Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Personal Reflection on Reading as I Turn Another Year Older

In just a few days I'll be turning 32.  I know, what?! That number sounds crazy.  I feel like the past decade went by in a blur.  With my birthday approaching, it's caused me to reflect on a few things.  And since this blog is about reading, I decided to share some of those reflections about books & reading & storytelling & whatever else I can make the connection to, here.

Little Ginger didn't care too much about reading books.  Sure, we had books in our home.  And I can remember flipping through the pages of stories that were given to me (or passed down to me - since I am the youngest of four girls).  But I never had that passion, as I do now, to want to open a book and lose myself within the story.  I think I was more about coming up with the stories when I was young.

I do remember playing make believe with random objects I found lying around.  Yes, there were stories about hair brushes and water bottles.  My imagination went crazy apparently when my mom would braid my hair.  I also remember building little villages in the dirt, creating a world among rocks and twigs.

As I grew older, my want to create stories didn't go away, they just became a bit quieter.  I can remember as pre-teen Ginger listening to music and imagining a story to go along with the lyrics.  It's weird because now, as an adult, I look to music for a lot of inspiration when it comes to writing.  I guess that part of my imagination never left me.  Books began to filter into my life as a teenager, and I found myself enjoying a few reads in school, but visits to the library or bookstore were still not part of my routine though.  It just didn't click with me, yet.

Fast forward several years and mid 20s Ginger discovered a book about shiny vampires that completely changed my mind about reading.  I'm not ashamed to admit that it was Twilight that reintroduced books into my life.  It opened up a side of my imagination that had been dormant for many years.  I was struggling with a lot of personal things, one being the loss of my mom.  I was lost and confused as to what I wanted to do with my life.  Rediscovering books was like a wake up call.  It opened my mind, and my heart, to a passion that has now become such a huge part of my life. 

Opening a book, reading a story, changed my path.

A more mature Ginger is now well into a teaching degree, with just a few semesters left until I have my own classroom.  I am anxious, nervous, excited, overwhelmed, and so very much looking forward to teaching.  I am expecting it to be a huge challenge in my life, but I am welcoming it with open arms.  The idea to go into teaching was born because I simply love to read.  I thought, what if I could get a child to read and love a book, too?  Imagine what that can do for them... what paths await in their future.  If I can inspire one child to pick up a book, then I consider that a success.

So that's the last 32 years of my life, when it comes to reading & books.  I can only imagine what lies ahead... what stories I'll dream up next, and which paths will unearth themselves to me, simply because I've found a love in reading.


  1. Congrats on the birthday and the forthcoming teaching degree! This is also my delurker comment - I've been following your blog for a few months at the recommendation of another blogger, and now I can't remember who it is. BUT I had to comment on this post because I, too, am turning 32 in just a few days (the 15th), though I wouldn't be quite as forthcoming as you about my age. ;)

    I haven't always been a reader but I'm so glad that I rediscovered my love for reading after receiving my graduate degree several years ago.

    Anyway, before I ramble on any longer, I plan on commenting more from now on. :)

  2. Awww, Ginger, this was so sweet. I wasn't a huge reader as a child, either. I mean, I did read, and I liked to read, and I never thought to myself that I didn't like reading. I just didn't read all the time.

    Thanks for sharing your reading story. It's kind of amazing how reading and stories can change our lives.

  3. Your story is so much like mine! I wasn't a huge reader until my mid-twenties. I *read* but it wasn't very often and I was quite all over the place while reading. Now I feel like I finally know what I'll like and what I won't like -- and it's great to devour SO MANY BOOKS! I will be sure to try and instill a love of reading into my child ... I want them to read more than I did when I was younger.

    Great post!

  4. Awww I loved this!! I love following your journey with reading (especially the adorable pics) and am so glad you became an avid reader. How else would we have met?! xoxo

  5. Congratulations on almost being finished with your teaching degree! I finished mine in December (it was for library media), and it is a long journey but definitely worth it! Sounds like you will be a great teacher! Also, Happy birthday :)

  6. I love to read about your journey with reading. So great. I remember when I finished college. Proudest moment of my life. Happy Birthday!

  7. Better late than never, right?

    Loved reading about your journey with books. It's amazing how something that might not have been so important becomes this HUGE thing for you. And changes you in different ways.

    I also have some pictures of me in dance recital costumes. So pretty.

    Hope you are still feeling all kinds of special from your birthday celebrations, and that this year is filled with a ton of awesome book experiences and lots of happiness! xo

  8. I love that Twilight rekindled or awakened your love of reading -- don't be ashamed! Everyone's got one....for me it was Sweet Valley High, which isn't any higher quality ;)

    I loved your description of why you went into teaching -- it's the same reason that I'm working towards by library technician's diploma. I can't wait to inspire children to dive into the world of reading :)

  9. Yay for almost being finished with your teaching degree!! What age do you want to teach? I always forget which blogs I've posted this on, so if you're seeing this again, I apologize, but Twilight was sooooo my gateway book!! haha I pretty much have a similar reading story to yours. It wasn't until my mid 20s, just after I completed my master's program that I started really enjoying reading again! And now I just can't seem to find the time to read ALL the books!!

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post! :) And again, Happy year 32! Such a blessing!


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