Saturday, July 28, 2012

Filipino Friday: School of Reading

School of Reading. We all started reading somewhere, and more often than not, we were influenced by someone. Who got you into reading? Your parents? A friend? A librarian? One teacher who always lends out his/her books? How helpful was your school in helping your reading habit / fueling your book addiction?

Oh dear, late post again. It's been a busy, crazy, wacko week! But as the saying goes, better late than never so here's my Filipino Friday post on people who influenced me to read and the schools I went to.

My mother taught me how to read and I remember not having a difficult time learning reading (ah, but learning English grammar is another story). I attribute this to the rich oral experience that my grandmother provided me with. My lola told stories from the folk tradition, of family stories and personal ones, especially about her experiences during World War II. And then, there's Sesame Street where my word attack skills were firmed up. By first grade, I could read. But, book awareness was nurtured at home. My mother, being a librarian brought books for me from the library where she worked then. These books opened the world for me in the safe environment at home and filled the unchartered space of my mind of possibilities, dreams and wonderment.

My first library card. I was in first grade when I received it.
My school did little to make me excited on reading. My school librarians in grade school and high school were friendly, but there were no activities to promote books and reading culture. I had friends who read then, quite a few, and we would swap books and talk about the reading experiences we had. One book favorite was Eric Segal's Love Story. We were considered book nerds at the time and, yes, it did bother me a bit.

I was in college where my reading tastes grew and expanded. Majoring in Library Science sealed my fate despite it being a second choice. When I look at what I am doing now and what I was then as a reader, I figure that I became a librarian simply because I find great enjoyment in reading and I love books.


Nortehanon said...

Napaisip tuloy ako: Who got me into reading? Well, in my case it was not a "Who" but a "What." I grew up in a remote town in Samar where children do not have access to books. What we had then were one or two textbooks which were shared among 35-40 children. Anyway, the "What" I am talking about is a typhoon. Yes, a typhoon got me into reading.

Once, a typhoon hit Samar and my parents were forced to evacuate us to my aunt's house. I was hesitant to go at first since it was my first time to get stuck in her house. But little did I know that it would begin my love affair with children's stories.

My aunt didn't have children's books but she had a collection of Philippine Journal of Education, a magazine that featured stories and poems for children which my siblings and I enjoyed a lot reading. And so while others would dread the coming of a typhoon, I would welcome it when I was young. Because that would mean getting stuck in my aunt's house again, in the company of beautiful children's stories :)

Today, through the help of fellow bloggers, I try to share the love of reading with the children in Northern Samar by distributing picture books to schools in far-flung areas. At nakatutuwang makita ang eager faces ng mga bata tuwing makahahawak ng mga aklat-pambata.

Zarah Grace C. Gagatiga said...

Nortehanon, why don't you join Filipino Friday?

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