I was nearly born a reader. At least to hear my mother and gramma tell it. I read Mother Goose Rhymes at the ripe old age of 3. Impressive, eh?
I’m sure what really happened was the positive effect of reading to your children: they learn language. Rhythm, patterns, story, connection, comfort, closeness, fun. Reading had an early positive effect on me.
I have loved to lose myself in books since I could read on my own. My earliest “chapter book” was Anne of Green Gables. Not a bad start really. I was blessed with a wonderful, generous great-aunt Mildred who was the children’s book curator in a lovely bookstore in Witchita Falls, Texas. Aunt Mildred would send books for gifts.
Some children would groan at receiving a book instead of a toy; not this kid. I am the proud owner of the 1936 hard back editions of the entire series of Anne of Green Gables. One book at a time. Aunt Mildred knew I loved books. She hoped I’d learn to love the Good Book when I was older. In fact she prayed that over me when I was a small 9 yr old visiting her in the hot, humid summer of 1966.
I read and read and read. My mother was a junior high English teacher who later became a high school English teacher so there was no shortage of recommendations of good titles for me to hunt for on my weekly trip to the local library.
I love the smell of books. I use a kindle on my iPad but there is no replacing the smell of books. Especially old books in used book stores (if the library is not open!) Reading built my love for words; extended my vocabulary without flash cards and made me a better writer. More pages read than pages written. I live by that rule.
Are you familiar with the author of the quote on the picture above? If you’ve seen the Broadway musical Wicked then you have encountered Gregory Maguire’s storytelling ability. He wrote the book upon which the musical is based. Check him out on Goodreads. He takes a familiar story and writes around it in a new way; a new direction. Not necessarily children’s lit just so you know.
My Aunt Mildred’s prayers were answered 15 years later when I asked for my first Bible. I was curious at that point; how was the Bible so popular over so many centuries? What did it have to offer of lasting value that extended beyond other books?
How little I knew at the time; faith comes by hearing the Word of God. I had no idea the power that lay within that book; power to transform a broken, lonely young woman. How the prayer of an older woman would have an effect 15 years later. What a lovely circle to live within; an extended family who loved the Word as well as the written word.
What heritage are you leaving? Do you have an extended family member who needs you praying for them? Is there someone close to home who loves books but can’t spend money on them? Do you know a family who would be blessed by an anonymous bag of children’s books dropped on their doorstep? Do you have time to be a reading tutor for adults or children?
If you love story, how can you share that love with others?
Share your ideas here!