My family was large by todays standards. My brothers and sisters were much older then I was, by the time I was in first grade I was basically an only child. Therefore; I spent a lot of time on my own and my love of reading blossomed from there. My first reading memory was sitting on the floor in the dining room reading the Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson I must have been in Kindergarten. I still love the story of those generous and cunning rabbits.
I felt so grown up sitting on the floor with my back pressed against the wall with my book. I have other wonderful memories of trawling through a bookstore with my dad and coming home with this beautiful book.
The Magical Rainbow Man and the Journey of Love I can’t tell you how many times I read this book. The illustrations are beautiful and to me it was magical. I have wonderful memories of these books. These books were my friends. Reading filled the hours of dinners out with my parents, car rides and other events. After reading Pipi Longstocking I was going to run away with my books and doll to Villa Villekulla. I got as far as the backyard but it was an adventure just like Pipi would have taken. When asked what my favorite hobby was I always said reading. There is a meme that I always find funny, I was the kid that got in trouble for reading in school. I would hide my book in my desk and would read during lessons especially on library day.
During my pre-teen and teenage years, it wasn’t cool to be a reader, but I wore my nerd badge proud. Yeah I was that girl in your English class that ACTUALLY did the assigned reading and participated in the class discussions. I shared my heartbreaks and triumphs of Jr. High and High School with Ann Rice, Stephen King and VC Andrews. Later in my high school career Poe, Russell and Shelly. They seemed to speak to my teenage self.
As I got older my relationship with reading didn’t change. I believe that it intensified as I matured. Looking back I always had a book with me and I still do. Family gatherings would find me in a room or a chair somewhere away from my very loud extended family. Reading gave me just enough downtime to rest up from all the socializing going on around me. Books offered solace through a divorce, family deaths, breakups and the stress of being a young parent. I’ve read in hospital waiting rooms, airports, funeral homes, lawyers offices, trains and buses. Books have been my constant friend and companions. The stories they hold have walked beside me through my entire life.
So I guess the question should be instead why not reading?