My mother taught me to read when I was three. Her reasoning was straightforward. She said, “If he is old enough to understand, listen and talk, the he is old enough to read.” So she begin to show me what the phonetic spelling of every word and I learned the words as visual as well as aural things. I have had my head in a book ever since.
If I am not enjoying the reading I just toss the book back on the shelf and have never lost any sleep over it. This also makes for good approach to most of life.
I am glad you found this out but find it sad that you were misled for so long.