Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February Firsts: Jennine G - Two Firsts in a Life of Reading Extremes






Today, please welcome Jennine G of My Life in Books!  


Two Firsts in a Life of Reading Extremes

When one has a hobby, one will sometimes go to extremes to participate in it. The funny thing is, said person doesn't always realize she is going to extremes. Take third grade, nine-year-old me. All she knows is that she would rather be reading than anything else. Conveniently, grandma babysits, so a "stomach ache" is easily feigned and a day of school becomes a day of reading. 

Literature of choice is none other than Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary. The Curious George of dogs, Ribsy gets himself into all kinds of scrapes. And nine-year-old me loves dogs...and Beverly Cleary. Plus, not being an adventurous kid, Ribsy provides a little vicarious fun.


Lying behind the La-Z-Boy rocking recliner all day, forming a right angle on my back with legs up along the wall and book hovering over my face, grandma had to know I wasn't all that sick. But I'd have to say that day was one of grandma's wisest, whether she knew it or not. At age 35 I still look back on that day as one...no two...of my "reading firsts." It was the first time I broke a rule so I could read...and playing hooky from school no less, my future being that of a teacher! The second first, I read the entire 200+ pages of Ribsy's slightly larger font that day. My first time reading a book in its entirety in one day, but certainly not my last.

I didn't realize at the time how strange it may seem to others that a young child would be so taken with reading. And I didn't realize at the time how that hobby would become a routine in my life. In sixth grade I made a reading themed sweatshirt for a competition. In eighth grade I was incensed that our school didn't allow us to attend the local college's reading festival because they considered the books questionable. In tenth grade I realized (and wondered how) I knew more about classics than my English teacher. Senior year my government teacher always came by my desk "to see what [I was] reading now." And then two degrees in English to top it off. At this point, I don't consider reading a hobby, something I do in my spare time. It is a staple for which I purposely carve out time. Reading has helped me connect to others and the world, taught me history, given me imagination, and formed my career. Reading has literally formed my life, so forgive me if it seems a little extreme.


Thanks, Jennine!

Leave a comment for Jennine below!

12 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for having me here today!

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  2. I never read Beverly Cleary until I was an adult!

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  3. I never managed to be fake sick to a degree that they would let me stay at home, but since I got for real sick often enough to get a lot of reading time. Thanks for the post Jennine!

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    1. That's too bad you were really sick, but might as well use it for good! I only got away with it because it was my grandma...my mom would've never fell for it. And now that she's grandma, she's already picked my kids up at school when they were fine. Lol, guess I'll understand when I'm grandma.

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  4. Oh I love this! Great post Jennine! I never knew reading like that was considered extreme! What a nice memory to have of your grandmother too!

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    1. My mom says she always thought she was a reader until she had me. For a long time I was a one and only reader/book lover in my family, including extended family. And I'm definitely the only fanatic ;)

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  5. Awesome!!!! I loved reading this! My only question ... have you ever played hooky as a teacher to spend the day reading?!? :)

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