I have been wanting to post to my blog but was not quite sure what to say. Orange Blossom from The Library Ladder wrote a post for her blog this evening that touched me deeply. The following is where my thoughts took me:
Occasionally the question arises among the book communities I am a part of as to the origin of a person's love for the written word. It's great fun to hear the stories that come from that question. Some readers are the only ones in their families who read; others, like me, are a chip off the old block. I often find myself relating my father and mother's love for books, including mentioning my parents' extensive library.
My father's response to many of my questions growing up was to refer me to one of his books. While that did not always make me happy in that moment, I now can more fully appreciate his lesson in resourcefulness.
I remember those friendly summer competitions to see if we could conquer a book a day during the summer months. We'd visit the library a day or two before our summer camping trips, load up on as many books as possible so that we could enjoy reading under the pines with only the sound of the birds and wind in the trees to disturb us.
There were many nights while I was growing up that my mother would knock on my bedroom door and remind me that I needed to get to bed because morning came early. I used to push a towel against the bottom of my door so she wouldn't be able to see any light coming off my little bedside lamp. I don't think I fooled her.
My thoughts often stop there when I think of an answer to the question of where my love for reading came from. And yet it was not just my parents' influence that drew me to the magic of books.
My grandparents loved having my brother and I spend the night. Besides the morning Bible studies, each of us taking turns reading from our designated devotionals, my grandmother insisting my brother and I take our vitamins and drink both our orange juice and our milk at breakfast, I remember settling in for the evenings in the living room at my grandparents' house, not a tv in sight, each of us with our own book to entertain us. My grandparents enjoyed reading and encouraged that in me. I admit that sometimes I just liked to watch them read.
My grandmother mostly read Christian fiction. She was the one who introduced me to C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia.
My grandfather was a journalist at one time. Small time, but still a writer. He loved to write. I always felt a special bond with him because we shared that in common as well as our love for books.
Both he and my grandmother are no longer with us, but a part of them still lives in my heart and memories.
This is just a small glimpse of the happy memories I have that involve books and the written word. I could probably fill pages.
And it doesn't quite end there . . . My husband and I became friends, our first conversation being about our love for writing. I was lucky enough to find a man who shares my love for books and the written word (fortunately for both of us, he is not quite as obsessive as I sometimes can be when it comes to books). He, too, comes from a family of readers. A perfect fit.
Do you have any special memories involving books or reading?
Aside: I must say, I am enjoying reading Anna Karenina very much. I only wish I had had more time to devote to reading this week. Perhaps the weekend will offer more of the chance to immerse myself among the pages. Although it is not a quick read, I am finding it hard to put down in those moments I do find to read. I'm anxious to learn what comes of Kitty. Then there is Anna and Vronsky. And what of Levin? And poor Dolly? I'm afraid her husband, Stiva, hasn't won any of my sympathy yet.