Picture this, your childhood home office covered wall to wall in full length bookcases. Does that excite you? For my parents and sister who are avid book readers it was amazing but for me it was just another room filled with things I would not use.
My relationship with reading started at a very young age because I struggled a lot with reading and comprehension. I was the kid who wouldn’t sit still to read or I would pretend to be reading. One of my most vivid memories about reading happened in grade 5 when we had to read the first Harry Potter book. Everyone was extremely eager about it but knowing that I wouldn’t actually read it my sister suggested that she read it out loud to me. While she was reading to me she quickly caught on that I wasn’t paying any attention, so she started to quiz me. Needless to say it didn’t last long.
Now fast forward to high school where I dreaded English class. As I entered grade 12, I knew that for university I would need a certain mark and I spoke to my teacher about my learning difficulties. I am very fortunate that my grade 12 teacher agreed that if I wrote my essays a week prior to the deadline he would review it and provide me with feedback. This support from my teacher was extremely helpful, it allowed me extra time to get feedback and make improvements. I highly recommend students speak to their teachers if they are struggling. I know first-hand that all they want is for you to succeed and the only way you will get support is if you ask. Remember it never hurts to ask, the worst they can say is no.
All the way from my childhood to my undergraduate program I thought of reading as something that I had to do and not what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I was in my post graduate program for Corporate Communications that I started to pay more attention to how important reading is. Just like in my undergrad, I went into the program knowing that I would have to push myself more and spend more time on my readings and assignments than maybe my classmates due to my learning difficulties. One strategy that worked for me was, after class I would go to the library until my readings or assignment was completed before I could go home for the night. I also quickly realized that it is beneficial to be up to date on current affairs, so I started to read the news online each morning. This is something that I continue to do and I love it!
As I entered the Public Relations workforce, I thought it would be best to start reading as the more you read the more you learn. Reading is also a great way to improve your vocabulary and grow your imagination. For me I started off small by reading industry related articles online and the Harvard Business Review magazine. As I have progressed in my career and through networking I have been recommended a few books such as Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Holis. These books have been a great way for me to get into reading because the topics are relatable to life and my career. Each chapter of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead explores a new topic that can easily resonate with any women. It left me thinking about my path in life and excitement about the future.
Right now, I wouldn’t call myself a book lover or avid reader but my relationship with reading has certainly changed over the years. Nowadays, I quite enjoy spending time on a Saturday or Sunday morning reading even if I stop after a chapter or two.
I would love to hear your thoughts on your relationship with reading and please share any book recommendations you have!