Flashback Friday: What Made Me An Avid Reader

Growing up, I loved it when my mom would read me books. Two of my favorites were The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Corduroy by Don Freeman. When I entered the first grade, teachers started to teach us how to read. I can still picture the text books we were taught from. Throughout elementary school, I preferred picture books to chapter books because I thought they were so much more interesting, and they had pictures to boot!

My teachers and my mom kept trying to get me interested in chapter books, but the books the teachers recommended were absolutely boring to me. My mom introduced me to the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book series by Betty MacDonald. I liked them a lot more than what my teachers had recommended, but they still didn't pique my interest in actually picking up a chapter book on my own.

During summer vacation between fifth grade and sixth grade, my mom was taking me over to my paternal grandparent's house to visit, and one of their neighbors was having a garage sale. They had the entire series (at that time) of Sweet Valley Twins created by Francine Pascal. When I showed interest in the books, my mom encouraged me to pick out a couple of the books as she had heard that they were popular with kids.

To this day, I still remember which two books I chose in the series . . . Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins #1) and Keeping Secrets (Sweet Valley Twins #12). At that point, I didn't even want to go to my grandparent's house anymore; I wanted to read the first book right away because I was so excited about it. 

When I finally was able to read Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins #1), I read through it pretty quickly. I couldn't wait to read my other book in the series, but I wanted to read all the ones in between first. I bugged my mom for two weeks to take me to the bookstore to get books two through eleven. She only allowed me to get a few to begin with and would get me more once I finished the ones she had just bought me. I think she regretted not buying more of the books at the garage sale, but she didn't want to waste money if I ended up not liking them, and I don't blame her for that. From there I also began to read The Baby-Sitter's Club book series by Ann M. Martin, which I loved as well.

Ever since then, I have been an avid reader. My biggest regret though is selling all of my Sweet Valley Twin and The Baby-Sitter's Club books I owned in a garage sale when I was in college. In the past eight years or so, I have been slowly buying the books in both series at library book sales, used book stores (in person and online), and thrift stores as I want to relive my childhood by rereading them. I also want them if I ever have children.

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