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The whole family and friends,I guess DomA Send a noteboard - 16/11/2011 12:30:26 AM
Just a thought on my mind, as I've been in a reflective mood these past few days.

For me, it was my maternal grandmother. She got me to love fiction of all sorts, including science fiction and fantasy. I've been thinking of her a lot the past three days after her death Saturday and her getting me to want to read (well, she and my mother did) has shaped me as a reader and as a person greatly. Just curious to read who else has been an influence on you as readers.

I grew up pretty much among big readers, in a family where my two parents were teachers, as well as several aunts, one uncle and one grandma (and her mother before her had been too before marrying, I never knew her though). And well, my brother and his wife now are too. A lot of friends of my parents were in the same field.

We got read to a lot while very young (my retired mom loves it so much she reads to groups of 2 to 5 y.o. at the community library).

My mom was also part of a kind of reading circle (not exactly like a book club) when we were young.

No one was ever pushy with us about reading (my brother didn't start loving to read before he was 16 or so), but we were certainly encouraged to read (especially when my parents themselves read, so we kept quiet too, and especially me since I demonstrated interest very early), and with a lot of freedom to follow our tastes, and were very lucky to have from a young age wide access to books (My dad had a classical education, so he had tons of books from schools, like the French classics, then we could get easily any book from the library of the primary school my mom taught at, or the three my dad was principal of, and mom's best friend/our neighbour was a specialist of kid literature who helped design reading programs and we got plenty of books (and stories) from her too. It's also the one item my parents didn't really consider as a gift and normally didn't refuse to buy what we asked for, when their budget allowed. So pretty much all the adults close to me read, and most of my friends as a kid did too.

My more mature reading habits/tastes were shaped a lot by three teachers when I was around 16-17. Two were French teachers, one with a passion for old French texts. He read us the whole of Tristan et Iseult (in modern French, with a few pages from the original at the end of the activity) by slices of two hours on fridays (and had the talent to make it fun). The other French teacher was the most influential, both for directing me to classics and guiding me in modern literature. He introduces me to tons of writers (I still remember most vividly the course he gave after reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and that's over 25 years ago). From Paul, who aside from being a huge fan of the likes of Kundera, Camus, Zola, Stendhal, the Russian writers wasn't afraid to admit he found people like John Irving, Stephen King or Alexandre Dumas great and enjoyable storytellers too and that whatever gives you a good time is worth reading and let no one tell you different, I got my attitude of being totally unashamed of my reading tastes (and my general dislike of literary snobism, especially the kind of snobs who feel the need to boost their ego by boasting of their intellectual tastes so much more elevated than anyone else's and who constantly have tons of rude, mocking "advice" for everyone who didn't ask on what they ought not to read). His wife was one of my English teachers, and the one who motivated me to read in English.

Another big influence is my best friend since we're twelve. Our core reading tastes are different (with a few common favourite writers) - especially in the books we buy. As we're both enthusiasts by nature, we ended up reading a great deal of each other's favourite books (a lot of classics I've read after 18 were hers, a lot of modern literature, incl. most of the books she reads in English, she borrows from me).

I could name a few others who expanded my tastes later, especially during my college years, or that friend of my parents who's an authority of a sort on Kurosawa and who introduced me to several japanese (and the occasional Korean) writers (though the seed of my interest in Japanese culture was, and totally unashamedly, James Clavell whom I read with much passion at 12 after dad reluctantly OKed it)
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Who helped instill a love of reading in you? - 15/11/2011 05:33:16 AM 1000 Views
Basically my entire family. - 15/11/2011 09:59:02 AM 832 Views
Both Parents - 15/11/2011 03:02:03 PM 879 Views
I honestly don't know - 15/11/2011 03:35:46 PM 876 Views
My father and brother - 15/11/2011 04:57:24 PM 876 Views
Both parents, but mostly my mother. - 15/11/2011 06:51:38 PM 746 Views
My mother and teachers, I guess. - 15/11/2011 10:03:22 PM 824 Views
My parents, my mom mostly - 15/11/2011 11:01:23 PM 770 Views
My dad - 16/11/2011 12:10:47 AM 942 Views
The whole family and friends,I guess - 16/11/2011 12:30:26 AM 870 Views
No one... But, if pushed, I would nominate my mom. - 16/11/2011 06:39:25 AM 932 Views
Definitely my mom - 16/11/2011 05:50:56 PM 760 Views
My Dad - 16/11/2011 07:34:30 PM 815 Views
Jules Verne. - 16/11/2011 09:32:59 PM 749 Views
Yes. And Jack London. *NM* - 12/12/2011 02:31:21 PM 357 Views
I.... am not sure. I guess I would figure my parents. - 17/11/2011 04:44:30 PM 864 Views
Penthouse Letters - 18/11/2011 07:29:07 PM 864 Views
My dad. - 01/12/2011 11:15:18 PM 731 Views
My mother. - 08/12/2011 07:59:17 AM 813 Views
I loved the idea of reading even before I could read. - 12/12/2011 02:31:02 PM 711 Views
Re: Bookshelves, I think. - 29/12/2011 02:02:05 AM 782 Views

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