This week's Booking Through Thursday prompt has two interrelated parts and proves to be quite eye-opening about the Moffatt clan:
Do you have siblings?
A1: Yes. I have an older sister and a younger brother. As the middle kid, I am also known as the "three-year buffer".
Do they like to read?
A2: Not particularly, no.
Without a doubt, I am the reader of the bunch. I mean, I have a book blog documenting my obsession with all things literary, so that's got to count for something. But, this is a puzzle I've reflected on numerous times before—how is it that three people who came of age with the same bookish parents developed such different approaches to books? We all went to the same summer reading programs at the library and we all had the same amount of reading time with the 'rents. So, how did the difference come about?
To be fair, my sister does read on occasion (when she has time and all, since she does have an eleven-month-old child) but I wouldn't say she reads for pleasure. She's practical when it comes to books, and she gravitates toward non-fiction titles for their advice-based information. For example, she's a fan of Gail Vaz-Oxlade's straight-forward financial advice, and she's picked up some books and magazines about parenting in general and raising boys in particular. Her books relate to real-life concerns, and she reads to expand her information on a certain topic. (EDIT: 05/03/12, 1:05 PM—I was reminded by my sister that she also reads picture books to her son, which most definitely counts as additional reading. Apologies!)
My brother, on the other hand, does not read books. I like to pester him sometimes and ask him the title of the last book he read, and I'm fairly certain it was A) school-related, and B) dealing with music theory. When I argue that he does, in fact, read since he texts friends and wanders the Internet as I do, he jokes that he doesn't even read the messages he writes—he just types 'em out and is done with them. Har har, little brother.
As I said before, the three of us attended summer reading programs at our local library when we were kids, and I always think back on those times with a great fondness. Granted, I don't know if it relates to the reading, or if it relates to the frog stamps we got when we recorded our book lists for the week… Either way, I loved the reading recognition, which also explains the whole Across the Litoverse thing.
Also, our parents played a major role when it came to book exposure. My Mom rivals me when it comes to library patronage—she's balanced when it comes to non-fiction and fiction titles, though she has soft spot for British mysteries. My Dad loves reading as well and has a clear penchant for Canadian history and Canadian literature (especially if it's set in Montreal around the 1960s-1970s). Our house was always filled with books, and the library was a central hangout for us as young'uns—so where did the split happen?
I wonder sometimes if the difference stems from negative classroom experiences, and if my siblings had teachers who discouraged or otherwise crushed an initial interest in books. I was fortunate on that front when grade three rolled around and an influential teacher opened my eyes to writing and reading in general. Of course, I could have already been predisposed to books and stories and all that amazing stuff, and that teacher's nudge pushed me over the brink. Ah, I could speculate—or I could just harass my siblings a little more, hmm?
How about you? If you've got siblings, are your reading tastes in line with theirs, or are there noticeable differences in your approach to books?