Thursday, September 29, 2016

#BannedBooksWeek 2016 - Who has most influenced your love of books & your right to read?

This is an easy one for me. My parents. 

From the first day I can remember (that's around age 3 or so, I think), I remember my parents reading. They read all the time, every day. On family vacation car trips, one of them would read aloud to the other while he/she was driving. They instilled the love of reading in me and my sister at an early age. When we went to the grocery store, if we were well-behaved, we didn't get a toy...we got a Little Golden Book (I still have all of them too...thanks to my wonderful mom). Both of my parents are still avid readers, especially my mom. She reads more (and faster) than I do. I recommend books to them, and they read them. Dad reads more horror so those are the ones I recommend to him. With Mom, it's horror too, but also literary fiction and sometimes historical fiction. As far as my right to read, they never restricted what I read. When I was about ten, I started reading more adult books and they were fine with it. They trusted my judgment and knew that if I ever became confused, I would come to them for answers. We were very open in that way. I really feel such deep gratitude that they encouraged and nurtured my love of reading.

A funny story, as an aside, regarding my dad. My mom and I used to visit her dad several years back before he died (RIP) and every time I saw him, he would say this, "When you all used to come visit, your dad always had his nose in a book." I can just imagine him as a young man, sitting there reading while visiting family. It makes me smile. 

I must also give a shout out to my high school English teacher, Mrs. Fitch. I had her for three out of four years. In her class, we read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Henry Miller's The Crucible. She always made the study of these works so interesting. She also knew that I loved to read, and recommended books to me all the time. It was because of her that I read one of my favorite books of all time, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. She was my favorite teacher and I will never forget her.

Who influenced you?

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  1. My parents, too, especially my dad who most often was the one reading to us. From Yertle the Turtle to Huckleberry Finn, he'd gather the three of us around him and he was a marvelous reader. I don't think a birthday or Christmas ever passed without a new book and weekly trips to the library were a must, even before they had built a branch near us and going meant a trip way downtown. I thank them regularly!

    1. That's wonderful, Lisa. We are so lucky to have such great memories, and legacies. My dad was also a terrific story teller when he would read to us. Mom was the one that always took us to the library. We were there all the time. She loved it too. We all still do. :-)

  2. I hadn't seen this question around-- but unfortunately I'm too preoccupied this year to really follow Banned Books Week-- but great answer, Michelle! Isn't it fun to figure out where our "reading DNA" came from?

    I never saw my dad reading as I grew up, except the newspaper. I asked my mom why and she said because he was too busy running his own business, even after hours. But when he retired, he always had a paperback with him. My mom, on the other hand, brought me to the library (within walking distance) every week and I always had an armload of books checked out. When I was an adult, my mom and I would exchange books...she had as eclectic a taste as I did then-- from Dean Koontz to Patricia Cornwell to Sidney Sheldon, etc. Whoever was popular then, but also revisiting older titles like Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird, too. I was never censored in what I read, and was one of the only girls my age who smuggled a copy of Love Story to school :) with my mom's permission. Thanks Mom (pointing upward at her) for giving me some "cred" with my friends, lol.

    And thanks for allowing me to reminisce here about my parents and books!

  3. Definitely my parents and older brothers and sister. My dad read to all of us from his favorite books--Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, and Uncle Remus. We always had lots of books in the house, and I loved going to the library with my dad and browsing while he browsed.

    I learned to read with Little Golden Books too--so affordable, accessible, and marvelous to own your own books.

  4. My mother influenced me the most. I have really enjoyed your posts this week!

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