This article reports on findings form a study which, identified perceptions of reading and the teaching of reading held by trainee teachers. The study also identified the impact on the author's provision as a teacher educator. It found that students’ past and present experiences of learning to read and being a reader influenced their perceptions of what reading is and of what it means to teach reading. As a teacher educator, the author is not able to give students long experience of seeing children becoming readers. However, she is able to give them richer experiences of reading in personally and culturally relevant contexts.