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[personal profile] menteuse
Happy Birthday [ profile] beyondtheworld! I hope you have a fantastic day and a great party and lots of presents and overall fabulous time. ♥
This entry is going to be something not that many people probably end up commenting on, but it's something I've wanted to write for a while because I do find this subject interesting. Yes, this is going to be a post about reading and it is a very long one, but I still hope someone clicks the cut and takes the time to leave their thoughts. I do hope to get some discussion.

So, why am I writing this? Sometime last week I was going through someone's Tumblr I was linked to and ended up seeing what I assume to be a Harry Potter secret. The OP was saying that they didn't believe someone at the age of 6 could have read the books and the people reblogging and commenting were saying they were reading at the age of 2 (none of them said they were reading Harry Potter though, so I assume they were referring to other books) and there were comments with things like if the OP came from a place where you could get better education they would believe a six-year-old could read those books. Now, this is why I got interested and started thinking about how I and a lot of people around my age in Finland have learnt to read.

(Sidenote: When I talk about reading I am here referring to reading books, not magazines or newspapers or fics.)

I learnt to read when I went to first grade, at the age of seven. My parents (my Mum mostly) read to me a lot when I was kid, though funnily enough my most vivid memories of someone reading to me are from the days I was in daycare and the lady taking care of me read Grimm stories. But yes, I didn't learn to read until at school, my parents flat out refused to teach me since my Brother had learnt to read before he went to school and was awfully bored on the classes when everyone else was practicing and my parents didn't want that to happen to me too. Which resulted in long evenings spent with my Alphabet book and me proclaiming "I will never learn to read". Oh how wrong I was.

After I eventually did learn, I went through all the children's books and a very vast majority of the YA books in my local library and even in the neighboring one when I got a bit older. I have read so much since. I've kept a list of all the books (sans some school related textbooks) since 2003 until this day and can check back and wonder how on earth I read some of the books I did when I was 13, 14 and realize I didn't really understand them at all. My Mum still reads quite a lot these days, as does one of my Godmothers. My Dad does read, but he has those specific niches he's interested in. My Brother however, doesn't really read at all. Just last weekend when we were talking about something I can't recall now, he mentioned how he couldn't remember the last time he had read a book. Which I found not only a bit sad, but also very interesting. I know my cousins don't read either, and one of them even takes pride in it. /short literary history of my family

So the things I would love to discuss take us back to the original claim that a six-year-old could read a Harry Potter book. It's been a while since I went to school for the first time, but somehow I still think that while some Finnish kids could read those books before their seventh birthday, a lot of them couldn't. Somehow I still see that learning to read is something you do at school, though it is definitely changing. Which is why I want to ask, could a 6-year-old in your country read books like Harry Potters or something similar? When do kids in your home country usually learn to read and when did you learn to read yourself? And I'd also be interested in hearing how you learnt to read, with an Alphabet book or with a parent or in some other way?

As I mentioned, I've kept a list of all the books I've read in the past few years. Nowadays my yearly total comes up to around 50 books, when at best years it has been over 100. Out of curiosity I also counted all the books I've read in English (I still read majority of the books in Finnish) and came up with around 60 books. Which is a surprisingly small number, because I've had the feeling I do read most books in English these days. However, I did check how many of those 60 books I've read during the last three years and that number is 48. Which explains that feeling I've had. This brings us to the topic of how much do you read each year and what do you think reading a lot means? I went through one literary blog and almost laughed when someone stated "I read a lot, 8 to 10 books a year" because to me that equaled the books I read in two or three months. I know different people read in very different ways and many people have changed their reading ways with ebooks and tablets coming to the market. I would love to know have you changed your reading habits?

And in order to make this a post for those who do not read, I would love to get your input too. Is there some reason you don't read, because it's difficult or takes time or is simply boring? Really, I'm interested in these stories too because I admit I know nothing about a life without reading books.

I would love to hear your answers to some of these questions, or if you feel like leaving me with a short story of how you see reading, I am more than happy with that too. I just find this genuinely interesting since I know very little about how people in other countries learn to read and how they read. Yes, we give each other book recommendations, but that only means we've stumbled upon a book we liked, nothing more really.
As a last note I would like to remind that I am sending out Christmas/holiday cards and if you didn't comment in my last post saying you'd like one, now is your time for that. I do love sending out those cards.
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