My Best Friends

Books are our friends. At least they've been mine for as far back as I can remember. My dad was born in 1910 and had a 7th grade education. Because his father died in 1920, my dad quit school to help support the family. But in spite of a limited education, my dad was one of the most intelligent people I've ever known. Why? He read. And he gave me his gift of loving to read.

In my "official" bio as an author it's mentioned that I was fortunate to have been able to travel with my parents when I was a child. For many years when I was small, souvenirs were often Little Golden Books, purchased in the different states where we stopped. Inside the cover, my mom or dad would write my name, the year, and the place where they bought the book. I have a very old and worn copy of Pinochio that they bought in Havana, Cuba.

But no matter how much we love them, we outgrow those little books.  In grade school I read a wide variety of types of books.  One of my favorites was A Rocket in My Pocket, a book of poetry that is no longer in print.  I memorized three of the poems in that book and will still happily recite them without even the slightest encouragement.  I also moved into much longer books and remember reading Beverly Cleary's Fifteen and similar books in fifth grade. Those were probably the beginning of my love affair with romance.  In high school my reading broadened and became quite eclectic with James A. Michener books and others, including Hawaii, Exodus, In Cold Blood and Valley of the Dolls.  (Specific page numbers of the latter were memorized and passed on to reader friends. ;) ) High school is also when I first read Georgette Heyer Regency books, and I bought and read every one of them I could find, quickly becoming not only a fan, but a romance fan.

Reading will always be a part of my life, but I wish I had more time to do it.  My oldest daughter was fortunate to have learned her love of books the same way I did--from my dad.  She inhales books of all kinds and is never without one or more at a time.  Her sisters also read, and we're passing that love down to their children.  Summertime means Friday is Library Day for my four oldest grands, who range in age from 3 to 9.  They, too, are learning that books are our friends. 


Reese Mobley said...

Loved Little Golden Books. I read my kids the Berenstain Bears Books all the time. Both taught great lessons and the kids loved them.

Penny Rader said...

When I was a new mommy I knew I wanted my kids to be surrounded by books. Even though we didn't have much money, I managed to sneak in a Little Golden Book purchase every month or so with grocery purchases.