Were You Raised A Reader?

As a child, there was no scent as intoxicating as that of old and well-loved books at the Comox library. There were were a few favourites that I would read over and over again – such as The Balloon Tree by Phoebe Gilman – but there was never a book I’d turn away. For as long as I can remember, my mom instilled in me a love of reading, an appreciation that I’ll forever be grateful for.

Book crisis

Photo: justmakeit on Flickr

Even 20 years later, no electronic reading device can replace the sensation of a perfectly worn book in my hands. While I’ve certainly graduated from Gilman to the likes of Hemingway and Burgess, my love of reading is much the same.

Each September, Raise-A-Reader Day campaigns to promote literacy in British Columbia while raising funds to ensure that every child in our province has a strong start. The first year I lived in Vancouver, I was practically accosted by Premier Campbell and left flustered and embarrassed because I had no cash on me to donate. Since then, I’ve proudly supported this fundamental cause (and made sure I always carry cash on Raise-A-Reader Day).

To help celebrate this annual event, you tell me:

What were your favourite books as a child?

What are your favourite books today?

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5 Comments on “Were You Raised A Reader?

  1. My favorite books as a child were the Laura Ingalls Wilder collection and Nancy Drew series. Now I have an abundance of authors that I like which include Wilbur Smith, Ken Follett, Michael Connelly and the list goes on…

  2. Pretty much everything by Gordon Korman, the Booky series, the Great Brain series, nearly everything by Judy Blume, I Am David, Tom Sawyer, The Swiss Family Robinson, far too many to list.

    Now I read whatever is in front of me. Lots of $0.50 books from the street vendors in NYC. Anything that a friend suggests (unless everything they’ve previously suggested wasn’t my thing).

    Try asking a big group of co-workers over lunch, if you guys do that kind of thing, if they read for “fun”. I did it once and was shocked to find out that most of them hadn’t read more than 5 or 6 books since college.

  3. I’m probably not in the league of others when it comes to reading but I do like a good Fantasy novel. I wasn’t really brought up reading, but do enjoy reading here and there when I can fit in in.

    I still read some of the books for younger people and do enjoy reading The Wizard of Eathsea over and over (yes their 2 books after too).

    I do enjoy the Harry Potter novels (don’t hate me). My favourite series so far is by Terry Goodkind, ‘The Sword of Truth’.

    Then again I also enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. The Historian was pretty cool. I even read Memoirs of a Geisha too.

    Though I won’t be going into a library any more, but that’s another story.

  4. As a child: L,M. Montgomery’s books (I’ve read all of them except “The Blythes are Quoted,”) A Wrinkle in Time (and a good deal of Madeline L’Engle’s other books), all the Little House on the Prairie books, Little Women (and its lesser known sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys), Bridge to Terabithia, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, Julie of the Wolves, Jacob Have I Loved , and way too many Enid Blyton novels about british boarding school children,

    As an adult: I wish I read as voraciously as I did when I was a kid. Chores, a job and real life intrude on precious reading time. Some of my favourites are The Bell Jar, The Kite Runner, For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Poisonwood Bible, I’m currently reading The Name of The Rose, which is great.

  5. excuse me? have we spoken about ‘the balloon tree’ before?

    i have a signed copy.

    just saying…


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