, someway to escape reality and real world responsibilities.
Jeann: I love reading for escapism and to discover new lives, experiences and thoughts that can only exist outside of our realities.
Kelly: Escapism. Life is tough and at the end of a long, tiring day, I like to relax by exploring new worlds through fiction.
How did you get into reading?
Brett: My parents read to me when I was younger, and then I started reading my own novels too – Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series, the Ranger’s Apprentice series, plus Harry Potter and dozens more that I read from a local library. Reading was initially something between me and my parents, and then it became something for me – my own personal exploration of new worlds, and ingrained in me the love for all things written at a young age. During my middle teenage years, I didn’t read – almost six years. I regret that now, because I missed out on a lot of amazing novels. In late 2014, I started again, and can’t believe I ever stopped – now I’m addicted to reading again, and couldn’t live without my books!
Meleika: It was challenge and I wanted to get better at it for my english then it just developed into one of the best things to do. I love reading.
Jeann: I’ve read ever since I was young. My parents used to take me to the library so I could pick up the latest Goosebumps or Babysitters club.
Kelly: I used to read as a child, but once I reached my teen years I stopped. More than likely in favour of chasing boys and well, chasing boys. It took the Twilight series in my early thirties to bring me back to reading, but since then I’m reading well over a hundred books per year and have moved onto far better reads. I’m so thankful to have rediscovered my love of books again. I don’t know what I ever did without them.
So for the most part, it’s an interest that has stuck with us since we were younger, whether we had to teach ourselves or whether somebody else took the time to help us learn. There is not one way which is exactly the same that has led us readers and writers to become the people we are. Some people learnt a different way, some people learnt through different books, even if two people had learnt through parents, they were being taught by various different methods which each person had. But it has led us to the same conclusion, or a more-or-less the same conclusion: readers who fight the battles and the dragons along with our favourite fictional characters.
How did you get into reading? Answer the questions above yourself in the comments and discuss!