Posted by: Genny Colby | November 28, 2011

A Love of Reading

November is really a month to think about all the things we are thankful for, and I do have a lot to be thankful for in my life.  One thing I am very thankful for is the love of reading that was instilled me by my parents from a very early age.  I can not say at what point my parents started reading to me, but it was before I have any memories.   Books were just a part of our lives, our daily routine.  Even once we could read on our own, my parents still took time to read to us.  And not just kid books, though there were many of those read as well!

One early memory was my mom reading me The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.  My father had given her a beautiful collector’s edition with rich, detailed illustrations.  I loved those nights before bedtime when my mom would read to me, though the book was not allowed to stay in the room when she left, as I was afraid that Smog, the dragon, would come out of the book to get me.  Ah, the imagination of a 4-year-old! I remember snuggling up on my parents bed, listening to my father read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And these read aloud times did not end as we moved through grade school, but continued on through middle and high school. Granted, there were fewer opportunities for story time, but when they did occur, they were cherished.

The summer after 8th grade was a wonderful lazy summer spent with friends, riding bikes, and preparing to enter the grown up world of high school.  Yet each night my friends, my siblings, and I would all settle down on our front porch and listen to my mom read to us.  The best book of the summer was The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

And each Christmas, as we sat by the tree, with candles glowing, we of course read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, a classic of course.  But we also read A Child’s Christmas in Whales  by Dylan Thomas.  My first Christmas that I did not go home, my mother looked for a copy to send me.  She was unsuccessful, but did find an audio recording.  So now each Christmas, we listen to the book on CD.  Not quite the same as having my mom read it, but it is pretty close!

My mom did more than just read to us, she also encouraged us to explore books and new authors, by offering ideas and suggestions of what to read.  When we would say “Mom I am bored” she would tell us to either go clean our room, or suggest a new book to read.  Needless to say, I read a lot of books!  One summer when I had dislocated my foot, I could not do much other than hang out at home, and instead of watching mindless TV, she spent those 4 weeks throwing any and every book she could think of at me.  I read so much that summer and then I got to talk about the books with my mom.  It was a great way to pass the time when I could not do much but really wanted to get out and go for a drive, having just gotten my driver’s license!

Now jump to today.  I am a mom, a wife, and an avid reader.  My husband and I find great joy in picking out a book we both will enjoy, and reading aloud together.  That is how we read the whole Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.  And the last 4 of the Harry Potter series!  We are both determined to instill a love of books and reading in our daughter.  Books can be found in just about any room of our house, including the bathroom.  She loves to have stories read to her during her free choice times.  And story time is a part of our daily routine before nap and before bedtime at the very least.  I love those times when we snuggle all together to read stories.  But I also love those quiet moments when I hear her reading stories to her toys.

To this day, when I need an escape, I know I can find one in a good book.  Luckily I am not in any danger of running out of options of what to read, and there is always something that suits what ever mood I am in that day.  I also count myself lucky in that I have so many friends who also love to read and are never afraid to give me suggestions or pass on a good book.

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