I acquired my love of reading from my mother. She was a more voracious reader than me but I inherited, by osmosis and lots of observation, my anything goes reading book style from her. Interestingly, her mother didn’t read at all for pleasure and preferred games of chance in her spare time. It doesn’t matter what it is that I like to read, really, so long as there are pages with words on them, or an e-reader with words on it. I especially like to read when I travel in a car or train or on a plane. I like to read in my sunroom or in my bed late at night (or early in the morning if required to finish it). I even read while taking a bath, stopping occasionally to run more hot water to keep me cozy until I get to a good stopping point or my toes prune.
When the kids were young, I read while they played around me on the floor, only stopping if they grabbed the edge of the spine to get my attention. I read late into the night so that I could find time to finish the book. Sometimes I would read a book in one setting. When I was in college, I majored in liberal arts which required lots of reading but I would still find time for a novel especially if it was something by Stephen King, Alice Walker, Jean Auel or Tom Clancy. Yes, I started college in the early 80’s.
My mother checked out all of her books from the library. She read anything that was related to Watergate and the Vietnam War. She liked autobiographies and historical fiction. She read some mysteries and a few romance novels but really, like me, she would read just about anything. The books didn’t even have to be good for her to read them or even books. She read Reader’s Digest, Women’s Day and Family Circle magazines. She taught us about sex by leaving a copy of the Joy of Sex and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask) casually on her nightstand.
Growing up in a small town, we were encouraged at a very young age to walk by ourselves to the library to check out books without any adult supervision (except for the watchful eyes of the librarians). I learned a lot about romance by reading anything with an illustrated picture of a doctor or nurse on the cover. They would let you check out as many books as you could carry. One time, on my walk to the library, I was attacked by an angry blue jay and only survived because I threw a hardback book at him and used the rest to duck and cover until I could get a safe distance on down the street.
Books literally save lives.
In general, from a survey conducted by the National Coalition Against Censorship, kids told us:
● This book made me more empathetic, tolerant, and accepting, of myself and others. It helped me relate better to others and talk to them about things we never would have discussed otherwise.
● This book made me realize that I’m not the only one with problems; it helped me feel more normal and less alone.
● This book saved my life. It helped me confront a serious issue and deal with it.
● This book turned me on to reading. It was the first book I ever read all the way though.
● This book understood me the way no one else does. “I don’t know how I’d have gotten through adolescence without it.”
● This book inspired me to want to do something with my life.
Happy reading. If you need suggestions of good books to read, you can check out my reading list on Goodreads.