I had a rough start in my reading advancement. I was a year younger than most of my class-mates and, to make matters worse, learned to read by the “sight” method. I have early memories of my mother placing sight cards on things around the house and asking me to read them. My dad, an avid reader, was determined to pass on his love of reading to me and devised his own scheme to help me learn to read.
When I was in the first grade, Dad took me down to the corner drugstore in Falls Church, VA and bought me my first book, The Bobbsey Twins. I can still visualize the plastic, card-boardy cover of that book. My father made a promise to me that day. He promised that if I would read that book, he would buy me any book I wanted any time I wanted it from that day forward. This tradition between the two of us continued well into my adulthood.
Well, I read that first book and soon found myself immersed in the whole Bobbsey Twins series. The Bobbsey Twins were followed by Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Cherry Aims and Encyclopedia Brown. By the time I was in the third grade, I was an avid bookworm. Visits to the library were among my many fond book memories. Another fond memory was to start at the bottom of the stairs in our house and read ten pages for each stair making my way to the very top. When I count my stairs today that is the equivalent to 150 pages! In one of our homes, I had a window seat in my bedroom and I have happy memories laying there immersed in a book.
My father helped foster a love of reading with his grandchildren by using the same technique that he used with me. I hope to continue his tradition with my own grandchildren someday.