Blog with Friends - Reading Across America

Welcome back to another episode of Blog with Friends - this month's theme is Read Across America.

I understand I share my birthday with Dr Seuss - and he died in the town I consider my second home, so there's that.

Not having grown up in the U.S., the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham were not part of my childhood. I had other favorite childhood and youth books, and up until college it was safe to say I was a bookworm. 

What changed?

As a 16 - 20 year old I found myself forced to read classical authors like Goethe, Schiller and the like which I did not like, but they were a must in order to graduate. I appreciated the French and English / American writers more, but at some point I was so exhausted from reading, taking notes, answering questions, analyzing, presenting and discussing, I hadn't touched a real book in a very long time. 

And when I did, I have to be honest, it was lighthearted fiction.

I don't want to talk too much about myself, though. Only this: I learned to read when I spent many weeks at the hospital as a five year old. I was bored to tears, and my sweet Grandma visited and brought books, but more importantly, she wrote cards. She used capital letters because they were easier for me to recognize. 

The good news was I could now read my own books.

The not so good news was I was bored to tears when I started school, and there was nothing new for me to learn.

Fast forward to my being a Mom to a toddler. I was unsure on how to proceed where 3yo Colin's desire for knowledge was concerned. I wasn't going to push him, but I definitely wasn't going to stop him either, and if he wanted to learn how to read and do math, so be it.

At his fourth birthday party, Colin read his own birthday card, written by his Grandma. 

History was repeating itself. 

How did that happen?

You see, he's been fascinated by hockey since he was about two years old. He watched games on TV with his Dad, and his favorite "books" were the annual leaflets where the teams presented their players for the new season. The portraits included the name and a photo of each player, there was info about where they're from, their former franchises, jersey number, position, greatest achievement, role model, favorite food, you get the picture.

Little Colin kept asking (and memorizing):

"What's this guy's name, he's number 30, right? He's from Finland, I know the flag."

One day he told his Dad "the newspaper guys messed up."


"Look, here's a picture of Damien Brunner, but the caption says this is Esa Pirnes who scored?!"

How do you know that?

"That's what it says here, read for yourself!"


Their Kindergarten teacher was reading stories to the children. One chapter per day. 

You know what he did? When nobody was looking, he would snatch the book and retreat to the pillow area where his friends were enjoying cartoons, and he would read ahead a chapter or two, then he would sneak the book back to where it was. Evidently it took his teacher a good while till she found out ;-)

Speaking of school. This was just a regular morning in my life as a first grader's Mom:

Colin was supposed to put on his shoes and leave the house around 8am. instead he couldn't put his book down. I reminded him every few minutes. As you can see I also took a picture every few minutes because I had an idea how his might end.

"Yeah, I'll be right there" he kept saying absent-mindedly.

You know about the conflict of not wanting your kid to get into trouble but also knowing that they need to bear the consequences of their actions? 

Class started at 8:20. If I remember correctly he had just about left the house by that time.

As you can see, at 8:23 his teacher called. 

I told him how it went down, and while we were talking on he phone, he said "I can see Colin running up the stairs. Have a good day."


I am happy he likes to read, and I dare to say he's learning just as much through his books as he does by attending school.

How many nine year olds know who Jules Verne is? Mine did, and I would like to take credit for it by taking him to a bar by that name, but I have Donald Duck books to thank for it ;-)

Now today's post is called "Reading Across America", and I have a few pictures showing he has been doing exactly this:

During our trip through he Pacific Northwest I had to finish a Use Your Words post, and I did so at a Starbucks. My little reader / writer sat right next to me and worked on something himself.

Victoria, BC

Scenic National Parks? After a good look he preferred to go back to his book.

Grand Canyon, AZ

Some people have wish lists when they go shopping. Others bring a good read.

Carlsbad, CA

This is one of my favorite San Diego Skyline views, and I can't get enough of it. 
Not this guy.

Shelter Island, CA

A hot chocolate and a donut are better if enjoyed with a good story.

Kamloops, BC

A walk to explore a gorgeous old town? "I wish I had brought a book..."

Winchester, VA

"Good thing books can be read on gadgets, too!"

Philadelphia, PA

He is too old to get into the mall's kids' place. 
Bookstores or coffee shops are now his idea of a good time.

Glatt Mall, Zurich, Switzerland

Were / are you the same? What is your reading journey? Let me know in the comments.

Before you do so, please visit my friends' posts:

Karen of Baking in a Tornado made some delicious Pepperoni Parmesan Crescents.

Tamara of Part-time working Hockey Mom is taking you along Hockey Guy's Reading Journey - literally across America.

P.J. at A 'lil HooHaa goes back in time. His post is called BUJO: Reading, writing, and learning to journal in middle age

Kia at The Ground Beneath my Feet is on A Literary Journey

Lydia of Cluttered Genius comes up with Must Read: Schooled

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments asks you to Tell Your Story - Read Across America 

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles' post is called Read Across America.


  1. I had no idea that he had started reading so young but I think it's great, reading really is the key to most everything in life. And I absolutely love all the pics of him reading pretty much everywhere!

  2. Those pictures of your little boy reading just fill me with delight. And hope. The next generation will be just fine if they are raised to read. As your son obviously has been!

  3. This is so fantastic. When I was a kid, I was always reading ahead of my grade. I used to dive into books and go crazy. I was the exact same way. I've gotten away from books. I'm *trying* to get back into them. There are several I've gotten recently for my kindle (which I'd rather use as it's easier to carry with me) that I need to just get back into. I've said when it gets warmer, I want to find parks on my walks to stop at and read a little. My other goal is to use my Chromebook (without internet access... even better) to just go to a park and write sometimes. But I still remember several books as a kid... that I read many times over because of how they captivated me. Such a great story and I hope he still has that same love of reading. I love seeing kids really enjoy reading.

  4. I hated being told what to read when I was in school. Ironically, I became the teacher telling people what to read. In my personal time, I always read super "dumb" books because they were so different from the heavy or education-jargon laden books I was forced to read!


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