Monday, April 25, 2011

Musing Monday... Nature or Nurture?

Ok folks, let's wander over to Should Be Reading and check out what MizB 's question for this week...

This week’s musing asks…
Do the members of your family read? Do you think it was passed down to you? ((or, if you want you can answer this: Who do you think influenced you as a reader?))

Awwww...the old nature vs. nurture question.
Well, as with some much of our personality, I think it is both.
I think we are born with certain proclivities, but the degree that they are enforced or discouraged as a child helps determine how we fell about these things as we grow up. I think that positive or negative can come from a lot of places..peers, teachers, even the media and such, but the greatest source is our parents and immediate family.

As I have discussed before, my mother was a reader, my father not so much. My father read the newspaper and that is about all I remember him reading. My mother read newspapers and magazines and books...lots of books. We have discussed my trips to the library with her and no doubt that help form my idea of the place reading and books should have in my life but so was the fact that she would take any bit of free time to open a book. Oh, I think she would have loved these new fangled e-books, or at least the chance to always have a book on hand.

My mother came from a family of readers. I don't remember my grandfather being a reader.. but according to my mom he was. I can remember my grandmother Aunt Mary, my Uncle Ed (oh, he liked non-fiction too, especially books about WWII) and my Aunt Grace is still reading right along. In fact, into her eighth decade and she has a Kindle.
My brother is a reader, although as I am sure he would agree, our tastes in book could not be more different. See there is that nature part! He has always liked to read non-fiction, history and such, huge, boring tomes. Oh, I think I have given my prejudice away...but I have always been about the fiction, with a distinct leaning towards death and mayhem. Happily my sister in law is also a big reader..and she and I have very similar tastes in books...makes for great sharing opportunities! And the niece, off to a slower start in showing her book reading love, seems to be coming along. ;-)
We can only hope!!
Because I am a firm believer that a love of reading is something that will provide a lifetime of pleasure, entertainment and enjoyment.

I can't say that I remember any other thing effected my love of reading. Sure, we had to read for school, especially as I got into high school. But by then my love of reading was already set. We had summer reading lists..the difference was I loved them and looked forward to seeing what they contain, where as many of my peers were not feeling the love. I wonder if my high school, if it is too lae, for many people at least, to have that love of reading instilled. No, I think not school, or any teacher, and certainly not the general culture were responsible for my attitude toward books. That was learned, as they say, at my mother's knee.


  1. I was influenced by school, that is where I learned to read and loved reading every since. Except for a short period in high school.

  2. My mother taught me to read when I was 4. I've never stopped since. She was very proactive in taking us to the library, but she was not a reader herself, nor was my dad. So, I'm the only reader in the family. I tried to encourage it in my daughter and she does read some, but she's not passionate about it like I am. That's why I've loved talking with people on the internet - discovering individuals who are as crazy as I am about books. :-)

  3. Oh, I do remember those summer reading lists and was the kid who looked foward to them and would be at the library the first day of summer vacation to get my books.

  4. I loved doing the summer reading program at the library - my one brother and I would always have a contest to see who could read the most books!

    My answer can be found here.

  5. I come from a family of readers. I think my sister and I developed a love for reading because we weren't allowed to watch much TV, we were put to work if we couldn't entertain ourselves and there were always plenty of books available for us to read.

  6. Hm, my mom used to read a lot of fantasy, but that's about it. My parental house doesn't have a lot of books lying around (and most of them are mine)... I started reading because I liked to escape into a more exciting place. So in my case, definitely nature.

  7. I don't remember having summer reading lists, but I have great memories of going to the library to do book reports and stuff for school!

    Thanks for the visit and comment!

  8. I do think you are nurtured to be a reader but what you like to read is in your nature!


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