I do not remember the moment I became a reader. I wish I did. I wish I remembered the book that made me love reading. Maybe it wasn’t a book. Maybe I was born that way. My parents and my grandparents are/were readers, so it could be in my genes. Both parents would read to us from the Childcraft books. I can still hear my dad reading The Cremation of Sam McGee and The Highwayman.
I know that almost (note the almost) only time I got in trouble in school was for reading novels behind my school textbooks. (I was pretty timid, so being willing to get in trouble for reading was big time, bold behavior for me – grin.)
I also got in trouble for reading under the blankets with a flashlight. And falling off the curb trying to read and walk. (Was also a bit of a clumsy child—>insert wry grin here.) And I used to crawl under the bed to read, so my brothers couldn’t find me and steal my book. It worked for a while. For a long time we only had one bathroom, so locking myself in there wasn’t a real option, though I still tried on occasion.
For the LDS Blog Hop, I wrote about the book that made me want to be a writer, or at least started me on the path of wanting to be a writer, but before Mary Stewart and The Moonspinners, there was a long line of books that resulted in my love affair with fiction.
It didn’t begin the Christmas my grandmother gave me four books: Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Daddy Long Legs. Pause here for a happy sigh. But it certainly helped push the love affair along (we didn’t have a lot of money so having books I owned was sweet! I could reread them without having to check them out first).
I recall my third grade teacher reading from a book after lunch. No title I can recall, I was a third grader, but I remember it was about a babysitter and a flash flood. That reading half hour after lunch is almost all I remember about third grade, oh, and that my teacher was Mrs. Grosinger.
Okay let me throw some other titles out here, sort of like one of those “don’t think before you respond” tests, only this isn’t a test. Just fun, I hope. All you have to do if you remember the book is smile. And maybe sigh as we take a little trip down reading, memory lane….
Nancy Drew. The Railway Children (though I remember them as the Boxcar children for some reason). Cherry Ames. Jade by Sally Watson anyone? Secret Garden. Little Women. A Wrinkle in Time.
There are some books, I see through a glass darkly, the titles just on the edge of memory, with flashes of the covers that tease at me. Others I don’t have, but can’t forget. Anyone read Janet Lambert? I loved her stories of teenage, military kids coping with getting moved around. I “watched” favorite characters grow up and fall in love. What about the We Were There books? Anyone read those? From those I learned to love learning about history (cause sorry, school classes did not do it).
Books discovered via movies: Wizard of Oz? Mary Poppins? Pollyana?
Oddly enough, I didn’t discover Little House on the Prairie until I was older, after the TV show. Not sure why. But enjoyed Laura’s adventures as an adult.
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Didn’t find them until my freshman year in high school. Still love to take a browse through them every so often. (Resisting the temptation to do it now, but have books to write!)
Pippi Longstocking. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The Wizard of Earthsea. And a cast of thousands via the our town library and the school libraries.
There was a point that I transitioned to the adult section of the library, but I can look at my shelves and still find a few of my childhood favorites. Some I’ve passed on to family and friends to read. The ones I still have, I’ll browse through every now and again. I’ll never tire of Anne Shirley’s trials and tribulations. (Love the movies, too, though not that awful last one.) Somewhere along the way I lost my copy of Daddy Long Legs, but I found a digital edition and enjoyed rediscovering the story. There’s a movie of it, too.
I found a reissue of Cherry Ames and had to buy the four book set, just because. And of course, I’m too old to have found Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl as a kid, but enjoyed reading them with my son.
So what are the books that made you fall in love with fiction? What books made you realize you could travel to the stars, to the past, or to the other side of the world from your cozy armchair?
Any comments to any of my June blog posts will earn you an entry for my AnaBanana Gift Card ($10) drawing. (You have to take a peek at her zombie zoaps page!) Winner will be announced in the July 2, 2012 blog post. Be sure to check back to see if you won.
Pauline Baird Jones loves reading so much, she writes books so it will take her longer to “read” a book. So far she has written 12 novels, some short stories and three non-fiction handbooks. You can find out more than you’ll ever want to know about her at www.paulinebjones.com
My Love Affair with Fiction