Reading Autobiography Chari kauffman

Reading as a Young Child

Growing up in the 60's, I remember my parents reading to my sister and I frequently as young children. Mom was a teacher, so education was important to her and she knew that reading would give us a head start. Mom says she remembers having to read the same stories over and over, to the point where we could tell the story to her. She said that there was one in particular that we had to read every night that she absolutely hated but suffered through for us!

(Not my sister and I but it is a stock photo that is relevant to our reading history and time period when we were young.)

Mom found some of our old books and recently sent the photos to me. Enjoy!

Elementary School Reading

I was in elementary school in the late 60's, attending school in a small, rural school district in central Illinois. The only way we learned to read back then, was by using the "Dick and Jane" readers that were so popular at the time. My brother is nine years younger than me, and by the time he got into the same elementary school, they were no longer using those readers, but learning phonics instead.

I felt so grown up being able to read these!

If you get a chance, click on the link below. It gives you 15 fun facts about Dick and Jane, including the use of the first African-American character in their books.

Dr. Seuss books were very popular in my home. We read these EVERY day once we learned to read using Dick and Jane.

Middle School & Junior High

I have many fond memories of the books I read in my middle grade years. One in particular, "Pippi Longstocking" really stands out in my memories. I loved those books! During these years I loved reading and remember devouring many books. Below you will see a sampling of some of them.

For the most part, I read stories with female protagonists. There sure wasn't much diversity in the 60's and 70's!

Early Teenage Years

Not a lot of series were available in the 1970's, however, I remember reading book after book of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Also, because we only got three channels on our television, reading was a common past time. You never said that you were bored in my household, or we were put to work!

High School

When you look at my reading during high school, you can tell that this was the beginning of required reading for English classes. I remember LOVING Jane Eyre (I read it multiple times), Little Women, Invisible Man, Fahrenheit 451 and Catcher in the Rye. I was very active in high school so I don't believe there was a lot of spare time to do much reading besides that. However, I do remember a short phase where I was going through a love of Scottish Highlands love stories!


I don't remember reading anything at all for enjoyment during college. It was entirely textbooks!


After I graduated from college, I remember being totally obsessed with Stephen King books. I must have read pretty much everything he had written in that point of time.

30'S AND 40'S

The word "series" sums up my 30's and 40's. I read everything I could get my hands on by James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich, and Sue Grafton. I'm sure there are more series, but those are the main ones I remember devouring.


The last few years my reading has transitioned to a wide variety of literary fiction, memoir's, biographies, young adult fiction and literary non-fiction. Take a look at a few of my books from my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

I'm 53 years old going through a late life career change, yet I feel that my whole life has been preparation for becoming a librarian. Currently I am employed as a Pre-AP Reading Teacher at North Shore Middle School in Houston, Texas. There I have the opportunity to share my love of reading with my 7th graders. Currently, they are participating in the 40 Book Reading Challenge inspired by Donalyn Miller's "The Book Whisperer." Also, my students write reading response letters to me and we frequently talk about books. I read aloud part of Kwame Alexander's "Crossover" at the beginning of the year, this fall we read "The Outsiders" and we are currently reading "The Wednesday Wars" by Gary Schmidt.

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my reading life!


Created with images by 947051 - "dog dogue de bordeaux mastiff" • Smabs Sputzer - "Reading"

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