Saturday, August 21, 2010

Support Literacy: Share Some Book Love!

Growing up, I didn't realize just how lucky I was when it came to the modeling, sharing, and love of books surrounding me. I thought everyone read, was read to, was given books for birthdays and Christmases. Not to mention those YAY-You-Got-an-A-on-a-Test trips to the used bookstore.

Books were my reward for a job well done. They were my escape when I didn't want to clean my room. They were the way I bonded with my fellow book-loving school friends. They were the way I coped when I didn't have any friends at all.

They were magic, adventure, mystery, horror, science fiction, fantasy, how-to, and by golly, if Margaret hadn't asked God all those questions, I'd still be confused about boobs and periods.

When asked about who most influenced me to read, I couldn't come up with a single answer, but I did narrow down some of my influences.

  • My mom is an avid bookwork and made sure my book cravings were always satisfied. She read aloud to my brother and I from babyhood through middle school. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, and the fantasy of Madeline L'Engle and Mary Stewart were certainly fun to read on my own, but much better when my mom would light a fire in the fireplace on a cold winter night, and my brother and I would listen as she read aloud.
  • My big brother Dan had a bookshelf filled with The Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and The Three Investigators, which I raided often because I couldn't get enough adventure and mystery.
  • My aunt made sure my life was filled with Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Black Beauty, Nancy Drew and a billion other classics.
  • My Grampa is very rarely without a book and my John Grisham obsession in high school was all thanks to him.
  • My Grammy took me to the library every week, and never put a limit on how many books I could check out. I know this because when I was ten, I filled my arms with 40 books - I counted - and she still didn't make me put any back. I read them ALL.
  • The local librarian came by our school to read to us, from kindergarten through middle school, and thanks to her, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin will always be one of my most favorite books EVER.
  • My closest childhood friends, Molly and Elena, had bookshelves that rivaled mine in awesomeness and we frequently roller-bladed to each others houses to "check-out" books. And anytime we came across fifty cents, we ran downtown to the used bookstore for a new addition to read and share.
To this day, thanks to everyone who read to me, read around me, and read next to me, I am a hardcore book junkie. And I love it.

So tell me... who most influenced YOU to read?

Or better yet, share your story in a blog post, and inspire someone to pick up a book and share the reading love, too.

Or better yet, share your story, and then run as fast as you can over to the blog Kid Lit Frenzy, and enter to win an advance reading copy (ARC) of the book Crescendo - sequel to Hush Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick - and the ARC of Matched by Ally Condie (which I read this past week and LOVED).
And if you want, leave me a comment with your favorite books! I love all sorts of books, and am always looking to grow my to-read list!



SewSweetStitches said...

I just love you, I think we could be bosom friends :)

Seriously, this was my life word-for-word too! When we made our weekly pilgrimage to the library, we were making trips back and forth to the car to haul in our goods! That day, the house was silent for hours until one of us finally tore ourselves away to whine for food hehe.

ANyway, my favorite books as a kid:
-Beverly Cleary
-Roald Dahl
-Anne of Green Gables
-Mrs Piggle Wiggle (seriously hysterical stuff right there)

I also had a strange fascination with forensic pathology and viral epidemics as a kid. I read a lot of Robin Cook and Richard Preston books. Not that I'm recommending The Hot Zone to a child! *shudder*

ElegantSnobbery said...

Oh man, Melissa, we would totally be bosom friends. No joke, while you were reading/commenting on this post, I was in your shop getting all oogly-googly over your new fall colored items! LOVE!

TBG said...

Oh my goodness. This blog post made me so happy. First of all, I happen to be still under eighteen, but that doesn't matter. My mom has been reading aloud to me ever since I can remember. When she got really stressed the only thing she could do was read so I remember so many days when all I did was sit on the couch with my eyes closed. With her reading. I recently read a really good book called The Bone People by Keri Hulme. I highly recommend the book. It's a little sad. I mean a lot sad. But it's amazing.

TBG said...

Oh, and my mom started me on Harry Potter when I was 5. Which was excellent.

Kearsie said...

I totally was high on fumes of nostalgia from reading this post.

My mother was very pro-book, so each Scholastic catalog that found it's way home was filled in with blue ink pen, for at least one book, which now that I think about it is pretty amazing since we were uber poor.

I grew up on Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume (totally LOVED Are You There, God, It's Me, Margaret), and there were the seasons of The Babysitter's Club, Nancy Drew and (don't judge-) Francine Pascal. I read short books and long books, skinny books and fat books. I read over and over Laura Ingalls Wilder. I ate books.

And now, in my adultish years, I have read just about any and all books I can get my hands on. But you and me, we've already dissected this subject, the way besties do.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Omg, there is no judging where Sweet Valley High is concerned, my dear Kearsie. No, sirree.

Oooh, also, The Boxcar Children. I loved them.

Alexis said...

I've been looking for Lloyd Alexander books for years!! I used to borrow them from the library when we lived in the states but when I looked for them a few years ago in bookstores here in the philippines, I couldn't find any! :(

My parents loved to read, especially my mom, and since I was the youngest and sickliest (always in hospital stays, long waits in clinics, etc) my books were my friends. :)

Anne of Green Gables is still my favorite, upto today. I loved the books, the movies and the Road to Avonlea series based on it. I'm still hoping to one day find my own Gilbert. :D

alybee said...

Oh thanks for doing this and wow what a great post. I can't wait to put up my post about everyone's great pictures and comments.

alybee said...

Oh, and just for the record...Nancy Drew all the way as a kid.

mshatch said...

I loved the Prydain series and I sooo wanted to be Princess Elionwy. I think I've read those books as many times as Lord of the Rings!

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

That's awesome that you had so many book lovers in your life growing up! My mom was and still is my biggest reading inspiration, and together we've already started a decent sized library for my first little one {who hasn't even been born yet! *lol*}.

ElegantSnobbery said...

TGB - YAY, glad you liked this post! And I just added The Bone People to my re-read list! Thanks!

Alexis - I hope you find them!! Now I want to go back and read all of my Lloyd Alexander favorites, and Anne of Green Gables again! :)

Aly - Thanks!! I had fun writing this post!

Mshatch - Haha, my hubs is Welsh, and I tried VERY hard to get him to agree that my youngest should be called Eilonwy. He said no. :D

RJ - So awesome to start that book collection now!! Love that!

Sharrie said...

What a great blog post! It brought back so many memories of growing up. For my eight birthday my aunt gave me the first two Babysitter's Club books. Wow, how I loved those!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Awesome, Sharrie, glad you liked it. I LOVED the Babysitter's Club!!

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