How did you get started? Why do you read?
I'm going to start:
My grandpa was an avid reader. Every time he came home I amazed myself watching him read. I knew that if I looked out the window, there he was. Legs crossed, book in hand and always the same expressionless, severe look on his face, for hours on end. He could recite entire paragraphs and that left me speechless as a little kid.
There was a room in my grandpa's house, a thousand kilometers from home. It was the book's room. There I could enter and pick whatever caught my attention, and he had read every single one of those works. Not only were the books beautiful and smelled good, but they also contained amazing, breathtaking stories and the knowledge that entitled me to sit besides the old man and talk about the it. From man to man, even though I wasn't one.
Time passed and as an adult I saw thing in him that I didn't like. Not only ideologically, but also in his craft. I didn't like the the way he wrote. I wasn't attracted to the themes he had chosen. It was only then that I understood and could really feel grateful for what he had done.
He made me feel like a grown up when I was only a kid. Why should I feel afraid to use my voice if I knew what I was talking about? He taught me why reading was important and why I should read. Why my life was going to be better if I made mine the experiences of others. Why reading gave me the tools to formulate robust ideas of my own, enriched by the life of people long dead, or contemporaries living in a world so different that it feels alien.
My grandparent played an important role. One that I hope I can play myself when the time comes.
Needless to say, literature got me the first time I set eyes upon her.
Sorry for my disgusting, basic English. Not my first language.
i'd always been somewhat a reader. a few years ago i got sick of /mu/, so i decided to try some other boards. i found the same idiocy and herd think on all the other boards, but /lit/ sort of stood out. so i started reading to keep up with the bants. now i'm taking a master's in english with plans for a phd, have a published a short story, and plan to be a prof.
My father has always been heavily into the occult. He has a bookshelf of all kinds of shit. Lovecraft, Crowley, books on witchcraft, voodooism, Satanism, all things Egypt and mythology, black magick, Middle Eastern texts, etc. And he's a musician.
That, along with a shitty break up when I was 17 that left me questioning my intentions and merit as a human, got me into reading philosophy (starting with the continentals, then moving into the analytics, then back to the continentals when I found the analytics to be fucking retarded). It was a way to make me feel connected to myself again. Seven years later, and I am not only reading philosophy still, but I'm into occult works too.
I was going to talk about this when I created the thread but I thought it was too long and typing on mobile is a torture.
It was the other way around for me when I was in crisis. That period of my life was like a vacuum that consumed an immense amount of my memories so I'm not sure about a lot of things, but I do remember that while I was there, to concentrate on something was an impossibility, and that included my ability to read too.
Years passed and I met a girl. She was a replacement for meds and the relationship was a chaos. I loved her like I've never loved someone before (or after for that matter) and the final breakup of many, only prolonged that state of mindlessly living.
Only after winning myself back did I see how things that were so important to me were ignored for years and that, again, included my ability to read.
That was just before my grandpa died. Even though I never told him what he meant to me, I saw him again and there was no doubt that he knew it. Good thing it wasn't after.
i don't remember myself but my mom says she read to me a lot and i used to look at the newspaper (probably imitating the adults.)
the book i first remember getting into was finn family moomintroll in 2nd or 3rd grade and i just kept reading.
i'm very introverted albeit social so reading is a natural path for my personality.
Regarding my parents, I was in a similar position although when I was a kid reading was the only permitted activity after bedtime, but I didn't receive much motivation from them. Certainly not from my dad.
Private school. Old, European curriculum with Latin courses as soon as in 5th grade in addition to a heavy focus on literature, language, philosophy, geography and history, mathematics, physics, biology and chemistry. There wasn't anything related to IT, however, and we weren't given a lot of freedom neither in our behavior nor our speech. Anyway, it was still an amazing opportunity and I can't express my parents enough gratitude for not sending me to a mediocre public school. I can't remember the first title we went through but I remember an exciting lecture we had on Charles Baudelaire.
The story of why I read at all is basically my life story up to this point. I'm not a quality human being. My first flaws were being selfish, oblivious, overly credulous, and socially disruptive. It was for these flaws that I was sent to an alternative school. I would have been out quickly, but unfortunately puberty revealed the fact that I was trans, in a school run by fundamentalist tough love christians. They knew long before I did. This led to a situation where they were constantly demanding I change behavior I wasn't aware I was guilty of. They refused to name the problem explicitly, and the result was a bind so severe that I went insane and had my first psychotic break at the age of 14.
As a result of the break, I was expelled from the school. I spent all of my time on the internet for the next few years, mostly on forums. There I argued against the existence of knowledge and reason and in favor of the subjectivity and meaninglessness of all things. Until, that it, I encountered a man who set me straight. He was a genius. A chess, math, and philosophy prodigy, he started college at the age of 14 and could cite from memory the arguments of several hundred different thinkers. He wasted no severity of rhetoric or logic and broke me free from my hatred of reason, a hatred based on the ostensible but false reason used by those who had tortured me, physically and mentally, back in the alternative school.
That was when I first started to read. I read mostly philosophy, because that was what he made me interested in. At some point, I realized through reading that I had a right to my own person, and started transition. This led to homelessness and a hectic life, so I stopped reading for a long time. I went back to school again, thinking I would get an associates degree and go straight to work, but this didn't happen. I went on for a bachelors, in the course of which I accumulated the credits for five more associates degrees, none of which made me any more employable. Around junior year, I went insane again, this time from despair. Oddly enough, this break from reason brought me back to reading once more. I've been reading philosophy for comfort and orientation, as well as psychology and occult texts to try and derive meaning from my situation. Even now though, this wouldn't be possible without the man who saved me from myself. I am only returning to the path he showed me.
Failed 3 subjects in highschool, started to wonder what the fuck i was doing and uninstalled all my PC games, i needed another hobby so i picked up some of my sister's books (Dorian Gray, Gatsby) i liked them and went to /lit/ to find more like that. I still play vidya from time to time but i get bored within 30 minutes of a sitting.
I'm going on for a Bachelors in Computer Science, currently unemployed. I'll be a Senior after this semester. The man in question is now a lecturer of Philosophy at Baruch College in New York.