Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! To start off the Books I Grew up on series is Las Vegas photographer, Megan Gneiting.
Where did you grow up? What was it like growing up there?
Having been born and raised in Las Vegas, I can honestly say that I love this city! When I was a child, my parents were always questioned as to how they could effectively raise children in a place known for its many vices. Their answer is the same as mine, seeing as now I am a mother in Las Vegas: everything is black and white here and there isn’t much gray area. The good and the bad are very obvious. I think because I was exposed to both extremes, I was inspired from a young age to seek out the good things in the world. Come to find out there is a lot of good to be found in Las Vegas communities!
How did you first develop a love for reading?
My grandma lived right around the corner from my family, and she taught us how to read at a local elementary school. She had a huge collection and especially loved “pop-up” books of which she had many. I used to love going to her house and seeing what books she would read to me that day. When I began Kindergarten and started reading, my grandma really helped me learn to read. She taught me quickly and really pushed me to develop my reading abilities. I attribute my love of reading to her, and I am so grateful to have inherited a small portion of her book collection to read to my daughter.
What role did books have in your childhood?
Reading was always a hobby my parents encouraged. I remember one year for Christmas my parents gave me the entire Nancy Drew collection. Throughout the year my dad would read to me every night before bed. Before next Christmas came, we had finished the entire series. Being able to say I had read an entire series instilled a lot of confidence in me and and inspired me to read other book series!
What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite book as a child was The Doll People by Ann M. Martin. The book is all about toys that come alive at night and have crazy adventures all over the house. It stretched my imagination and was completely magical to me. I read it several times and I can’t wait to read it to my daughter.
What is your favorite book now?
My daughter is almost 1 so our reading is very light, but I especially enjoy the Sandra Boynton books.
What advice would you give to young readers?
Find your local library and join their reading programs! They can help you set goals and recommend different kinds of books you may not choose on your own. It’s a good way to motivate yourself to read and you never know what you might discover. Also, they might have some fun prizes!
Megan Gneiting is a photographer based in Las Vegas. She takes professional photos for all occasions – family pictures, engagement photos, wedding pictures, senior pictures, and more – but her latest project is in photographing “Home Life Sessions”. Home Life Sessions allow for un-posed pictures of your family life to capture all those little moments, from reading books to to playing together, that make your family special. Check out Megan’s blog to learn more about it!