When I was a little kid, it was permissible, and maybe even expected amongst neighborhood mothers, that we young children should walk to the public library on each Saturday morning and collect a pile of books for the coming week. I vaguely remember my mother taking us to the library before this "coming of age" allowance, where she would dutifully find books of interest for each and every one of her kids.
I LOVED THE LIBRARY!
I LOVED THE LIBRARY! I LOVED SATURDAYS!
Tonight, on PBS' The Great American Read FB page, the question was posed:
"What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading?"
I thought of two from my young days. They were both read to me, no doubt a non-reader at that point. (So listen here, you all: read to those pipsqueaks.) One, my mother often checked out of the library for me. For some reason, it always appealed to me - no doubt my frog-egg, crawdad, turtle, tadpole, frog, fish, kitten, puppy days played a part in my love for this book:
Why I Built the Boogle House by Helen Palmer. (Turns out, she was Theodore Suess' wife!)
The other beloved book I recall from my early childhood (Wait! That's not right; I have TONS of early book memories. So...hang on...) As I was saying, another beloved memory was of my Aunt Edna and Aunt Rachel reading me their copy of a sweet, sweet story about a pup growing up with a family. I don't know what resonated about this story, but I think it had to do with sitting in Rachel or Edna's lap, just sitting, just listening to their voices:
Those two books were fundamental in acquainting me with the written word.
And you know what? I have acquired both these books now, 50+ years later. They meant a lot to me.
Than, happily, came Hop on Pop! Green Eggs and Ham! One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish! The Cat in the Hat! (I have to interject here, that the Cat in the Hat was an awesome read, and they should have left it in written form.)
Think back to your first experiences with awesome stories. I love my recollection of my mother reading Hurlbut's Story of the Bible to us five kids, whenever there was a Sunday snow day or if some of us were too sick to go to Sunday School. Mom made sure she read to us. Her voice was as rich to us as hearing Paul Harvey's Bible stories at noon each Sunday.
That was fifty years ago. Half a century. Lots happen in half a century. Think about that...
But, you know what? I really think having a sweet child in my lap, with just an old book, any old book, reading to that sweet child, is pretty fine.