I’m trying to decide which book I should take with me on my camping trip to Death Valley. Although I probably won’t have much time to read because of visiting with the other members of the group and the lack of electricity, I cannot imagine being bookless for a week. I love to read.
My father told me that he thought I would never learn to read. I don’t remember if I was slow to learn or not, but I do remember the evening I was reading for my Grandfather and he told me that “i-n-g” would always have the “ing” sound. What a revelation! It was like magic. Meanwhile, while my dad was waiting for me to learn to read, he read to me every night, and to any of my younger brothers who also may have been interested. I was fascinated by Uncle Wiggly books for some reason and still treasure my very old copy of the book. He would love to tease us by reversing the first sounds of the words–he would sail into “The Pea Little Thrigs”, blithely ignoring my protests: “Daaaaaddy!! Read it right!!!”
In 2nd grade my teacher could not convince me that color was spelled “color” and not “colour” because I had seen it written that way in books. My dad had spent some of his early school years during the Depression in Canada, and still had some of his books which he would read to us.
Every time I needed a book to read he would disappear down into our unfinished basement where the walls were lined with shelves holding paperback novels. Sooner or later he would emerge with some books for me to try. He was a huge book collector, and for me a good book always had that slightly mildewed basement smell. On and on he read to me, reading his way through “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Those thrilling and magical tales took on a peaceful life when heard in my father’s steady tenor voice.
The summer that I turned nine I accompanied him to his parent’s house in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. If my father was a big reader and book collector, his father was an even bigger one! I spent the week reading Bertie Wooster and Jeeves stories by P.G. Wodehouse. He has remained one of my favorite authors to this day. Whenever life gets to be too stressful I like to disappear in one of his novels. They are one of the few that I have read over and over. I didn’t inherit the book hoarding gene (dodged a bullet there!), but I do buy and collect any P.G. Wodehouse book I can get my hands on, and some of my other favorites.
This has been one of my favorite blogs to write. I have really enjoyed remembering my favorite books, and those moments of my dad reading to me. What are your favorite memories around reading? I bet we could sit and talk all day about reading and books!