How being an early reader made me the book loving person I am today

How being an early reader made me the book-loving person I am today

I don’t recall every aspect and detail of my childhood. For a person and reader that knows a lot of random facts (and very often justifies herself by saying they’re popular culture when someone else asks how and why the hell I know so much stuff), I don’t remember most of my childhood and early years.

I do remember some facts. Like I never really liked candy because I’ve always had a preference for spicy and salty food. Or that I’ve always been an introvert and a very calm and quiet child… Except when my sister was born and I went full on mom-how-could-you-do-this-to-me-your-one-and-only!? But that’s a story for another day. Don’t worry, I love my sister nowadays.

What I do remember very clearly is when I learned to read. Unlike many people, I didn’t start learning to read until I was in first grade of elementary school. My reading tutor was my grandmother, a retired teacher that never missed an opportunity to buy a new book. She was like a second mother to me and my sister, and practically raised us since my mom worked all day back then.

Because of this, one of the fondest memories I recall from my childhood is sitting next to my grandma, while she patiently taught me my first syllables: Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. This, along the famous «Mi mamá me mima» that every Mexican kid learnt at school or home, were my first steps into the reading world. While I don’t remember the whole learning process, this memory is particularly clear to me.

From that moment on, I started to practice by reading everything that caught my eye: pamphlets, street signs, care instructions on clothing, comics, magazines, dictionaries. Everything. I was fascinated with this reading thing. It amazed me how letters could deliver all types and kinds of messages. Therefore, when I finally entered elementary school I already knew to read. When my classmates where learning the syllables I was busy reading comic books.

Fast forward a few years and I’m a proper reader. I switched from children’s books to novels and more mature books. When I was eleven, I discovered Edgar Allan Poe and became a mystery and suspense fanatic. Then ‘Harry Potter’ came along and confirmed my love for fiction. To this day, I tell everyone I know that the ‘Harry Potter’ books, which I read as soon as they came out and afterwards impatiently waited for the next one, where the ones that turned me into a compulsive reader.

Years and decades have passed, and I’ve read so many books. Books that made me laugh when I really needed it, and books that make me cry my heart out. I’ve been lucky to constantly read books that made me fall in love with reading over and over again. But deep in my heart I know, that this passion for reading started way back. When I was just a little girl, sitting next to a very loving grandma that saw a future passionate reader in her shy granddaughter.

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