Earliest Memory of Literacy

My earliest memory of literacy is probably my earliest memory in general. When I was around 3 or 4 years old, my dad and I read through the entire Chronicles of Narnia, reading a chapter or so every night. This is one of my fondest memories, and despite the disappointing movies I still love the Chronicles of Narnia to the this day because it was the first long, non-picture-book, story someone shared with me. I particularly enjoyed the story “The Magician’s Nephew”, and recall asking to hear that one several times before allowing my dad to move onto the next story.

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I learned to read using the promise of being able to read along with my dad during the next series we read, which was Little House on the Prairie, as my solitary motivation. We finished that series as I got older, and began tearing through Roald Dahl’s entire collection (I particularly enjoyed The BFG). Next The Phantom Tollbooth, then The Hobbit, and on and on with increasing levels of difficulty. Reading at night was my favorite part of my day. As far as learning to write, I remember sitting at my kitchen table, writing words over and over on the specially lined elementary paper my mom printed from the internet. I also vaguely remember being instructed in school, and disliking the handwriting portion moreso than anything. Needless to say though, I much preferred reading. This set a very positive tone for reading, which perhaps dwindled with the soul-crushingly boring reading assignments throughout my school years, but never completely fizzled out. I still very much enjoy reading in my free time. I vaguely recall joining some sort of reading team in third or fourth grade, which eventually competed and solidly lost, but the steady encouragement from that definitely helped to keep the last few scraps of my love of reading alive. I learned to find a love for fiction and recreational writing eventually, but as most people I think I have yet to discover that love for exclusively academic writing.

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