I have to credit my parents, but most especially my mother, for instilling in me the love of the written word. I was home-schooled from kindergarten onward, so credit in learning to read goes to my mom. I remember sitting next to her at the dining room table, learning how letters make sounds and how sounds, when combined together, make words. She used “How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and goodness, I remember that book so well. Silly stories about ants and bugs, about rams and the rain, about boys and girls. Memorable, definitely.
But I don’t think it was a schoolbook that gave me the love for books.
A love of books came to me because my parents loved books and they shared it with us. Mom read to us constantly. I was mesmerized by the Little House books; I remember lying in bed at night after a chapter of Little House on the Prairie, thinking about the wolves that followed Pa home. The picture the book’s words had created in my mind was so vivid, I can see it in my head today. I could almost feel their hot breath on the horse’s heels and smell their potent, shaggy fur. I had nightmares that night, but I was still hooked. There was no way I was going to admit to mom that this book gave me nightmares. I needed to hear the rest of the story! It was at that age, I think, that my fondness for books truly started.
And then when I learned to read, this love was further fed by a constant supply of books. Our book collection was small, but my mom added books to it as often as she could. We’d get the Scholastic book papers from the home-school group and when she’d actually buy some, it was like birthdays and Christmas. New books! That we could keep. Oh, bliss.
And then there was the library. I loved the library. Oh, how I loved the library. As soon as I could write my name, I got my very own library card. Once a week during the summer, into the stroller the baby would go (there was always a baby for the stroller) and down the street and around the corner would we walk to the library. We’d fill our bags up with as many books as both mom and the library would allow and cart them all home. Within a few days, I usually would have finished my stack plus most of my brothers’ as well.
I had a voracious appetite that never could be quenched. If you really wanted to punish me for some misbehavior and really make an impression, all you had to do was take away my reading privileges. I certainly can’t tell you what horrible deed I did as a nine year old, but I certainly remember the punishment of being banned from reading anything but schoolbooks for an entire week. If I recall correctly, I whipped through a good quarter of my literature book that week due to withdrawals. 😛
(It was at about that age that I started creating my own stories, but that is another blog post for another day.)
I still have a voracious appetite for stories today. I love to read, as you probably can tell from the name of this blog, and try to read as much as I can cram into what time I have. The time for reading for pleasure doesn’t exactly abound these days, not nearly as much as it used to – as you probably can tell by the sporadic book reviews on this blog. Still, this gift of finding pleasure in books and words is a passion of mine, and one day, some day, I hope to read many, many books to my own children. I intend to make every attempt to pass on that love of words to them as well, for truly it is a gift. It’s treasure chest, a genie in a bottle and a magic wand that has opened up new worlds to me, every book a road-map to adventure and every paragraph magically transporting me to distant lands.
I love words. ❤