Why Jenna likes to Read

Grandma Kc wrote this on February 19th, 2015 25 Replies

There has been a lot of excitement at Amara’ school recently. The PTA received a $5000 grant from Lowe’s to help Santiago Scholars become Super Readers. They are planning a huge kickoff event for Read Across America over the first week of March. I am thrilled to be on this committee (more on that later). During one of our first committee meetings, Jenna, Amara’s Mommy, was relaying to the other Moms the story of why she loves to read. I love that Jenna tells this story. This is my version.

I missed out on many things when Jenna was growing up. She did too. I was working 70+ hours a week as a district manager for a restaurant chain in Michigan, which meant I wasn’t always was never there to help her with her homework or to tuck her into bed at night. I certainly never got weekends off. I was responsible for 5 stores and they were all many miles apart. I spent much of my working hours on the road driving. Most of the restaurants were at least an hour or two away and often I wasn’t there for very long. So sometimes on the weekend, I would take Jenna with me. She always got lunch (and ice cream) when we got there so she went willingly. She knew the staffs at all the stores. They spoiled her and she loved it.

Still, the drives got long. One of the fun things we did on those trips was to share whatever book I was currently reading – she would read it to me while I drove! My own personal audio book! If she got stuck on a word, she would spell it out. If I thought she should be able to figure out herself, I would encourage her to sound it out. If the word was just too big – I told her what it was and she went on with the story! We kept it fun.

Some of the books probably weren’t “child appropriate”. She was in the 3rd grade at the time and I was really into Stephen King. She loved and vividly remembers reading “Cujo” to me. I don’t think it did her any real harm. It certainly instilled in her a love of reading. She has always been an avid reader with a huge book collection, a Nook and a Kindle! These may not sound like the best of times but we both enjoyed and remember them.

Jenna's Library

Today, Amara is an avid reader, too with a book collection of her own. Her Daddy is a published author and started her life off by reading to her every night before bed until she finally reached the age of wanting to read to herself. She has been known to fall asleep reading with her lights on, just like her Mommy!

So our love of books and reading is passed to another generation.

25 thoughts on “Why Jenna likes to Read

  1. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    Earning a living and raising a family don’t always go together but it sounds like you made the very best of both. You nurtured a skill that affected everything she has done since then. 🙂 I have two books going at all times – one on the treadmill and one on the nightstand. I can’t imagine not reading, but I have reached a point where I don’t need to keep the books. I’m on first name basis with my local librarians, and in my opinion their salaries are my taxes being well spent.

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Jenna really is pretty amazing! She probably has at least 100 more books in the garage. Many of them have come from the used book store, especially some of her old cookbooks. She has an equally huge database of recipes she has collected!

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  2. Joyce

    You managed to earn a living that kept Jenna secure, yet pay attention to her too, AND instill a love of reading at the same time! This is commendable! I’m not surprised you two have such a close bond now. You creatively solved the problem you faced by making the best of it! Wonderful!

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      If I could go back there are sure things I would do differently. I would have continued my education and gotten a job that paid better while allowing me to still be home more. It is why I am so glad that Jenna and Justin are in a situation where she can be a full time Mom – and an awesome one at that!

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  3. Olga

    That is a great story of making lemonade when life hands you lemons. Life definitely is what we make of it. And the gift of reading is a treasure indeed.

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am so glad that Jenna loves to read and that Amara does, too. You’re never lonely if you have a good book!

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I wasn’t a single Mom at the time, just one that worked very long hours. Having her along on some of those trips was just the best. She used to like to practice shifting the car, too! As for Stephen King — oh yes!

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I have great memories of driving down the back roads in Michigan in my bright yellow Ford Festiva with the company logo on the side. Jenna really helped make the time go faster on those trips.

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  4. Rhonda

    Stephen King, what a brave little girl. My daughter and I are avid readers too. My grandson, not so much. That is quite a book collection. It’s nice to see the passion for reading!

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Jenna still loves scary books and movies! She was really mad because I wouldn’t let her go see the movie The Shinning when it first came out!

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I was NOT an avid reader as a child. It wasn’t until high school that I truly became an avid reader — and it was all because a dear friend introduced me to science fiction and Heinlein.

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  5. Launna

    Kc… I love this, I was an avid reader for so many years, especially when I was younger. I had a book on the go at all times… my oldest was a reader too as well… my youngest loves to purchase schoolastic books. I find I don’t read books as much as I used to but I do read 50 to 75 blogs a day… I do miss a good book though.

    I like how you and Jenna made the time to read in the car and that she read to you… that is so sweet ?

    I finally got my Fitbit if you want to add me on… my email is tweety_pie_36@hotmail.com … 😉

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I’m like you. I don’t read books as much as I used to because I spend to much time reading online!!! Which is why I have to wear a Fitbit to motivate me to get out of my chair and move! I am so glad you got your’s — I highly recommend them and I’m glad we can help motivate each other.

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  6. Jenna

    Why those were fantastic times, and no those books were not “appropriate”! I mean I turned out fine. Just because I’m obsessed with serial killers and love murder shows! That’s normal right? When I was 13 I saved up my money to special order a book “Charles Manson in His Own Words”. Perfectly normal. Just because I’m sad today because I haven’t gotten to watch any of my murder show, again nothing wrong here! Kidding! Well I mean all those things are true but I also love glitter and painting my nails. It all evens out right?

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  7. Sandy

    What a great memory – and Jenna did turn out just fine!!

    Do you remember on one of your first visits to Michigan after our parents got married, we walked to the Mitchell Public Library together. It seems like we stayed for hours just looking at books and enjoying the peacefulness of the library itself. For those of you who don’t know about our library – it’s an old Victorian building that’s been lovingly cared for. It’s very impressive with it’s ornate woodwork, and original desks and counters. As soon as I walk in the door, I feel like I’ve entered a sanctuary. There’s something about the smell of all those old books. I can smell it as I write this now. Mmmmmm.

    It was on that visit to the library that you introduced me to Ray Bradbury. I think the first one I read was The Illustrated Man. It was the first science fiction book I’d ever read. I was probably about 13 at the time. I was hooked on it and still love it today! Especially the books Amara’s daddy writes!

    So thank you for inspiring me to broaden my reading horizons as well!! xoxo

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Jenna is perfect!

      I do remember going to the library with you but I sure don’t remember introducing you to Ray Bradbury but since I probably read everything he wrote back then it doesn’t surprise me. Do you remember my friend Sandy Roberts? She is the one who really got me hooked on sci-fi and on reading for fun. I was in high school and we went to this huge independent book store in the Valley. Like the Mitchell Library I remember that place so vividly, too.

      And yes, Amara’s Daddy is a pretty amazing author himself. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about him and his writing and how he is inspiring 5th graders at Amara’s school.

      Reply
      1. Sandy

        That was a fantastic bookstore! I can’t even begin to calculate how many hours I spent wandering those never-ending miles of aisles. What wonderful memories I have of that place…but they are pale next to the wonderful memories I have of YOU and the times we spent together :-D.

        You may be interested to know that during the time I was working with Mystery Writers of America Southern California branch I got to know Ray Bradbury.

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        1. Grandma Kc Post author

          We really do have some wonderful memories. There are very few non-family members that I have known and loved as long as you amd I had no idea that you had met Ray Bradbury. Jenna and I are both very jealous!

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    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Having everyone in her family and her extended family be avid readers has certainly gotten Amara off to a great start!

      Reply
  8. KImberly

    What a great way to spend time in the car. My mom read Helen Keller to me on a drive when I was eight or nine, and began my interest in signing, which led to me being an interpreter for a teacher who is deaf. Breaks my heart when we load up our littles, as young as three, at the end of the school day, and either the little DVD player is already on, or the child is handed a cell phone or gaming device before they even ask about their day.

    Reply

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